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Pharmagen Limited

A chain of water shops that purifies and distributes safe drinking water to low-income customers in Pakistan

  • Company
  • Water & Sanitation
  • Pakistan
  • 2010
  • Exited

The challenge

Water contamination is a major problem in Pakistan, where water supply lines and open sewer drains often lay side by side in the streets. This leads to chemical and bacterial contamination of drinking water which in turn causes major health hazards; 40 percent of illnesses in Pakistan are caused by water-borne diseases.

While the bottled water industry has burgeoned in recent years, bottled water remains unaffordable for low-income customers.

The innovation

Pharmagen Healthcare Limited is a fast-moving consumer goods company involved in the business of selling clean drinking water at affordable rates to the base of the pyramid segment residing in densely populated low-income areas and slums of Lahore. Clean drinking water is pumped out of the ground and purified using state of the art reverse osmosis technology which meets strict quality standards. There is a gap in the low-income end of the market which Pharmagen is catering to through an innovative distributed production model.

The impact

Pharmagen has opened 27 open water plants and it sells 28,000 liters a day, providing the urban poor in Lahore with access to affordable, quality drinking water and reducing the incidence of water-related illnesses and deaths.

Acumen’s investment will also enable the company to significantly increase the capacity of its existing water purification systems from 13,000 liters per hour to 129,000 liters per hour.