Community//

Ashok Wahi: “Ego is the Enemy”

I am inspired by those who continue to stay hopeful and spread positivity through small acts of kindness with neighbors, friends or family during a chaotic and uncertain time. However, I am disappointed by people not taking precautions seriously and only acting in the interest of themselves. As part of my series about people who […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!

I am inspired by those who continue to stay hopeful and spread positivity through small acts of kindness with neighbors, friends or family during a chaotic and uncertain time. However, I am disappointed by people not taking precautions seriously and only acting in the interest of themselves.


As part of my series about people who stepped up to make a difference during the COVID19 Pandemic I had the pleasure of interviewing Ashok Wahi.

Mr. Ashok Wahi is the Chief Inventor and CEO of Trutek Corp. a R&D and Product Development Company. He is the inventor of NasalGuard® patented technology for filtration of microscopic particles from entering nasal passages. He has acquired several patents in the US and internationally for this unique electrostatic topical gel that acts as a preventative method for the effects of breathing contaminated air.

Ashok was inspired to research and create this technology to aid his own daughter, Aikta, who suffers from allergies from cats. Since then, over twelve million units of NasalGuard products have been sold worldwide so far.

To help support healthcare workers on the front lines, NasalGuard Airborne Particle Blocker launched the “Breathe Easier Healthcare Workers Donation Program” in April of 2020. Through the program, NasalGuard continues to offer free donations to any health care professional that would like to try NasalGuard gel for themselves, their hospital or office. To date NasalGuard Airborne Particle Blocker has donated thousands of product upon request for use by staff at RWJ Barnabas Health, Hackensack Meridian Health, Saint Barnabas Medical Center and University Radiology Group. NasalGuard has long been a supporter of actively giving back and has donated thousands of units of NasalGuard Airborne Particle Blocker nationally and internationally through well-known charitable organizations. In August of 2020, NasalGuard® Airborne Particle Blocker responded to the devastating fires raging across Northern California by expanding the “Breathe Easier” program. To help support Firefighters and their Families in Northern California dealing with the danger of serious smoke inhalation problems, NasalGuard Airborne Particle Blocker “Breathe Easier Smoke Inhalation Donation” program is offering relief through donation of their patented airborne particle blocker. Through the program, NasalGuard is offering free donations to Firefighters and healthcare professionals in Northern California that would like to use NasalGuard gel for themselves, or place of work.

“NasalGuard technology has been proven to reduce the inhalation of airborne particles, including smoke inhalation, virus-sized particles and contaminants, when applied outside the nasal passages prior to exposure,” says Ashok Wahi, engineer and co-inventor of NasalGuard. “With the current situation in Northern California and with the pandemic, our goal is to offer some relief,” adds Ashok Wahi. NasalGuard has donated thousands of units during the pandemic to hospitals, healthcare workers and charitable non-profit organizations.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit about how and where you grew up?

I was born and brought up in New Delhi, India. At the age of 24, I moved to the US to pursue my M.S. in Operations Research at NYU and thereafter settled in the US.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

“Ego is the Enemy” by Ryan Holiday.

I had read this several years ago but it resonated with me. The biggest takeaway from it was that in order to have a contented, purposeful and life full of gratitude you have to keep your own ‘ego’ in check. The ego deprives one from achieving a goal of global magnitude to merely earning some wealth or momentary recognition and fame. By letting go of your ego, you will be liberated to accomplish the impactful work you’ve set out to achieve.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life or your work?

“You never lose. Either you win or you learn.”

As an entrepreneur and small business owner, you face more downs than ups and new challenges every day. In order to overcome these setbacks and not fear making mistakes, positive thinking is crucial. Viewing every encounter you face as a potential opportunity to learn from will help you and your team thrive in the long run.

Case and point, after getting the idea of helping my daughter prevent her cat allergies, I developed and conceived the Ionic Technology which is the basis for NasalGuard! To achieve the first formulation that exhibited a safe and efficacious gel product, I had to formulate and re-formulate 86 times; all 85 were failures before the very next one proved my ‘invention and the inventive steps’.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. You are currently leading a social impact organization that has stepped up during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Can you tell us a bit about what you and your organization are trying to address?

My company Trutek Corp. is a privately held intellectual property, research and product development company which has been manufacturing and marketing patented NasalGuard® globally since 1995. I invented NasalGuard technology and now along with my daughter Kanika Wahi, both of us engineers by training, continue to enhance its applications. I was inspired to create this technology to aid my other daughter, Aikta, who suffered from severe allergies. I developed this product because of the vital need to have personal air filter that was drug free, non-invasive and easy to use. Recently Kanika and I enhanced the technology to expand the use of the NasalGuard® Airborne Particle Blocker which is an ionic particle blocking topical nasal gel that prevents harmful airborne particles from entering the nose. The product is drug-free and safe for children, the elderly, pregnant or nursing women, and those concerned about potential drug interactions with other medications. NasalGuard is a unique product that can help people protect themselves from harmful smoke inhalation.

