Drinkwell transforms the global water crisis into entrepreneurial opportunity by using a micro-franchise model to establish local water businesses in arsenic-affected areas. In Bangladesh alone, 20 percent of deaths occur due to arsenic, a crisis known as the largest mass poisoning in history. Building off 200 successful pilot deployments across India, Laos, and Cambodia, Drinkwell’s technology delivers sixty times more water, is seventeen times more energy efficient, and reduces waste by seven orders of magnitude compared to existing solutions. Drinkwell leverages entrepreneurial spirit within communities to support local franchisees, thereby creating jobs, generating income, improving health outcomes, and ensuring a healthier, profitable future.
Minhaj Chowdhury is the CEO of Drinkwell, a social enterprise eradicating the arsenic water crisis by blending novel water purification technology with a micro-franchise business model. As a Bangladeshi-American, Minhaj is passionate about solving a crisis that results in one out of every five deaths in Bangladesh alone. As a Public Health major at Johns Hopkins, Minhaj spent a summer in rural Bangladesh distributing 100 household water filters only to find 3 still in use 2 years later. He returned as a Fulbright Fellow with BRAC, the largest NGO in the world, to understand why water projects continue to fail and found a lack of job creation and paying customers as critical barriers to sustainability. His research has been presented to the Bangladesh Secretary of Health, UNICEF, and NGO officials, and serves as the inspiration behind Drinkwell. Minhaj has won numerous prizes and awards for his work in Bangladesh from organizations such as the State Department, Davis Projects for Peace, and Princeton Entrepreneurship Network.