As a kid, Varun Sridhar was a green warrior. So passionate was he about environment that the Kerala lad wanted to do things that protect the nature when he grows up. Today, his Chennai-based firm Greenvironment does exactly that. It builds solutions for effective water, waste management and solid waste management based on sustainability principles for residential and industrial clients. After completing his civil engineering in 2009 from Hindustan College of Engineering in Chennai, Varun worked with IIT Madras as project associate and went on to join an environmental engineering company abroad for a couple of years. However, the 28-year-old from Vadakara in North Kerala realised that only sustainable and innovative solutions could really make a difference in nature conservation. And such solutions were short in supply. Soon, he mustered the courage to quit his well paying job in Dubai and started Greenviornment Innovation and Marketing India.

“It was in August 2012. A couple of my friends and my father supported my idea and we registered the company in Chennai with an investment of Rs 5 lakh. Our office started in a one bed room flat,” recalls Varun. The company now offers solutions such as design, execution and real-time monitoring of sewage treatment plants, rainwater harvesting, organic waste composing, industrial effluent treatment, ultra filtration and reverse osmosis. “In our first year, we installed 75 biogas plants in homes in Kerala,” Varun said. In the first financial year itself, the company had a turn over of Rs 7 lakh. In the same year, the company was incubated at IIT-M incubation cell which helped them get professional expertise. Next year, the firm got Rs 10 lakhs through the credit guarantee scheme from State Bank of Travancore and also received Rs 5 lakh innovation seed fund from IIT-M. The company has installed effluent treatment plants for some food processing units in Namakkal and Dindigul and also waste water treatment solutions in Chennai and Kerala. In addition they have also got export orders from Dubai for water treatment equipment. “With all these we were able to generate Rs 38 lakh revenue in 2013- 14,” he said.

So, what’s his success mantra? According to Varun, there are lots of ways you can solve a problem. However, if an entrepreneur wants to be successful, in addition to having innovative ideas they should be aware of marketing strategies. And this is exactly what he and his team are focussing. “We are going to focus on innovation. The market will not promote a company if you are doing the same thing what others are doing.” The team has developed a mobile app for water testing and is planning to integrate it thorough cloud. It has developed a real time monitoring solution based on machine-to-machine communication for bigger wastewater treatment plants to get real time data. Explaining about the future plans Varun says, “In the next six months, we are entering Karnataka. In another year we are trying to expand our business to entire south India. We are also aiming a growth of three to four times in next two years.” – Courtesy – Visit IITM Incubation cell, IIT Madras Research Park.

By KTP Radhika