/ Entrepreneurs

The Man of Clay – Mansukhbhai Prajapati

Entrepreneurs are indeed a different material. They have this uncanny appetite for finding opportunities in the most difficult or so to say, gruesome of circumstances. They have a totally different outlook towards looking at problems or situations which give others enough reason to back off and blame it on their futile destiny.

The time is 2001, place Gujrat, India. On 26th January, India’s 52nd Republic Day, at 08:46 AM , an earthquake, now (in)famous as the Bhuj earthquake, shocked the whole world. Lasting for bout 2 minutes, The earthquake took casualties of more than 20,000 ,injuring around 2,00000 lakh people, crushing down more than 4,00000 homes.

The news was everywhere in every nook and corner of the world and the whole world sympathized but it was actually left to those, who had been through all this, to decide whether to blame the almighty or to stand up, take charge and face the harsh reality. To bring about a change in not only their own lives, the lives of their respective communities but the entire society and the world at large.

And there were those torch bearers who took the responsibility and one among them is – Mansukh Prajapati. A newspaper quoted – “Garibon ka fridge toot gaya…..” (The fridge of the poor has been broken….) – with a picture of broken earthen and clay pots.

This quote stayed with Mansukh. The son of a potter, Mansukh decided that it was now upto him to create the Garibon ka fridge and recreate it so that more and more Garib (poor) could afford it and that it wouldn’t even matter much if it broke, because it’ll be priced in such a way that people could easily afford another!

This is how the idea of Mitticool was launched and since then there has been no looking back. Following the family legacy, Mansukh started researching and creating various prototypes of refrigerators made of clay and today his Mitticool( ‘Mitti’ in hindi means clay ) is a global asset, being exported to countries far and wide as The United Kingdom, Nairobi and various other African countries.

It took a lot of patience, perseverance and research to create this wonder, Mitticool as different places had different climatic conditions and the same composition of the clay material with which fridge was being made would not show the same effectiveness in different regions.

But as Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister rightly said :

“Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

Mansukh pained and persevered and finally created his own fridge (read refrigerator) – Mitticool.

Mitticool requires no electricity to keep running and can store milk products, vegetables and fruits upto 3 days with no deterioration in the quality. In short – it is an innovation which not just for the Garib but for any aware citizen of the world who vouches to stand beside non-toxic and low-carbon emission products to be used. Someone who cares for the environment, for the nature.

Mansukh and his Mitticool were Covered by the Discovery Channel. Mitticool was also showcased at a conference organised by the Centre for India and Global Business, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, UK in May 2009. Bosch and Siemens Hausger te (BSH), Germany, has also showed interest in Mitticool. Mansukh also received the NIF from the then Hon’ble President of India, Pratibha Patil.

Mansukhbhai Prajapati of Mitticool

And like any other entrepreneur, Mansukh didn’t stop there. He now, not only makes the Mitticool refrigerators but also various other biodegradable utensils made of clay. He has Sold more than 1,00,000 tawas, 5000 mitticools, & 500 cookers and umpteen number of water coolers and the count goes on and on.

Mansukhbhai Prajapati of Mitticool with former president Late. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.

Mansukh tells the young and budding entrepreneurs – “Never think about failures. Never give up. Put your heart and soul into what you want to do. Always follow the right path and have patience. Keep working hard.”

In 1990, he got his unit company registered. And in 1995 he got a bulk export order for water filters from Nairobi, Kenya. Finally, the Trade Mark ‘Mitticool’ was registered in 2001.