How This Fridge Saved an Indian Ceramics Factory
by Ashley Dreiling
In the mid-90s, industrialization drastically changed the ceramics industry in Gujarat, India, closing factories, and leaving many jobless. Twenty years ago, Mansukhabhai Prajapati, the owner of a generations-old ceramics factory called Mitticool, saw an opportunity to help people while also saving his company.
Following a devastating earthquake in 2001, many in India lost the electricity needed to power basic appliances, especially refrigerators. In response, the innovative Prajapati changed his factory’s ceramic process, finding the sweet spot between traditional handmade techniques and modern technology. This led to lower overhead costs, a safer work environment, and the invention of the clay refrigerator – one that was electricity-free and cost only $40.
The success of the Mitticool fridge finally made the factory profitable and tripled its product portfolio. Today it employs 150 artisans who create 23,000 eco-friendly pieces each day for consumers around the world.