Pune, Oct 14 (IANS) Vivek Bhatia's thinking cap has the right fit and he seems to wear it innovatively. In fact, the Pune-based entrepreneur has come up with a cool invention.
The 51-year-old has designed a solar cap that not only keeps your head shaded but has a fan to blow-dry those annoying droplets of sweat tricking down your face when the sun is high.
Does it work? It would appear so. Since he announced the design in April, he has sold over 20,000 at Rs.400 each.
Strictly speaking, he is not the first to dream it. But he has added value to an existing idea.
'Although similar solar fan caps are made by some Chinese manufacturers, my device has a solar panel that covers a larger area and, thus, generates more power for a better fan,' Bhatia told IANS. The fan helps in lowering the body temperature considerably.'
The concept is simple.
'The solar panel converts solar energy into electricity and powers the fan,' he said. 'The fan's speed depends on the availability of sunlight. It runs at maximum power in full sun and slower when the sky is overcast.'
Bhatia, who runs a small workshop in the Aundh area of Pune, said he had been working on the cap for a year.
'The blades of the fan are made of plastic and are completely safe,' he said. 'We have added a tiny switch that can be used to turn the fan on or off.'
His firm Fuel Saver India makes them.
'My wife assists me in running the firm and helps me in packaging, dispatching and following up on orders,' he said.
We know what drives the fan. But what drives Bhatia?
'The heat is at an all time high,' he said. 'At the same time, it is not possible for people to sit at home or in offices all day. Caps like these will give them some respite.'
Clearly, there are no batteries involved. So how long will it last? 'If taken proper care of, the cap will easily last seven years,' he said.
'It does not demand much care and maintenance,' he adds. 'One only has to keep it in a safe place and not dump other items on it. The cap is functional even on partly cloudy days.'
Stating that he had not employed any marketing or sales strategies to sell the cap, Bhatia added that he had made a strong customer base only by word of mouth.
It is all about renewable energy and Bhaitia wants to extend the notion to other products such as mobiles and laptops. But for the moment, it is caps.
'I have, in fact, designed another solar cap that has a light bulb for night time use. But this does not directly use the solar energy. It uses stored solar energy and, hence, is slightly complicated to make,' he said.
'I am still experimenting with it,' he added.
Bhatia has also designed a solar table fan and a No Nap gadget useful during night driving or while studying. That was in the past.
For the moment, if the cap fits, wear it.
(Mauli Buch can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)