There are other spray products that are currently in advance stage of development and testing. We hope that these will be available to customers to help better their lives in 2021.

Since we started in the 90s, we have always been in the area of prevention. We want people to be able to guard themselves from harmful pollutants in the air.

A pin-sized drop or two of the preventative product is applied around the nostrils and above the upper lip and lasts up to six hours. Patented NasalGuard gel uses a cationic (positively charged) polymer that creates a safe electrostatic field around the nasal passages that traps oppositely charged particles and repels similarly charged particles to reduce inhalation of most harmful airborne particles before they enter your body. NasalGuard gel provides an electrostatic blocking effect that is effective against a wide spectrum of sub-microscopic indoor and outdoor contaminants including smoke, mold, pollen, pet dander, pollution, and virus-sized particles.

In your opinion, what does it mean to be a hero?

A hero is someone whose cause, goals and achievements inspire us. It is a concern for other people in need — a concern to defend a moral cause, knowing there is risk, done without expectation of any reward.

In your opinion or experience, what are “5 characteristics of a hero? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Courageous
  2. Humble
  3. Self-sacrificing
  4. Optimistic
  5. Inspiring

If heroism is rooted in doing something difficult, scary, or even self-sacrificing, what do you think drives some people — ordinary people — to become heroes?

People who risk their lives in the service of others are inspired to continue to push forward and usually exemplify characteristics of heroes.

What was the specific catalyst for you or your organization to take heroic action? At what point did you personally decide that heroic action needed to be taken?

Over the past year, there has been a growing public health concern globally regarding the adverse health effects caused by the inhalation of microscopic and virus-sized airborne particles.

In response to this widespread problem, Trutek Corp., the parent company of NasalGuard, has successfully advanced their technology which was originally focused on blocking allergens from entering the nose for preventing allergy symptoms. This breakthrough provides a greater electrostatic blocking effect that is effective against a much wider spectrum of sub-microscopic indoor and outdoor contaminants including mold, pollen, pet dander, pollution, and virus-sized particles.

Many frontline healthcare workers expressed an interest in using NasalGuard as an added layer of protection and we wanted to be able to help support their efforts by donating to their teams. So, at the start of the pandemic we created the “NasalGuard Breathe Easier Donation Program” to help support healthcare workers. We quickly expanded that to those in the Airline industry and recently we expanded the program to help support Firefighters and their Families in the West Coast and Northern/Southern California dealing with the danger of serious smoke inhalation problems, NasalGuard Airborne Particle Blocker “Breathe Easier Donation” program offers relief through donation of their patented airborne particle blocker. Through the program, NasalGuard is offering free donations to Firefighters and healthcare professionals and airline workers that would like to try NasalGuard gel for themselves, or place of work. All requests are considered and all that is needed is a statement of profession, or residency. Interested parties can visit www.nasalguard.com

NasalGuard has donated hundreds of thousands of units during the pandemic to hospitals, healthcare workers and charitable non-profit organizations.

Let’s talk a bit about what is happening in the world today. What specifically frightened or frightens you most about the pandemic?

What frightens me is that in the digital age we live in, there has been ample misinformation spread about this novel virus without validation or regard for scientific accuracy. The pervasiveness of social media and bogus platforms has made it easier to spread or even create falsehoods, making the work of public health officials harder.

Despite that, what gives you hope for the future? Can you explain?

We are resilient and will get to the other side of this just as we had during previous global epidemics.

What has inspired you the most about the behavior of people during the pandemic, and what behaviors do you find most disappointing?

I am inspired by those who continue to stay hopeful and spread positivity through small acts of kindness with neighbors, friends or family during a chaotic and uncertain time. However, I am disappointed by people not taking precautions seriously and only acting in the interest of themselves.

What permanent societal changes would you like to see come out of this crisis?

I hope that our society is able to understand the significance and importance of prevention over cure. If there are tools that can help avoid or mitigate a major crisis, we should be seriously adhering to them.

How can our readers follow you online?

They can follow our NasalGuard brand on social media at

Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NasalGuard/

Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nasalguard/

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Ashok Deshmane - Godfather of Farmer's Children 
Community//

Godfather of Farmer’s Children -Man with Desire

by Roshan Bhondekar
Community//

Becoming The Master of His Own Vision: How To Create a Healing Legacy Resort

by Anne Biging
Community//

Female Disruptors: Karoli Hindriks is shaking up the world’s borders

by Akemi Sue Fisher

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.