Start-ups tap technology to get malls, hotels back on track amid Covid fear

Sanitization work being done at DLF Avenue Mall in Saket on Sunday (Photo: sanjay k sharma)

As hotels, shopping malls, commercial complexes and corporate offices resume business in an ambience of ‘new normal’, some technology powered start-ups are offering out of the box solutions to help them combat the fear of coronavirus infections.

With new technologies and a bouquet of customised solutions, the start-up companies are assisting businesses to conform to the government’s ‘social distancing’ norms and insulate their air conditioning systems from the shock of virus.

Park+, a Gurugram based start-up has rolled out an integrated solution for malls, combining four components including thermal scanners and contactless parking. Backed by Sequoia India and Matrix Partners India, the firm has collaborated with malls in Delhi, Mumbai, Bhopal and Coimbatore. Conversations are also on with 20-25 other mall developers.

“Our system is completely app-based. But customers need not download this app. A lot of machine learning has gone into developing this system. For payments side, we have tied up with Paytm and also integrated with the UPI platform. It takes only two days to train the mall staff on this system’s usage which is completely digitized”, said Amit Lakhotia, chief executive officer & founder, Park+.

The app will enable the mall personnel to check-in and out of customers as well as track and check body temperatures. Customers will also have to scan a QR code before entering or leaving a shop, which will help keep a real-time check on the number of footfalls in each store

Park+ is working with multiple partners for its products. Normally, the company charges Rs two lakh per annum for this solution. However, the pricing may escalate for more capacious malls as the larger malls need some sort of customisation. The company is also reaching out to corporates as they gradually revert from ‘work from home’ to office working mode.

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Besides keeping to ‘social distancing’, malls and commercial complexes are also wary of air sanitisation. Amid peaking summer, the air conditioning systems need to run uninterrupted and safely. That’s where Magneto CleanTech has stepped in with an upgraded version of its Magneto Central Air Cleaner.

“Ours is a local invention protected by the Indian IP. We have global best certifications. Ours is the only start-up company doing this kind of disruptive work in this domain. The magnetic process technology is inspired by Mother Earth. The nano particles are attracted, they are polarised, then trapped and the pathogens are neutralised”, said Himansu Agarwal, founder & chief executive officer, Magneto Clean Tech.

The product was commercialised two and a half year back. He claimed that the product had a proven efficacy of 99.9 per cent with respect of H1N1 virus. The technology has got a facelift to tackle a pandemic of global proportion.

“Due to corona crisis, there will be behavioural changes as businesses restart. They will take greater care of air quality. We have augmented the platform and co-powered it with UV (ultra violet) technology to make it Corona Virus Advisory Compliant. Alongside air sanitisation, it also offers energy savings. The system can fit into any air conditioning device. A lot of hotel industries have approached us for this product. The Taj Group has chosen us as one of the prime vendors/suppliers”

Presently, Magneto CleanTech is sourcing the product as CBUs (Completely Built Units) and assembling in the country. The company has achieved 30 per cent localisation and aims to scale up to at least 50 per cent by the end of the year.

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