National Pollution Control Day: Indian companies that are fighting air, water, land pollution

This National Pollution Control Day, here are five, homegrown businesses tackling air, water, and land pollution through their products and services.

On December 2, India observes National Pollution Control Day to honour those who lost their lives in the Bhopal gas tragedy. Over the years, it has become a day for spreading awareness about the various types of pollution, related laws, best practices, etc.

It also promotes eco-friendly practices such as conserving water, managing waste, and recycling.

This National Pollution Control Day, SMBStory lists five Indian enterprises reducing pollution with their products and services.

Deshwal Waste Management

Raj Kumar, Founder, Deshwal Waste Management

When budding entrepreneur Raj Kumar was working in the IT sector, he noticed e-waste becoming increasingly difficult to manage and recycle, and land 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 has a corporate client base of over 200, including industry giants from the IT sector, heavy industries, automobiles, consumer goods, financial sector, etc. Raj has invested over Rs 15 crore into Deshwal. Since its inception, the company has recycled more than 1,000 metric tonnes of waste, and aims to recycle more than 500 tonnes per year.

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Barun Aggarwal, Co-founder & CEO, BreatheEasy

When he returned to India 2010 from the US, Barun Aggarwal was alarmed by the country’s poor air quality standards and wanted to do his bit.  

First, he saw his son wheezing while at Lodhi Gardens, and then Barun’s father-in-law Kamal Meattle became allergic to Delhi’s air. Doctors said his lung capacity was reduced to 70 percent and if he didn’t change the status quo, the air would kill him. 

Using natural plants and a high-quality mechanical air filtration system, Kamal transformed his office building in Nehru Place into a safe haven from the city’s increasingly toxic air. Building on Kamal’s work, Barun set out to find the best portable air purifiers for India’s air pollution crisis. 

He and his team tested 28 different models across 15 stringent parameters for six weeks in his children’s bedrooms. Thus, BreatheEasy was born in 2013, with a bootstrapped capital of Rs 10 lakh.

It has deployed its products in companies like Infosys and Wipro, and schools including British School, American Embassy School, and German School. The company has also undertaken various large projects in Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai, and clocked Rs 25 crore turnover in 2019.

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Cleantech Water

Vipul Chawda, cofounder and director, Cleantech Water

Ahmedabad-based manufacturing unit Cleantech Water is on a mission to offer a vast range of effective and innovative water treatment solutions to tackle water pollution. It has a focus on sewage treatment plants and primarily deals with domestic, 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.  

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, including 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. In 2018, it raked in Rs 1 crore revenue.

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Deluxe Recycling

Jignesh Shah, Founder of Deluxe Recycling

Jignesh Shah hails from a paper manufacturing and recycling background. In 1999, an opportunity to do something about the land waste resulting from packaging factories changed the course of his life.  

He launched 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 increase of almost 25 percent in 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 auto rickshaw sector.” 

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Zeco Aircon

Kartik Singhal, Director, Zeco Aircon

Gurugram-based Zeco Aircon has been manufacturing of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) management systems since 1989. Founded by Ravi Singhal, Zeco Aircon manufactures products under four verticals — air conditioning, air purification, air distribution, and insulation. 

Amidst the pandemic, the company is garnering prominence for its air purification vertical that started in 2010. Zeco Aircon clocks a turnover of Rs 300 crore annually and exports to 15 countries, including Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, and the UAE. 

Its clientele includes the likes of Radisson, ITC Hotels, Fortis Hospital, The Oberoi Hotels, Hyatt, etc. Zeco Aircon’s air purification vertical manufactures air purifiers in about 19 product categories that can run for four years without any maintenance or recurring cost. 

In January 2020, the company launched O2 Cure, a website for its B2C bespoke air purifier business. 

These air purifiers — manufactured at its Haryana, Bengaluru, and Mumbai plants — cost between Rs 400 and Rs 2 lakh. So far, Zeco Aircon has installed 12,105 air purifiers in India, including at Delhi and Hyderabad airports. 

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Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta