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[box type=”shadow” ]Vatsal Naik, Director, Mahavir EcoProjects, speaks about his journey into the waste business. At the same time, he shares his game plan and strategies for gripping the company’s position in the market.[/box]

What inspired you to enter the waste business?

I have been into the chemical manufacturing in the past and can understand the harm done to the environment, knowingly or unknowingly. I always wanted to repay the debt and thus, got inspired to join the waste business five years back.

Mahavir EcoProject, a joint venture with US-based Bassy, specialises in waste to energy with gasification technology called Turn WTE. We also have our electrocoagulation plants and this technology is used to give a combined solution. For example, we have taken advantage of synergy from the textile industry in Surat to generate non-hazardous textile waste. We convert textile shedding into syngas to use it as an alternative fuel. On the other hand, we have a chemical industry that generates concentrated effluents which needs to be evaporated. This alternate fuel is used in evaporation technology and MEE (Multi Effect Evaporation). We combine all the possible technologies available and try to make the best use of it.

What are the projects in the pipeline?

Presently, we are working on another synergy for Vapi industries where a lot of plastic waste with good calorific value is generated from the paper industry. We are doing some trials and if successful we can give the Vapi industries a similar solution. Thus, the solutions are locationbased solution. Our approach is to first try and understand the problems of the industry and then offer a solution taking into consideration the commercials and the capacity of the customer to bear them. At the same time, being associated with the chambers of commerce and other committees of the government, we are aware beforehand about the rules and regulations formed and thus, the solutions offered inclusive of the governmental diktat.

In India, even though there are a lot of gasifiers, what we offer is different and probably the first gasifier from waste to syngas. There are about 400 to 600 small plants of coal gasifiers in India.

It is relatively a new technology even in the advanced countries. They have already installed 200-300 incineration plants of old technology which cannot be redone into a new one. So, people who have partnered with us they have done some small installations for the American army, university research projects and for a team going to Antarctica and remote places.

What are your marketing strategies to spread awareness?

I do not believe in technical marketing talking about your technology from person to person. For these plants you need a small industrial estate and investment of 25-50 crores. So, I just look for the synergy available. We have a research centre where we continuously keep on doing research and study about the waste. Doing this I can come up with a right solution but not a cheaper one.

What are your future plans?

Every industry has a leader. But he can be called as one only if he has a vision. And India is a country which can change overnight. So, if you are not paying attention towards your environment issues then you are going to be in trouble any day.

We started from the scratch. I personally go to schools and colleges and give them lectures on importance of environment because this is the generation who are going to appreciate the environment. We have around 60 dedicated people and 10 other people in our environment and chemical business. Business wise we are just one year old and we have made an investment of 40 crore. Our half yearly turnover is about 5-6 crores.

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