Demonetisation & Sustainable Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship in India has always been Self Sustainable and has traveled very interesting journey over the centuries. In the recent past not only it has been euphoric over the opening up of the economy in 1992 but witnessed couple of global recessions, stock market scams and at the same time embracing historical legislation’s such as VAT & GST with open arms. This journey has seen its share of ups and downs, despite Government not really in favour businessmen till they realized their mistake during liberalization.

Ancient Indian Entrepreneurship:

Entrepreneurs started getting their due recognition during the time of Kautilya as is evident in Arthashastra. With Division of labor (later on known as infamous caste system) they found themselves as the fulcrum for maintaining the peace and prosperity in society. During this time itself followers of Mahavira & Buddha were at the forefront of adopting entrepreneurship as one of the affirmations for non violence and forgiveness. Last but not least it was the entrepreneurs themselves who were also at the forefront of the innovations. It was only because of them that India for Long time was the only producer of the wrought iron in the world. Button, Calico, Carding devices, Charkha, Chintz, Muslin, Palampore, Prayer flags, Single roller cotton gin are just few of the other prominent Indian Innovations.

Growth of Entrepreneurship in India during Pre-Independence
demonetisation-entrepreneurship

Image credit: http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/essay/entrepreneurship-essay/growth-of-entrepreneurship-in-india-during-pre-independence/40661/

Post Independence Entrepreneurship:

Such was the stigma around entrepreneurs post independence, that the learned and educated would always go for the government jobs and the illiterate, uneducated would start up their own business. Entrepreneurs were considered as the hoarders, greedy clan who can stoop to any level to make their living. However old habits die hard and so does the enterprising spirit that the country had. Despite the poorest of the infrastructure that the country had, despite banking been non existent, despite frugal help from the government the entrepreneurs were able to adapt, become stronger and then prosper.  The only reason was that the entrepreneurs never lost the faith in themselves. True entrepreneur kept on dreaming of a country’s prosperity and downtrodden been uplifted. However one thing that was lost post independence was the meaning of Innovation.

india, india population, india population growth, united nations, united nations population report, asia pacific population, aia population, india news

India to dominate working-age populaton growth in Asia Pacific by 2050: UN / Source: indianexpress.com

We were able to innovate and strike a way around the government policies, we were able to innovate how to increase our own margins by not paying taxes, we were able to innovate to challenge laws and make it work as per own convenience, but the real innovation that India use to have was lost. Initially we were all frustrated by bribing and society in general attitude towards entrepreneurs. We already know by now that almost 95% of the MSME’s are in unorganized spectrum. Another horrifying fact is that  manufacturing is contributing to only 16% of the country’s GDP against a requirement of 30-35% for aspirational country like India. While the current level of manufacturing MSME are able to contribute only 7% of the total GDP of the country and the employment figure is just around 10 Million people for the entire MSME sector.

With the current level of manufacturing itself we were so frustrated with the level of bureaucracy (wheeling and dealing) that many of us considered importing from countries like China so that we face less hostility from government than what we face while manufacturing.  These stats are extremely scary and are in contrast with our aspiration of us been world super power.

Demonetization and Sustainability:

There is saying in business community, “If you commit a murder, then you have to face an Inspector. If you setup a factory, you have to face 36 of them”. Prior to 8/8, MSME’s were just a small fish in the bigger fishes of middle men, agents, liasoning people.

What was the real expertise acquired out of this scenario?

Just been a bigger negotiator than the competitor while dealing with municipal officer, labor officer, VAT officer, excise office, customs officer etc.

What was the real profit?

The money that was stolen by not paying taxes!

With the stats presented above, does any one really felt that the current scenario was actually sustainable for the entrepreneurs, particularly in MSME’s. Who were the actual customers? They for sure were not buying iPhones. They are among the bottom of the pyramid. When during MNREGA scheme,  they got that buying  power for short while, the economy was on steroids. Just imagine when this bottom of the pyramid would genuinely get an employment rather than fictitious one, where could India leap. In order to provide them employment, we have to double up our industrial manufacturing base by almost two times the current level. 

Nrega has been constantly held responsible for the downward turn in public finances, for it’s the only one that has been implemented for a substantial amount of time. Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/Mint

The macroeconomics of NREGA / Source: livemint.com

However currently manufacturing is only contributing to only 16% to the GDP, after 70 years of independence this is what we have been able to achieve. Now are we really in position to wait for even 10 years, leave alone 70. Do you really think that with the current state of affairs it was possible to increase the manufacturing contribution to country’s GDP to upto 20% even in next 10 years when applying for even basic clearances takes not less than 1-2 years and basic clearances means that even the foundation stone for the factory is not laid. The ground reality is that we all have become used to this entire pain over last 70 years. With demonetisation the government is stealing even the pleasure of pain of acting like middle men, agents and the so called experts in Liasioning. These 70 years have brainwashed us so much that we can’t even think of crating our own Apple, Microsoft, Tesla, Google. Why? Because we have forgotten this entrepreneurial innovation long time ago.

Source: vezden.com

So what can we do?

In this time of utmost discomfort we all should go to the government and apologise by saying  that the aspirations that we had while voting you to the power were all lip service. We were happy been in comfort zone. After all the worst thing could have been that we could not be the superpower but at least we were far better than Somalia and Syria. Over 70 years we have forgotten to be dynamic entrepreneurs, rather we’d have forgotten to be entrepreneurs itself. We are just the hoarders of opportunities which may arise out of luck. That luck could be taking birth in Ambani clan, or Mulayam Singh Yadav clan or atleast owner of some farming land where one day the intrinsic value of that land may jump manifold  because of speculation, again purely out of luck.

So let’s create a movement where all the entrepreneurs come together on a single platform and apologize to the government by saying the following:

“We made the biggest mistake of our life when we voted for you during May 2014. We didn’t realized that we never wanted a country where every one is treated at par, whether he is born with silver spoon or not. With your current actions you are destroying our hard earned belief that money alone can do everything. After 70 years we have concluded and known for sure that nothing would change in this country. So the very presumption of yours is wrong by believing that we are in any mood to work hard again and force us to be optimistic and aspirational. After so many years we are no more associated with the courage, dynamism &  innovation that usually  entrepreneur around the world is made up of. We are the bunch of naysayers who were born with silver spoon and you just don’t have that right to snatch it from us. So kindly stop acting like you are acting in our interest, cause if you do we would be forced to become true entrepreneur who can deal with any situation. We are sorry, we are not”.

What is a Sustainable Green Building?

sustainable-green-building

Sustainable Green Building is a concept that has gained popularity at a global level in the past few years. This is due to the fact that for a green building, starting from its construction it is ensured that waste is minimised at every level. The materials used are not only of superior quality but also eco-friendly. According to the experts, this not only minimises our carbon footprint but also results in lower costs in the long run. Hence, we can say that a green building is constructed in such a way that they reduce their overall impact on natural environment and as a result on the human health by:

1. Using the energy, water and other resources judiciously and efficiently.
2. Protecting the environment and improving human health conditions.
3. Effectively minimizing the waste production, pollution and environment deterioration. 4. Using natural resources like natural light wherever possible to effectively manage the use of energy.

In order to achieve the minimum energy consumption level, following features are incorporated in a green building which makes them earth friendly: 

1) The walls are designed to keep out the moisture and humidity in the outside air which makes the building naturally cooler. This reduces the use of air conditioners.

2) Low Solar Gain. Solar gain is the increase in temperature resulted from the solar radiation. With low solar gains, the building remains much cooler which again reduces the need for air-conditioners.

3) Using water efficient faucets ensures that less amount of water is utilised to perform the same function as compared to their traditional counterparts.

4) Rainwater Harvesting systems are installed to catch the natural rain water to  cater to the building’s water needs.

5) Wastewater treatment plants for minimising the waste water expulsion from the building and effective water management with water recycling.

6) Installing hydroponics system to increase the green belt while reusing the water through utilising treated greywater.

7) Creating waste management plants on the site such as compost pits to utilise the building’s biodegradable waste for fertilizers.

8) Installing clean energy sources such as solar panels, solar water heaters etc for electrification.

The green building concept has a vast benefit cover can be effectively employed for various sites, some of which are: 

1. Residential buildings
2. Office Complexes
3. Institutional buildings such as schools, colleges etc
4. Retail buildings
5. Hotels
6. Hospitals
7. Government Buildings

The concept of green building, however new, aims at using natural building materials during  not only construction, but also adopts other methods, such as rainwater harvesting for its water needs, solar energy for the electrification, waste management, etc. Hence making the making green building self sufficient when it comes to the energy requirement. The efficient usage of natural resources and their further recycling, ensures sustainability in the long run.

How is Water Recycling an answer to our water crisis?

how-is-water-recycling-an-answer-to-our-water-crisis

Today water recycling is considered the key to our water crisis. With great breakthroughs in all the areas of science, we have come to a conclusion that only self sustaining and holistic solutions are the way to go forward for a secure future. One of the areas that has been focused globally over the past few years is Water Management which stresses on Waste Water Treatment and Water Recycling. Water Management is essential for our survival as we have a limited supply of potable water on the planet and with deforestation, the rate of replenishment of this resource has deteriorated disastrously over the past decades. Everywhere around the world, waste water treatment for water recycling is stressed upon each day. This not only eases efficient water management but also provides a way for decentralization of the resource. Decentralization is essential for sustainability as it distributes the resource and its management along with its total stock amongst the community. This results in equal and viable distribution all over the community making them self reliant and helps in managing the resource at the community’s level. This paves a way for sustainability. When we talk about water recycling and waste water management, even that can and should be carried out at every level by the community. Over the years technology has had various developments to effectively implement Water Recycling by using Waste Water Treatment or Sewage Treatment Plants.

Earlier these plants were limited to industrial applications, however they have gained popularity amongst the public to be used in residential complexes for water recycling and have various benefits such as:

  • 1) Since the treated water can be used for purposes which do not require potable water, such as irrigation, landscaping, washing etc, Waste water treatment plants help in managing the water supply.
  • With reuse of water, the water consumption can be decreased which results in reducing the water costs.
  • Treated Grey water is full of nutrients and hence very much beneficial to the vegetation and environment.
  • With water recycling we are essentially reducing our carbon footprint and giving back to the nature and our ecosystem.

Although most of the Waste Water Treatment Plants have been developed to treat waste water into reusable grey water, with time many projects have come up that use water recycling indirectly for potable purposes. These plants consist of recharging groundwater aquifers and augmenting surface water reservoirs with recycled water.These are often called Groundwater recharge projects. In such projects recycled water is injected or spread into the groundwater  aquifers to augment groundwater supplies.

Water Recycling Process

Water Recycling Process uses physical, biological and chemical principles to decontaminate water and make it fit for reuse. It consists of three levels of treatments: Primary Treatment, Secondary Treatment and Tertiary Treatment.

recycling_process

Primary Treatment

Simple mechanical and physical processes are implemented in Primary treatment which removes approximately half of the contaminants from wastewater.

Bar screens: At the beginning of the water recycling process, the raw sewage is passed through a system of mechanical bar screens which removes large solids such as sticks, rags, and plastic material from the wastewater stream.  A horizontal rake on a toothed gear drive removes the captured material out of the chamber for removal to a sanitary landfill.

Grit chamber: The wastewater flows through an aerated grit chamber and where the stream is saturated with very fine air bubbles which encourage settling of the fine grit particles.

Primary clarification: At this point the flow velocity of the wastewater is slowed to encourage solids settling. Biosolids are digested and used for purposes like conditioning the soil or composting.

Secondary Treatment

Biological processes are used in the Secondary treatment which removes most of the remaining contaminants.

Aeration Basins: Oxygen is mixed into the water as it flows through an aeration basin. Here, bacterial microorganisms remove the organic material and convert non-settleable solids to settleable solids which are later captured in final clarifiers.

Final Clarifiers: Most of the solid materials gets thickened and settles out into the final clarifiers but some are returned to the aeration tank to reintroduce incoming water with microorganisms.

Tertiary Treatment

Tertiary Treatment is the additional purification or advanced treatment of the water. Once the water reaches this level, water is passed through sand before undergoing chemical disinfection in chlorine contact chambers, which kills any remaining microorganisms and the chlorine is removed using sulfur dioxide. Today we are standing at the crossroads of our future. With water recycling, we can reuse the water supply and manage our water resources effectively. How we handle the crisis today, will determine what our future generations will have to face in order to survive.

Knorr Campaign Asks Consumers to ‘Eat’ Less Water

Knorr Campaign Asks Consumers to eat Less Water

Knorr claims that addressing water waste is therefore “more important than ever,” and launched its new campaign during World Water Week in partnership with the Water Footprint Network (WFN).

Credits:www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/behavior_change/hannah_ furlong/knorr_campaign_asks_consumers_eat_less_water

Why maintaining Sewage Treatment Plants in condominium is difficult?

Maintaining Sewage Treatment Plants In Condominium

Sewage Treatment Plants seem like the answer to many water related concerns today. They help us re-utilise and manage water supply efficiently. But this system also comes with its own set of challenges. Most of these challenges are faced after installation of these plants. Some of these challenges are:

1. Power Consumption

The greatest expense while running a Sewage Treatment Plant is the power consumption. It requires more and more power with increasing sewage volume. Also, to keep the process going and maintain the plant properly, there must be a constant supply of power. This makes it difficult for the condominium to manage. To ease the burden of this high consumption, solar panels can be installed along with the Sewage Treatment Plant so that it has its own power or less power consuming technologies can be used in the plant for various processes such as  membrane technology for the aeration process.

