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Israeli inventor offers purified water on tap
Posted By Allison Kaplan Sommer On October 2, 2005 @ 8:00 pm In | No Comments
The TriSource – this is the next logical step for faucets in the modern house.Moshe Granot moved to Moshav Adanim in the 1970s planning to be a farmer, and began to raise guava fruit. But when all his neighbors also began to grow guavas, too – he stopped.
“My father is an unusual guy,” says his son Yoav Granot. “He likes to be the first one to do something. When everyone else starts to do it, he moves on.”
Today, the Israeli father and son are teaming up to be the first to produce a product that will simplify the way we drink water.
In Israel – as in the US and other countries around the world – people are becoming more and more consciousness of impurities in the water coming from their taps, and are increasingly insisting on drinking purified filtered water.
Some consumers use a special filtration pitcher like the popular Brita systems, or they purchase bottled spring water for drinking, or keep a separate mini-bar with a tank of spring water in their kitchen. Some even have an under-the-sink filtration system installed with a separate faucet hanging over their sink.
However, most of the solutions have their setbacks related to either expense, inconvenience, or aesthetics. The Granot’s product, the Trisource, solves the problem with a faucet that provides the consumer with hot, cold and purified water from a single source.
Last month, they launched their new product into the world market from the offices of their company Galia Taps in the moshav in the center of country – where Yoav serves as CEO, and Moshe as vice president for Research and Development.
The journey from guava farming to Galia Taps and their new invention was a long and winding road for the Granot family. After several years of guava farming, Moshe left agriculture and pioneered a completely different field -weddings.
In the 1980s he opened a site for outdoor weddings in Israel, taking advantage of the wide agricultural spaces that exist alongside populated areas in Israel. He created a natural atmosphere for celebrations with an outdoor ceremony under the shade of eucalyptus trees and a dance floor under the stars.
The wedding site was one of the first locations of its kind in the country but the trend quickly caught on, and brides and grooms in Israel began rejecting fancy hotels and traditional wedding halls for these open fields. The term ‘Event Garden’ was coined and an industry was born. Today, nearly every moshav or a kibbutz in the center of the country maintains such a site as a source of revenue.
Again, Moshe withdrew from the field as his imitators and competition mushroomed. And his entrepreneurial urge inadvertently led him to faucets and filters.
“My parents were building a new house, and they were looking for a place to purchase a terracotta floor. It turned out there was only one house in Israel in a neighboring kibbutz that had one, and they had purchased the tiles in the south of France. So my parents decided to go there,” said Yoav, a baby-faced 30-year-old, as he sips coffee in a shop close to the moshav.
“While they were in France, my father also found beautifully designed faucets and sinks with an antique design that hadn’t come to Israel yet. So he decided to import them.”
The company Galia Taps was born. “My mother’s name was Galia and the Gauls came from southern France, so it was an appropriate name,” Yoav told ISRAEL21c.
When his father began the faucet importing company, Yoav was heading for the army, but always had a hand and interest in the business.
The business shifted when one day, a customer came to Galia Taps and innocently asked Moshe whether they had a single faucet that would offer purified water together with regular water.
He replied that such a device hadn’t been developed, and indeed – no one had yet figured out how to deliver filtered water through a regular tap.
Moshe decided that the time had come to do so. It wouldn’t be the first time he had invented a filter. Back when he was a farmer, he invented a self-cleaning filter for agriculture because he needed one and nothing existed.
He gradually left the import business and decided to focus on his invention. In 1998 filed his first patent for the TriSource – a faucet that could handle three types of water – hot, cold, and filtered.
“This is the next logical step for faucets in the modern house,” explains Yoav. “For hundreds of years, things haven’t changed that much. From the late 1800s you had two taps with two handles – one hot and one cold. Then there was one faucet, but still with two handles. In the 1960s and 70s the first faucets came out where the hot and cold were integrated into one handle. Our faucet takes the next logical step.”
The faucet works from a cartridge, which contains special ceramic discs, that keeps the purified water in a completely separate channel. Faucet designs can be easily adapted in the factory to accommodate the function.
In April they unveiled TriSource at a major exhibition in Germany.
“When we went there, I told my father that the level of interest would either be zero or 100 percent – I didn’t see it being anywhere in between,” said Yoav.
He was please to discover that “it was 110 percent.” Both faucet manufacturers and filter companies were very interested in the new invention from the Israeli moshav.
Now, the Granots are selling the cartridges, which are manufactured in China, to their strategic partner in Italy, who is, in turn, manufacturing a range of faucets and marketing the systems there. They’re also now entering Germany, Cyprus, markets and Israel through kitchen wholesalers.
But their eyes are on the United States.
“We feel the American market is ready for the product. While we learned at a rather late stage that there are indeed companies who have developed the same functional solution using a different technology, ours is superior. The faucets that have been created in the US will only work with a specific design of faucet, ours can be adapted to any design. And ours is less expensive,” said Yoav.
He has been in touch with faucet manufactures, filtration companies and wholesalers in the US – he isn’t yet sure yet what the optimal business model is for this tremendous market.
“Ideally, what I would like to do is to team up with one of the Israeli faucet manufacturers that is already exporting to the US,” he said.
In the markets they have entered, they can offer the faucet for sale as a standalone item for people who already have a filtration system installed. Alternatively, they sell the “total filter solution” – both the faucet and the under-counter system, which simplifies installation and lowers the expense.
The Granots are already expanding the number of designs, incorporating the latest popular designs for faucets. The company is all about family, with siblings pitching in when needed and Galia, Yoav’s mother, consulting on design issues.
“It’s a family trait – entrepreneurship. I don’t think it’s genetic, but it’s a habit and if you grow up around it, that’s the way you are,” said Yoav, who lives on a kibbutz that neighbors the moshav with his wife Dalit and his son Amir.
After his army service, Yoav began to study computer science, but realized mid-study that “it wasn’t my cup of tea.” He took time off, traveled to India where he gained important perspective on the product he would be selling (“there were no faucets and no running water”) and returned and earned a degree in behavioral science, while continuing to work in the computer field.
A year and a half ago, he took the plunge and joined his father in Galia Taps and plunged into “major marketing efforts.” He is pleased with the progress they have made, despite the fact that the company is just father, son, and a secretary.
“It’s not easy – sometimes I’m his boss, sometimes he’s my boss. What’s helpful is the enormous amount of patience we have for one another. You don’t find that in your typical corporate environment.”
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