The I-Drop Story: Why?
Updated: Aug 20, 2020
We established I-Drop Water in 2015 to demonstrate that business can and should be a force for good for everyone and the environment. It began in South Africa with a "why?"
If thousands of grocery stores across Africa have a municipal water supply, why aren't shop-owners purifying and selling safe drinking water refills to their shoppers?
Drinking water refills are not new in Africa. Water kiosks and shops are a feature of many towns and cities, serving people from all walks of life. Refill water makes a lot of sense when compared to pre-bottled water.
Lower Price: Safe drinking water refills eliminate the cost of pre-packaging and transporting water, thereby reducing the price of safe drinking water by up to 90%.
Less Plastic Waste: Every time a water container is refilled, a single-use plastic bottle is potentially eliminated.
Reduced Carbon Footprint: Transporting bulky bottled water long distances to grocery stores produces a lot of carbon emission.
Less Wastewater: Modern purification technology can produce great-tasting, safe drinking water with virtually no wastewater by-product.
High Profit-margins: By selling the water and not the packaging, refill water is profitable even at low prices.
With billions of people drinking potentially unsafe water and over a million plastic bottles produced every minute with devastating environmental consequences, why aren't purified drinking water refills available to everyone, everywhere?
We set out to show that it can be by building a compact, efficient water purification and dispensing machine that can be installed in any grocery store. This machine incorporates smart technologies and a novel business model to make it profitable and scalable anywhere.
Our approach: "I" for "Internet", "Drop" for purification technology. Our mission: To get a drinking water refill machine next to every Coke fridge in Africa!
Entrepreneurship is complicated and tough and over the last five years, we've had to reinvent our business and our solution a few times.
We are grateful for the amazing support we've received from friends of the business over the years - you've helped us get through some tough times and kept us true to our purpose while celebrating our achievements.
We are proud of the millions of litres of safe drinking water we've sold in multiple countries, demonstrating that the business of safe drinking water should be more than a luxury lifestyle offering.
Finally, we're excited by the latest version of our solution: the Waterpod by I-Drop. As we roll out this local solution to a global challenge, developed and built right here in South Africa, we look forward to the next chapter in the I-Drop story.