Mumbai Couple’s Venture Thinkphi Invented a Smart Inverted Umbrella That Harvests Rain-Water and Solar Energy

According to the United Nations, water use in the last century has grown at more than twice the rate of population increase. It is estimated that water demand will surpass the supply as early as 2025.   

The water shortage in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment at COP21, and the push by companies towards being environmentally conscious all happened at once, in 2014.  

Faced with the global challenges of climate change, potable water shortage, energy efficiency, and sustainability, many leading companies have taken steps to lessen environmental impact.   

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Ultaa Chaata – an Inverted Umbrella Structure (Images credit: Thinkphi)  

By adopting clean technologies and new lines of environmentally-friendly products, enterprises are reducing their emissions and resource consumption, while also increasing employment. Their growth will be driven by the fact that they offer more efficient, more profitable, and more sustainable ways of doing business.  

A Mumbai-based clean-tech venture, ‘Thinkphi’, was co-founded by the husband-wife due of Samit Choksi and Priya Vakil Choksi in 2015.  

Thinkphi is an innovative company that creates the sustainably engineered products that intelligently conserve water, energy and waste.  


Thinkphi co-founders Samit Choksi and Priya Choksi (Image source: DNA India)  

Samit Choksi has a computer science background and his first creation was a messaging technology application while Priya has worked as a green building consultant, reports VC Circle.  

The couple wanted to find solutions for people living in an urban environment who are faced with very typical issues like rainwater and energy demand.  

After living, studying, and working in Singapore, London, Atlanta, and the Bay Area, the couple’s experiences motivated them to build products that could help India move up to the level of global standards in environment conservation.  

Their first product is “Ulta Chaata”, an inverted canopy-looking structure that provides potable water by capturing rainwater during the monsoon and also solar energy during the rest of the year.

How does it work?  

Ulta Chaatas are best installed in clusters of over 10 pieces, wherein each Chaata takes up no more than 1 sq. ft. of real estate, and provides a catchment area of 360 sq. ft. in turn. Each unit also has a RF sensor, which is wirelessly controlled through the phi-box.   

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Ultaa Chaata Mechanism (Credit: Thinkphi)  

Each unit, which costs anywhere from Rs 99,000- Rs 2.5 lakh, depending on size, has the capability to harvest and filter up to 100,000 liters during the rainy season.   

The lightweight module harnesses the maximum solar capacity of 1.5 KW. It uses an intelligent algorithm to store & use the energy for efficient lighting and a mobile charge unit, thereby making it a completely self-sustaining installation for the outdoors.  

Powered by a central operating system called the “phi-box”, the controls help the lighting run for 4 to 5 days on a single solar charge and can provide potable quality drinking water through its inbuilt filter.  

The operating system also monitors, captures data, and allows users to communicate with a cluster of units over the cloud.  

Thinkphi has raised the angel funding from serial entrepreneur Nimmagadda Prasad, an early backer of successful companies such as Matrix Laboratories, Maa TV, and Care Hospitals.   

The venture has already made early sales of its patented rainwater and solar harvesting green products to major clients such as Godrej Interio and Rustomjee.  

Samit Choksi is also in talks to partner with the cities picked for the ‘smart city initiative and aims to expand globally by 2017. He plans to develop smart bins for a home-waste generation.  

With the growth of urbanization and water scarcity in India, Thinkphi’s Ulta Chaata can become a much-needed solution for smart cities and businesses in India and globally. (Source: Thinkphi)


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