2. Staff

The staff required to effectively manage and maintain a Sewage Treatment Plant must be properly trained and certified for the same. They need to be on board 24/7 for the maintenance of the plant. This again becomes difficult as there are not much resources equipped with such certification and trainings. To overcome this issue, automation processes can be used in the treatment plant which cut down almost 30% of the running costs in long run but they too need operational supervision to run smoothly.

3. Sludge

Sludge is a thick viscous, mud like material produced during sewage treatment. Sludge may contain the toxic waste from the sewage treatment plant, and can be hazardous if not treated properly. Hence it becomes a delicate environmental challenge for wastewater treatment to safely dispose of excess sludge produced. The recycling of sludge which contains many useful organic matter and nutrients in agricultural applications is considered as the best solution.

4. Secondary Costs

Activated sludge treatment comes with its own various challenges, one of the major challenge being the resources required. Plants that treat activated sludge are not only costly to build but also costly to maintain. Primary and Secondary processes of sludge treatment requires vast tracts of land for large and costly settling tanks and aeration basins. To solve this issue, Advanced technologies using smaller process basins by increasing the amount of biomass per unit volume can be used.

These are just a few challenges in maintaining Sewage Treatment Plants. For any queries about STPs and how to manage them effectively, contact us on +(91)-8130999055 /+(91)-9810858062 or visit our website http://www.sanicon.in/

Rainwater harvesting made mandatory in rural areas too.

Rainwater harvesting made mandatory in rural areas too

Rainwater harvesting mandatory for all commercial/residential buildings above 2,000 sq ft area. The zilla panchayat building at Kottara has such a system, which can collect about 1.30 lakh litres of rainwater during monsoon.

Credits:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mangaluru/Rainwater-harvesting-made-mandatory-in-rural-areas-too/articleshow/53632276.cms

What is Self Sustaining Hydroponics?

 

Hydroponics

With more and more emphasis on Sustainable Water Management it is essential that wastage of water, especially potable or fresh water is minimised. Over the past few years, concepts like Wastewater management or Greywater management have gained huge attention and acceptance. As more and more people are opting for energy efficient solutions, it has created the scope and demand for new ideas like sewage treatment landscapes, wastewater treatment wetlands etc. Today however, we focus on one such idea i.e. Hydroponics.

What is Hydroponics?

What is Hydroponics

Hydroponics is a latin origin word which means working water. It is a process of growing plants in mediums apart from soil but with added nutrients, such mediums could be sand, liquid or even gravel. Hydroponics is based on the main principle of increasing oxygen to the root zone and liquid feed delivered directly to roots. Under the same conditions, a hydroponic plant grows 30-50% faster than a soil plant.

Why Hydroponics plantations over soil gardening?

Why Hydroponics plantations over soil gardening

Unlike plants grown in traditional soil garden, hydroponic plants do not need too much space to grow and hence more number of hydroponic plants can be grown in the same amount of area. This is because the nutrients are delivered to the roots instead of having the roots stretch out in search of the nutrients. This creates much higher oxygen levels in the root zone as compared to a soil garden. The increased oxygen results in an increased nutrient uptake and much higher rates of growth. The nutrient levels are much easier to control in a hydroponic garden compared to soil garden.

What is the role of Hydroponic gardening in a Wastewater Management System?

What is the role of Hydroponic gardening in a Wastewater Management System

 

As we know that treated greywater is rich in nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus which are essential for vegetation growth, opting for hydroponic gardening would utilise the greywater to its best potential, thus bringing down not only the costs pertaining to gardening but also the freshwater demand for soil gardening.

How is Wastewater Treatment used for Hydroponics?

  • Wastewater from the kitchen is collected in a Settler Tank.
  • From Settler Tank, it then passes through a baffled reactor where anaerobic reaction takes place. This reaction brings down the BOD level from 350 to 50 approximately.
  • After anaerobic treatment, the water is pumped up in an overhead storage tank.
  • From Overhead storage tank water would flow by gravity to the hydroponic plantations.
  • Hydroponics would remove the nitrates and potash present in the water, at the same time helping the plants to grow.

For every wastewater treatment plant to be completely effective it is very vital to incorporate a system which re-uses the treated water. Nowadays, Hydroponics is proving to be a breakthrough concept that not only increases the growth rate in plants in a safe manner but also re-utilises the waste water.