World’s Biggest Toilet-Building Spree Is Under Way in India
By P R Sanjai
India is on the greatest toilet-building spree in human history, and it’s a windfall for companies.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s $20 billion “Clean India” mission aims to construct 111 million latrines in five years. Besides promising to improve the health, safety and dignity of hundreds of millions of Indians, the national hygiene drive has spurred an 81 percent jump in sales of concrete building materials and 48 percent increase in bathroom and sanitaryware sales, according to Euromonitor International. That’s benefiting firms from Tata Group, the nation’s largest conglomerate, to cleaning-products maker Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc.
Almost 80 million household toilets are estimated to have been built since Modi’s 2014 pledge to ensure universal sanitation coverage by October 2019, which will mark 150 years since the birth of independence leader Mahatma Gandhi. The scale-up of latrines and a nationwide campaign to encourage their use is driving a market for toilet-related products and services that’s predicted to double to $62 billion by 2021.
Photo courtesy of Shamsheer Yousaf.