‘We are looking at tie-ups’

The plan is to go on an expansion spree and by the end of the year we should be present in more than eight states, says Ankur Chawla, Co-Founder, Responsible Whatr.

How did the idea of Responsible Whatr come about?
Born out of love for all things sustainable and in order to phase-out the usage of single-use plastic, Fabonest Food and Beverages started its operations in 2019. However, the first product ‘Responsible Whatr’, India’s first natural spring water beverage in an aluminium can, was unveiled on the occasion of World Environment Day on June 5, 2020.

I’ve been in the beverage space and have had extensive experience of over a decade in hospitality. I met Bhrigu Seth, whose love for agriculture led him to set up his base in the Himalayas. Together, we started exploring opportunities in the agriculture space and ways to make it big in that domain. While we were at it, we realised how passionate we both were about environmental issues and always looked for ways of doing things in the most eco-friendly ways. One thing led to another and during the course, we discovered this amazing virgin source of water in the Himalayas. Our multiple brainstorming sessions and ideation gave birth to ‘Responsble Whatr’. We worked day and night round the clock to shape our dreams. After two years of R&D, we were able to unveil the product and introduce these cans to the market.

What is the USP of your brand?
The water comes straight from the natural spring and we do not pump ground water. The water is pure with a lot of natural minerals and the ph is around 7.4 which makes it slightly alkaline. We just purify the water and the processing of the water is also as natural and we do not try to change the property of the water at all. Also, we package our water in aluminium cans which are infinitely recyclable. In fact, we are procuring our cans from Ball Corporation and our cans are made up of around 70 per cent recycled material. Aluminium cans are recycled over and over again in a true ‘closed loop’ recycling process, which means the crushed can that went into the dustbin has a huge chance of being recycled and will come back again to the shelf.

How many hotel chains do you cater to? Are you looking for more tie-ups?
We do cater to a lot of hotels like Leela Hotel, Pullman Aerocity, Karma Chalets, Karma Lakelands, IBIS Hotels, Kampai, Diablo, Plum by Bent Chair, ATM, Pings, Jamun, Sidecar, Qla, Daryaganj & clubs like The Quorum Club. We are looking for more tieups as we plan to target B2B and B2C segments.

What are your plans for expansion?
We launched the cans firstly on our home ground Delhi-NCR where we are strong. From the day we launched, we have been getting numerous queries pan India. Today we are present in retail stores such as Foodhall, Modern Bazaar and a lot of premium stores in Delhi and a few other states in India. The plan is to go on an expansion spree and by the end of the year, Responsible Whatr should be present in more than eight states. We are also in talks with some chains for pan India contracts which will eventually make us expand our footprints.

What are the sales projections for the next six months?
We sold more than 1 lakh cans within four months of the launch and this was during the pandemic. We feel the concept has been accepted very well. And this is just the beginning, in the next six months we plan to launch a new SKU in 250 ml as well which is majorly for banquets, rooms, minibars etc. Keeping that in mind we will surely cross more than the expected numbers.