The Covid-19 pandemic changed a lot of things for several. For some, going outside and lounging on the lawns will never be the same again. For others, being part of an indoor concert will be an uncomfortable affair. And for most of us, sharing food and drinks is probably out of question for a long time to come. However, it is always the one revolutionary idea that paves the way for a future. What if we tell you that you might not have to refuse someone a sip of their favourite drink based on hygiene factors? Mr Rohit Warrier, CEO and Founder, Warrier Safe Shields, talks about one such product that is here to usher in a new change for the food and beverage industry.
Walk us through your journey to coming up with Sippline. What was the initial thought process that made you come up with it?
I, as a reflex, always spot a tea vendor close to the client's office, that I'm headed for a meeting. It is my stop before the meeting, for a recharge cup and a ponder stop post the meeting.
No matter where I went, I was always annoyed by the tell-tale marks of a previous sipper on the rim of the glass. I often requested a change of glass or wiped the glass rim clean with a handy tissue. The need to do that always bothered me – there had to be a better way. Also, during my outings to restaurants and pubs, I realised that I was consistently cleaning the glass rims before pouring my drink – this line of thought backed by my hospitality background drove me to search the market worldwide, but I could not find anything that addressed this concern anywhere in the world. That is when I knew I had to find the solution, and Sippline was born. Sippline addresses a real need that existed but not something people were really aware of. I thoroughly believe Sippline the drinking shield will revolutionise the way people drink when out of the home.
Were there any challenges that you faced while/after coming up with Sippline?
The journey has not been an easy one. The concept came to mind quickly enough, and it was realising the idea that proved to be a challenge. The 'N' number of failed efforts in manufacturing a workable prototype that conforms to most glass sizes; while at the same time adheres to its rims was frustrating. Having limited resources of funds would always linger at the back of the mind that, how much is too much to call it a day on this project. There were instances of self-doubt such as, "it is literally impossible to produce this, may be that is why it was never invented". Just when the team was all but ready to give up, we attempted one last try and, lo behold! Out came the prototype of Sippline!
Since the product consists mainly of polymer, how do you ensure it stays environment-friendly in the long run?
Firstly, the grade of polymer we are using is of the highest quality, food-grade and 100% recyclable and that too several times over. Also, to explain further, polymers are more harmful when left in the environment and not recycled. With some traction in business, we do have activities in mind in the future, where we will collect used Sippline® from our customers and recycle them, thus doing our part. Not just this, we are exploring options to manufacture Sippline® using natural resins. In fact, we already have a workable prototype of Sippline® using silicon.
How, according to you, has the FnB industry changed after the pandemic?
Food and Beverage is an industry loved by people since we all love eating out, hanging out. One major change after the pandemic is, it is no more about how delicious food you serve or how attractive is your set up — but more about how clean and hygienic is your service, or how safe is your kitchen for food preparation, is the area ventilated enough for fresh air circulation, and anything related to cleanliness and hygiene. The F&B industry has had to redefine itself. Right from the sequence of priority in guest relations to the mode of operations to adapting operations. It's been a tough one year, with little hope of lightening up, but all said, raising the antenna on hygiene is one change that I believe will stick even after the pandemic.
What is next in the pipeline for Sippline? Are there any other products that you're hoping to bring in?
Sippline is the first product from the company. Several ideas are being explored, however, right now, the focus is completely to see Sippline being adopted as a habit by the masses. Our first endeavour as the sale picks up would be to work on an affordable and stylish carry case for Sippline instead of the Ziplock we offer today. Several other ideas are being explored for their feasibility which will complement Sippline.