Need for innovative water solutions to increase instore and household water efficiency and access

India is facing a severe water crisis. A rapidly growing population, growing industrial activity and climate change are placing significant pressure on the country’s water supply, in effect leading to depleting ground water levels.

Currently, 54% of India’s geography is facing high to extreme water stress[1], this implies that over 600 million people are at risk or already lacking sufficient water supply. The current situation leaves 75% of Indian households without drinking water within their living premises, while 84% of rural households do not have access to piped water. In the short-term the situation is expected to worsen as increased contamination, due to insufficient wastewater treatment, will limit access further.

Karnataka is an Indian state that is severely affected by a depleting water table and shrinking water levels in rivers and lakes. Bengaluru is among the most water stressed cities in the world and may be on the verge of an imminent acute water crisis in the near future.  Bengaluru has witnessed a 79% reduction in number of water bodies due to unplanned urbanisation and encroachment. In two decades the water table has fallen from 10-12m to 76-91m, while the number of extraction wells has increased from 5000 to 0,45 million. With an annual population growth of more than 4%, the city is predicted to have more than 15 million inhabitants by 2025 adding to the already severe water stress.

Providing access to water is on top of the Indian government’s agenda and the government has started to implement and accelerate initiatives. Initiatives which provide clean drinking water, promote water conservation and improved efficiency. To prevent the situation from worsening, it is essential that government, industry and civil society work together to achieve common goals.

IKEA – the world’s largest furniture retailer – is an organisation that believe their presence should have no impact on the environment. The first Indian IKEA store opened in Hyderabad in August 2018, and the company aims to open an additional 24 stores in the country by 2025. For IKEA it is important to be a good neighbour and hence IKEA strives to implement sustainable practises in all its operations. That is why water, both when it comes to quantity and quality, is an important topic for IKEA.

IKEA aims to lead by example and become water positive by promoting good water stewardship throughout and beyond its core business. To succeed IKEA is looking to join hands with Indian partners in creating a better environment for all by taking lead in instore water management. IKEA also aims to develop their own product portfolio by offering water efficient solutions to households in India.

Call for collaboration to accelerate innovation and efficiency in water management for Indian households and a new generation of stores

In line with the spirit of the India-Sweden joint declaration on Innovation Partnership for a Sustainable Future, we invite innovative companies, researchers and entrepreneurs to work with IKEA in achieving next generation best practice instore water management in their upcoming Bengaluru store with the potential of a national roll-out in future stores.  In line with this, IKEA is also looking for creative solutions that can be commercialised into product offerings for Indian consumers. The challenge is coordinated by The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, in collaboration with AGNIi - Invest India and ATAL Innovation Mission – NITI Aayog



Who were we looking for?

This challenge was open to technology providers with expertise in the following areas (store and household):

1. Water efficiency and monitoring in restrooms / bathrooms

Optimisation of restrooms / bathrooms – How to decrease water consumption?

  • Optimisation of toilets –How to decrease water consumption and monitor flushing?
  • Waterless urinals– Can water consumption be decreased to almost zero?
  • Optimisation of taps – How to decrease and monitor waterflow in tap and sink?
  • Optimisation of showers – How to decrease and monitor waterflow in shower?

2. Water efficiency and monitoring in commercial kitchen and households

Optimisation of commercial kitchen – How to recycle and decrease water consumption?

  • Water recycling and optimisation of commercial dishwashers – How to decrease water consumption?
  • Water filtration – How to decrease water waste when filtering?

Affordable and efficient water filtration for households – How to create affordable and efficient drinking water?

  • Water filtration – How to decrease the water waste when filtering
  • Alternative methods for water filtration – How to efficiently and affordably make water drinkable?

3. Water efficiency in cooling tower

Reduction of water evaporation in cooling towers – How to decrease water loss in cooling tower?

AHU condensate drain water– Can AHU condensate drain water be filtered and sent directly to cooling tower?

4. Optimisation of rainwater harvesting

Water harvesting capacity – Can water uptake be increased?

  • Alternative methods for water harvesting – Can water be collected from other sources?

Rainwater to drinking water – How to transform rainwater to drinking water?

Rainwater for use in kitchen – How to transform rainwater for kitchen use?


1 February 2019, Bangalore




Industry partners



In collaboration with








Venue:   Oakwood (Executive Lounge, 12th Floor), UB City, Bangalore 

Date:      1 st February 2018, 9.00 – 14.30 

Registration & Coffee
Opening session


09.30 – 09.35  Welcome address and setting the theme by Mr. Magnusm Andersson, Deputy Trade Commissioner of Sweden to India
09.35 – 09.40  Key note by Ms. Ananya Chandra, Assistant Vice President (AGNIi), Invest India
09.40 – 09.50  Key note by Ms. Katarina Veem, Director, Stockholm International Water Institute     
09.50 – 10.00  Key note by Ms. Preet Dhupar, CFO, IKEA India
10.00 – 10.15  Special address by Chief Guest Shri. Anjum Parvez, Secretary Urban Development, Government of Karnataka

Acknowledgement: Finalists in open innovation challenge “Lean and Clean Water”
Networking & Coffee
Vision of IKEA Water Management and setting the theme for panels

Dhiraj Manhas, Sustainability and Stakeholder Manager, IKEA India

Panel 1 – Developing a water positive retail zone

Moderator: Ms. Sofia Berglund, Head UNNATI Water

• Shri. Tushar Girinath, Chairman, Bangalore Water Supply and Sewage Board
• Ms. Katarina Veem, Director, SIWI
• Mr. S Vishwanath, Water Expert
• Mr. Mark Curtis, Deputy Property Manager, IKEA India
• Mr. Peter Silfwerbrand, Board Member, Drupps
• Ms. Priya Vakil, Co-Founder, Think Phi
• Mr. Varun Sridharan, CEO & Co-Founder, Greenvironment Innovation & Marketing India
• Mr. Neeraj Chauhan, Director, Retas Enviro Solutions

Networking & Coffee
Panel 2 – Next generation water solutions for the consumer

Moderator: Ms. Sofia Berglund, Head UNNATI Water

• Prof. Mohan Kumar, Department of Civil Engineering, Interdisciplinary Centre for Water Research
• Ms. Gayatri Chauhan, Founder, Buzz on Earth
• Mr. Rajesh Rangarajan, Regional Head South, Water Aid India
• Mr. Michael Smart, Sales Leader, IKEA India
• Mr. Kushal Ramani, Co-Owner, EcoEnvironment
• Mr. Sarjan Trivedi, Owner, Sarjan EcoTec
• Ms. Aruna Raman, Advisor, Pure Paani Portable Filters

Water ecosystem by Swedish subject expert

Mr. Fredrik Boström, Director of Sales, Drupps

Networking & Lunch
Closed-door pitches with IKEA for selected SMEs

Location: Meeting Room on 4th Floor, same as Reception, Oakwood, UB City

• Attended by IKEA (pitch followed by discussion)
5 min presentation followed by 10 min discussion
13.00 – 13.15  Pure Paani Portable Filters
13.15 – 13.30  EcoEnvironment
13.30 – 13.45  Sarjan EcoTec
13.45 – 14.00  Think Phi
14.00 – 14.15  Greenvironment Innovation & Marketing India
14.15 – 14.30  Retas Enviro Solutions
14.30 – 14.45  Drupps

Contact us

Address: c/o Embassy of Sweden, Nyaya Marg, Chanakyapuri, 110 021 New Delhi, India
Phone: +91 (0)11 4606 7100

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