Finance

Servicing India's sanitation needs

Saraplast: bringing portable toilets to India

In a society where toilets are a taboo subject, India’s largest provider of portable toilet solutions is helping to change attitudes and address the shortage of proper sanitation facilities.

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Saraplast Managing Director Rajeev Kher first encountered portable toilets while studying in Canada. He immediately recognized the impact this product could have in India, where more than half of the population has no access to proper sanitary facilities.

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Established in 2006, Saraplast specialises in the manufacturing, installation and servicing of portable toilets or ‘cabanas’ for building sites and events. India is experiencing a construction boom but the building sites have no, or only filthy, toilets.

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Saraplast contacts construction managers and persuades them to hire portable toilets for their workers; some of whom may never have used a toilet before. The toilets remain on a construction site for six to nine months. They are then given a deep clean and prepared for use in another location.

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Saraplast employee Kamalakar Rajpankhe drives a small tanker to the sites and cleans up to 100 toilets per day, without ever coming into direct contact with sewage. He sprays the interior of the toilet with water and fills the cistern with a biodegradable solution to neutralise unpleasant odours.

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Saraplast manufactures the brightly coloured cabanas using recyclable components, and reused plastics are added to new materials during production. Saraplast then hires out its infrastructure at very low costs. It generates most of its revenue from regularly maintaining and cleaning the toilets. 

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As its client base grows, Saraplast is expanding its product range. Alongside original western-style toilets, it now offers Asian (squat) toilets, urinals, wheelchair-accessible models and even luxury toilets. Another avenue is providing units with changing rooms and showers for holiday resorts.

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Rajeev estimates that better sanitary conditions could help eliminate around half of all the cases of illness in the country. That’s why Marketing Manager Harshada Jadhav uses ‘Johnny’, the toilet mascot, to attract children’s interest when educating them about hygiene and the work of sanitation specialists.

Perspectives 2014 EN

responsAbility has a central role to play in Saraplast’s expansion – providing it with capital, advice and access to the Technical Assistance Facility. Find out more by reading the full article in Perspectives.

responsAbility has a central role to play in Saraplast’s expansion – providing it with capital, advice and access to the Technical Assistance Facility. Find out more by reading the full article in Perspectives.

responsAbility has a central role to play in Saraplast’s expansion – providing it with capital, advice and access to the Technical Assistance Facility. Find out more by reading the full article in Perspectives.