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Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Hyderabad businessman designs reusable PPE kits for daily wagers

With masks, gloves, sanitisers and face shields being sold in almost every second shop, a businessman in Hyderabad is making his own PPE kits. His only rider: these reusable suits are not for clinical purposes.

Written by Rahul V Pisharody | Hyderabad | Published: July 1, 2020 5:38:21 pm
Jumpsuits with a hoodie, a clinical face mask and a separate cover for shoes are the products Anand Kataria has started selling. (Express photo)

As economic activities get a fresh lease of life with the phase 2 of ‘Unlock’ kicking in, small and medium businessmen in Hyderabad are adopting to the post Covid-19 scenario by sensing the market demand.

With masks, gloves, sanitisers and face shields being sold in almost every second shop, a businessman in Hyderabad is making his own PPE kits. His only rider: these reusable suits are not for clinical purposes.

Jumpsuits with a hoodie, a clinical face mask and a separate cover for shoes — all stitched in pure cotton and hence reusable — are the products Anand Kataria has started selling from his wholesale store in the city. The suits are available in two different shades of blue and also white.

Kataria does not allow two customers inside the store at a time and makes them sanitise their hands before they step in.

Kataria said he does not allow two customers inside the store at a time and makes them sanitise their hands before they step in. (Express photo)

Kataria, however, acknowledges that business has changed in a post-Covid world. Before the pandemic, Kataria used to supply uniforms to drivers, technicians, security guards and also took bulk orders from corporate companies. He used to also sell raincoats, sweaters, t-shirts, caps, belts, and other accessories — all of which have no buyers now.

“I have sold around 300 reusable PPE sets in the last 10-12 days. I don’t make any profit out of this but this helps me keep my 40 workers engaged in their job. Our regular business has taken a massive hit. There are no other orders,” says Kataria, who has also received bulk orders from Pune, Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, and Ahmedabad.

His reusable PPE set is available for Rs 850 and has been made keeping in mind that people have to live with the virus and venture out to earn their livelihoods.

“My suits are mostly bought by barbers, technicians, and automobile service centers, etc. They have to keep working to keep their homes running. Just like a uniform, they can wear the suit and after the day’s work dip it in hot water and reuse it again,” says Kataria.

Kataria says there is a good demand for his PPE suits among bank employees too. With states advising home quarantine for mild cases, there is an uptick in demand. At the same time, the demand for surgical gowns, gloves and headgear is also on a rise.

“Customers these days ask us what all are available to protect them from the virus. We are stocking all things available. Otherwise, there is no demand for anything else,” he says.

In Telangana, 16,339 cases of COVID-19 have been reported as of June 30. Of them, 8785 are active and under treatment. The state has been reporting close to 1000 cases daily. As many as 869 out of the 945 positive cases reported on June 30 were from the greater Hyderabad region. The death toll stands at 260.

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