Earth Day: 5 Indian SMBs that are preserving the environment and natural resources
Industries are a major cause for environmental degradation. In the recent past, companies of all sizes across the world are going green in their attempts to arrest this deterioration. This Earth Day, read the stories of five Indian SMBs that are on a mission to protect the environment.
Earth Day is celebrated across the world every year on April 22 in support of environmental protection. On this day, events are organised globally to create awareness about various issues that threaten the environment and the efforts needed to keep it healthy.
Due to the current coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions, smog has given way to blue skies, marine life is seeing increased activity, pollution levels have dropped, and animals and birds are moving about on their own accord.
In the post-pandemic world, however, things will go back to ‘normal’ - we will again see a world with the rampant deterioration of the environment through depletion and pollution of air, water and soil, and the destruction of ecosystems, natural habitats, and wildlife.
Industries and businesses are a major cause for this environmental degradation. Companies of all sizes across the world are going green in their attempts to arrest this deterioration. New ones are being set up to tackle problems related to the environment.
This Earth Day, SMBStory has curated a list of five Indian SMBs that are protecting the environment, addressing some of its pressing issues, and conserving natural resources.
Ahmedabad-based manufacturing unit Cleantech Water is on a mission to offer a vast range of effective and innovative water treatment solutions, with a focus on sewage treatment plants, to domestic and industrial clients.
“The main objective is to make small treatment plants with low capacities so that they can follow a decentralised approach for water treatment. This way, they also have a low operating cost,” says Vipul Chavda (37), Co-founder and Director, Cleantech Water.
He means that smaller water treatment plants allow industrial or residential units to adopt them and treat water themselves, rather than directing sewage to a centralised treatment facility.
Cleantech works on such decentralised water treatment projects for a multitude of clients. These include Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, Amul, Tata Housing, Blue Star, Adani Institute, and more. The business also has technical collaborations with leading US, UK, and German companies.
Last year, it raked in Rs 1 crore and this year it expects to clock a turnover of Rs 2.5 crore.
When budding entrepreneur Raj Kumar was working in the IT sector, he noticed e-waste becoming increasingly difficult to manage and recycle, and pollution from e-waste was on the rise.
“Looking at this, I decided to serve the society and contribute to global welfare and environment safety by establishing my first e-waste recycling plant in Khushkhera, Rajasthan, under the name Deshwal e-waste recycler,” he says.
Raj decided to invest his own money and formally launched Deshwal Waste Management in 2013. His first move was to establish another large-scale recycling facility in Manesar. The two facilities began recycling various kinds of e-waste, used batteries, plastics, and used oils.
The company now has a corporate client base of over 200, including industry giants from the IT sector, heavy industries, automobiles, consumer goods, financial sector, etc.
So far, Raj has invested Rs 15 crore into Deshwal, and is expecting a turnover of Rs 23 crore for 2018-19. Since its inception, Deshwal has recycled more than 1,000 metric tonnes of waste, and is aiming to recycle more than 500 tonnes per year after 2019.
One day in 2016, three MBA friends were stranded in a relentless shower of rain in Gurugram. Ankit Magan, Priyank Jain, and Neeraj Chauhan were there for some work, and had to wait for more than 45 minutes for the rain to stop.
“There was so much wastage of water, so we asked ourselves, what would happen if the city had to pay to receive rainfall? Would so much water go waste?” says Ankit. As the friends contemplated this, they decided they must do something to preserve rainwater.
Despite having full-time jobs, they wanted to start their own rainwater preservation business and become ‘waterpreneurs.’ In December 2016, they left their jobs and started Retas Enviro Solutions in New Delhi to design, manufacture, and install water tanks and modular rainwater harvesting systems.
In just two years, Retas boasts of having major clients like TATA Steel, Reckitt Benckiser, SIEMENS, Hi-Tech Gears, HPCL, Government of Delhi, Government of Uttarakhand, and more.
“With our team of 11 people besides the three founders, we register around Rs 40 lakh to Rs 45 lakh worth sales each month,” Ankit adds.
Jignesh Shah hails from a paper manufacturing and recycling background. In 1999, the opportunity to do something about the waste coming from packaging factories changed the course of his life.
That is when he started Deluxe Recycling, a Mumbai-based business providing environment-friendly solutions of dunnage options to various organisations, companies, and industries.
The journey spanning almost 20 years began with investments from family, friends, term loans, and cash credit. Jignesh says they started with a small plant with a capacity of 75 tonnes per month. It has now expanded to 13,000 metric tonnes per annum. Today, the company clocks a turnover of about Rs 40 crore per annum and recently reported an almost 25 percent increase in the turnover.
He says, “Initially, we used to recycle only the factory waste coming out of the Tetra Pak production lines. Since 2004, we have been supplying these chipboards to the automobile industry in the form of a seatback and backrest for passengers and drivers in the three-wheeler autorickshaw sector.”
Packman, the brainchild of Indian entrepreneur Gaurav Jalan, supplies Amazon India, Flipkart, Samsung, Bosch, and other clients with eco-friendly, biodegradable packaging products. At its factory in Greater Noida, Packman Packaging manufactures paper-based corrugated boxes (paperboards with air columns) in various shapes and sizes.
These are the familiar, brown cardboard boxes used to package electronics, shoes, food items, clothes, etc. Packman also makes corrugated rolls, bubble rolls, bubble pouches, courier bags, POD jackets, duct tapes, ecommerce shipping bags, and more. Besides selling these directly to customers, it has an ecommerce store where these products can be bought.
“The material used to make the packaging comes from recycled paper, food quality paper, and biodegradable paper. Today, Packman can manufacture up to one lakh corrugated boxes and rolls each day, and ship to over 300 Indian cities,” Gaurav claims.
Packman, registered in Delhi, makes Rs 20 crore turnover annually and has 105 employees, he adds. Gaurav’s company also makes eco-friendly bags from corn. The corn bags are biodegradable and do not contaminate the recycling process of other more common polymers, Gaurav says.
(Edited by Javed Gaihlot)
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