tailored solutions to world's need for clean stoves
The company was founded by Moushine Serrar, once a high-flying executive for Motorola in San Francisco, who chucked in the good life to design cookstoves for developing countries. Moushine is an agricultural engineer by training and was the first person to apply industrial design skills to the humble cookstove, where companies such as Envirofit and StoveTec are established players.
Serrar saw a need for affordable, clean stoves. Estimates published by the Lancet in December 2013 put the number of global deaths from indoor air pollution from cooking at 4 million, double previous estimates. Each day, about 3 billion people cook and heat their homes using open fires and inefficient stoves that burn solid fuels such as wood, animal dung, agricultural residues, charcoal and coal. Air pollution is a bigger killer than malaria or tuberculosis.
Serrar, who is of Moroccan origin, put $500,000 into Prakti, and has spent the past few years designing models. He believes there is no one solution that fits all needs as people from different parts of the world require stoves for different-sized pots. Some people cook standing up, others sitting down. Some inside, some outside. So the stoves are adapted to local requirements and cultures.
Prakti Headquarters are based in Rural Auroville in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Auroville is home to 2,000 people from 30 countries who arrived in the 1960s to set up an "international township" that would transcend class, nationality and creed. Pragmatists as well as idealists, they experimented in solar energy and organic farming. In the process, they turned Auroville into a magnet for tourists.
Prakti stoves also improve the lives of women around the world. Using up to 80 percent less fuel than traditional fires, the stoves save women time and energy usually spent gathering wood. Generating up to 80 percent less smoke, they allow women to avoid the myriad negative health impacts from traditional cooking.Perhaps even more important, however, Prakti empowers women outside the home. By training women to assemble and sell the stoves Prakti are helping create a new generation of female entrepreneurs.
Prakti is a forward thinking dynamic company continually seeking ways to minimise production costs and develop their technologies. Their mission is to improve the health, quality and enviroment of peoples lives in developing countries.