The word 'Ulta Chaata' conjures up the image of an umbrella blown into an inverted conical shape by strong winds or by a fault in its mechanism.
For a Mumbai based startup called ThinkPhi however, the term has distinctly less awkward and more meaningful connotations.
The company's green product, called Ulta Chaata, aims to kill two birds with one stone. It collects and stores rain water and, with the aid of solar panels installed in it, generates electricity.
Set up in 2015 by the couple, Samit and Priya Choksi, ThinkPhi makes sustainable products.
"Priya and I come from different backgrounds," Samit told Huffpost India. "While Priya handles the architectural and design point of view, I handle the technology. We wanted to build products that would contribute to the environment. There have been many e-commerce and software startups. So we wanted to do something challenging."
Plenty of design thought and technology has gone into the making of Ulta Chaata. The inverted umbrella design helps in collecting water and the device has a transparent filter in the pipe's midsection to clean the water and make it usable.Ulta Chaata can store up to 150,000 litres of harvested water and during the dry months, the device's canopy can be fitted with solar panels to collect solar energy. The energy is then used to generate power that can light up LED bulbs in the device and be used for mobile charging stations built into the product. A more powerful version of the product allows the electricity supply to be fed back into the power grid.
The Chaata covers 25 square meter of area
Connecting a cluster of devices is a central unit or the brain of the product, called a Phi-box. The devices can be controlled through an interface which connects to the central device. On an average, the current version of the device can collect peak power of 1.2 KW.
ThinkPhi has already installed 75 umbrellas for over 10 customers, including Godrej Interio and Rustomjee. The startup charges by per-square feet of installation and the price ranges from $20 to $24 per square foot, depending on the number of solar panels installed.
ThinkPhi is trying to expand into the home sector overseas by selling the Ulta Chaata individually also. Earlier, it had raised ₹6 crores in angel funding for product development.
The next product that ThinkPhi is working on focuses on waste management. "There is a lot of scope in the home waste sector in India," said Samit. "Using smart tech we want to develop a unique solution. We are building the initial prototypes at the moment and looking to release the final product this year."
Companies such as Think Phi are ideally placed to take advantage of the fast growing renewable energy sector in India. Power Minister Piyush Goyal recently announced that the country has reached 10,000 MW generating mark for solar power. India is targeting to generate 175 GW of solar power by the end of 2022.