A Franchise Business Model for Clean Water

Bangladesh’s arsenic crisis has been deemed “the largest mass poisoning in human history” by the World Health Organization (WHO); Drinkwell was founded by Minhaj Chowdhury to address this crisis that impacts more than 48 million people across India and Bangladesh. Drinkwell blends patented filtration technologies with a franchise business model; to date, the nonprofit has served a quarter of a million people, with plans to eradicate the crisis completely by 2030. For his work, Chowdhury was selected as a 2016 GLG Social Impact Fellow. He sits down with GLG to discuss water and sanitation, the global arsenic crisis, and Drinkwell’s unique model for addressing the needs of its consumers.

Minhaj Chowdhury is Co-founder and CEO of Drinkwell. He has 5 years of experience implementing arsenic projects with the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (“BRAC”), the largest NGO in the world, and Johns Hopkins University. As a Fulbright Fellow to Bangladesh, he researched villager willingness to pay for clean water. His work has been acclaimed by UNICEF, WaterAid Bangladesh, the US Ambassador to Bangladesh, and the Bangladesh Health Secretary. Minhaj has prior experience as a Consultant with Exeter Group. He holds a BA in Public Health from Johns Hopkins and has won multiple awards from organizations such as the US State Department, SXSW, and others. He is a 2014 Echoing Green Fellow as well as a 2015 Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur.

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