Over the past several years, central and state government/agencies have launched several policies and programmes to combat the growing pollution levels across land, air and water. For example, in August 2019, the National Green Tribunal released an order to retrofit all operational DG sets with devices to reduce particulate matter (PM) emissions by at least 70%. Similarly, in January 2019, the central government launched the ‘National Clean Air Programme’ to reduce air pollution levels in 102 cities over the next five years.
Increasing levels of pollution and government policies/programmes to control the same have created business opportunities for established companies and start-ups. Numerous companies have ventured into this space with significant success, wherein a few companies expanded their existing product portfolios to meet the rising demand for air/water purifiers, while others established their businesses based solely on the demand for pollution reducing/recycling products and services. The sector of pollution control and waste recycling is highly under penetrated in the country has offers huge growth potential. For example, as per 2018 estimates, the wastewater management market was worth ~US$ 200 billion (~Rs. 14.6 trillion), with established players catering to only 21% of the market.
Working towards providing cleaner air:
Pi Green Innovations: Is a green tech company based in Pune, India, and offers solutions, which combat air pollution by reducing the PM from ambient air and other sources such as diesel generators and vehicles. The company provides retrofit systems for vehicles and DG sets that reduce carbon emissions from exhausts. Pi Green Innovations is solution partners to United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) in its ‘Clear Air Initiative’ for India and has applied for patents in India, the US, China, Japan, Singapore, the UK and Europe.
BreathEasy: This Delhi-based company helps clients select best quality air purification systems as per their needs. It operates in four main areas, including Testing Solutions – provides air quality testing solutions for home and commercial spaces; Portable Solutions – provides tested and vetted portable air purifiers from leading manufacturers; Centralised Solutions – uses best-in-class technology to deliver centralised clean air to homes, schools/colleges, office buildings, and other commercial buildings; and Green Consulting Services – aimed to reduce energy costs and improve quality of life BreathEasy helps clients in optimizing building dynamics, insulation, materials and HVAC. The company’s clientele includes homes of leading business personnel, offices of some of India’s largest IT companies, and school buildings.
“Our work is rooted in science. Our laboratory has the best equipment in the world, used to carefully test every product before it reaches our online store. We also provide monitoring services, using cutting-edge technology to track and evaluate indoor air quality on an ongoing basis, no matter how big the space is.” – Barun Aggarwal, Co-founder & CEO, BreatheEasy.
Working towards providing cleaner water:
Cleantech Water: This Ahmedabad-based company provides single-window decentralised solutions for wastewater treatment, catering to industrial and domestic needs. The company offers a variety of wastewater treatment and water treatment solutions such as sewage treatment plants, grey water treatment plant, effluent water treatment plants, industrial water treatment, RO plants, pressure sand filter systems and dual media filters. The company’s clientele includes HPCL, Tata Housing, Amul and Blue Star.
“The main objective is to make small treatment plants with low capacities so they can follow a decentralised approach for water treatment. This way, they also have a low operating cost.” – Vipul Chavda, Co-founder and Director, Cleantech Water.
INDRA Systems: The company develops turnkey point of source, decentralized wastewater management, treatment and re-cycling packaged solutions. Its designs are modular, scalable, compact and can cater to domestic as well as industrial wastewater treatment and recycling needs. INDRA Systems serves companies across industries ranging from chemicals, textile to housing projects, and it aims to penetrate pharma and dairy industries.
Working towards providing cleaner land:
Deshwal Waste Management: The company was established in 2011 with an aim to increase and promote recycling of e-waste in the country. With increasing consumer spending on white goods, the country is expected to generate more and more e-waste. Deshwal Waste Management operates two e-waste recycling plants in IMT Manesar and Khushkheda (Rajasthan). The company operates across waste recycling segments including e-waste, battery-waste, plastic-waste, used-oil recycling, dismantling and general waste. The company serves >200 clients from IT sector, heavy industries, automobiles, consumer goods, financial sector, consulting, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications.
“India accounted for nearly three million metric tonnes of e-waste in 2018, and the nation has a recycling capacity of only five percent of this amount” - Raj Kumar Founder and CEO, Deshwal Waste Management.
Ishitva Robotic Systems: The company uses advanced AI, ML, IoT and computer vision to sort waste for efficient disposal and recycling. Efficient segregation and sorting of waste is the weakest part of the value chain in waste recycling. To avoid dumping and burning of dry waste, Ishitva systems create an effective and efficient sorting system to improve quantity and quality of waste recycling. The company’s self-learning algorithm uses one of the largest image banks and computer vision to sort waste and create pools of collectively recyclable waste materials. Its solutions include SUKA AI-powered air sorting, YUTA AI-powered robotic sorting, Netra AI vision system and smart bins.
“Our solutions use computer vision to make sorting more efficient at different stages of the waste value chain. With our proprietary algorithm ‘ishitvAI’, we have been able to achieve automated, high volume, and better-quality sorting in a fraction of time, as compared to human sorting.” – Jitesh Dadlani, Co-founder, Ishitva Robotic Systems
These are only a few examples of companies that are taking technological and service leaps to cater to the rapidly growing pollution control and waste management industry in the country. Despite the presence of >100 organisations in this space, only a miniscule proportion of the industry is being catered by organised players. The sector is expected to offer growth potential for many more market players in the coming years.