India’s No.1 Corporate Social Responsibility Magazine since 2013 | RNI No. DELENG/2013/49640



Sustainability Beyond Commerce

C. Sridhar
Director of AquaKraft

Suffering and pathos garnished with a rural setting like women carrying water pots on their heads and hundreds of coloured water pots waiting to be quenched by a rusty tap – these are typical storytellers’ delight in the Indian context on water woes. However, if one comes out of this type-cast story and works towards eradicating these miseries then she/he would be termed a crusader, part of an NGO or at best an odd self-less volunteer working for the betterment of society. These were stories and beliefs of the past. Yes, in reality, today water is beyond advocacy and just lip service. It’s a movement in sustainability. Companies, governments, and even individuals are investing in sustainable water solutions. New technologies are making it easier to access and manage water resources. Partnerships between governments, NGOs, and businesses are being formed to ensure sustainable water management.

Water, as we all know, is a colourless, odourless liquid but it is the very essence of life. This naturally available element was taken for granted and hence there was zero value attached to it in terms of commerce and trade until a few decades ago. However, with the abuse of this natural bounty overtaking its use, water is now the centre of all sustainable interventions globally. There is a clarion call to preserve water bodies, limit one’s water consumption, and offer incentives for recycling used water and innovative technologies to support efficient water management. Governments, businesses, and individuals are all being called on to work together to ensure sustainable water management. Water conservation and protection has become a major priority in many countries. Sustainable water management is essential for a sustainable future.

Opportunities then were limited to providing community drinking water solutions in highly populated urban clusters and the entire gamut of rural populations. The primary objective was to provide easily accessible community drinking water systems to mitigate the hardships of carrying water from a distant pond or a rusty tap once a day notwithstanding contamination which was hardly addressed then. This marked the beginning of a new era of water access, providing a reliable and affordable source of clean drinking water to the communities in need. This paved the way for more advanced water solutions such as water filters, purification systems, and water storage tanks, which have become essential components of modern water access.

Armed with new technology in water purification and backed by an innovative design team, the journey to water sustainability started with the propagation of ideas and new designs. The spin was reversed. It was a hard sell. Having spent decades selling research-based stock ideas to institutional investors across the globe, the business of selling a new technology in water purification and providing community drinking water systems in “deserving” rural and urban locations was a tough proposition. Rejection was the order of the day.

This was a big eye-opener for us in many ways. The business of water is not just about assembling a few materials on a plastic or steel frame and selling them to make our lives. Water is beyond that in many ways. It’s a movement in sustainability. We needed to rework our strategies. It’s about hygiene, conservation, rejuvenation, capturing rainwater, increasing the groundwater table, timely desilting of water bodies, preventing soil erosion, curtailing surface erosion, protecting water bodies from contamination, recycling, re-use, etc. All of these are important aspects of the business of water. It requires us to be thoughtful and proactive to make a real difference. We must also ensure that our actions are sustainable and beneficial in the long term. Ultimately, the success of our water business lies in our ability to manage our water resources in an effective and sustainable way.

The journey for me is like water flowing from the cold icebergs of the Himalayas through the plains before merging with the sea/ocean. It remains and it continues through the ages. Some may call it Maa Ganga, some may call it polluted, some may call it very fierce, some may call it too beautiful, few may abuse it, and many would offer prayers. However, for me this flow has been for ages and has not changed… still flows and this is sustainability. My journey is similar. Pray it flows.


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this section and articles contributed are those of the respective authors, who have submitted it as their original work. They do not reflect the opinions or views of CSR Times, or its employees, management and group publications. The accuracy and reliability of information presented has not been verified by CSR Times. CSR Times will not be held responsible in any way for the content of this article.






Scroll to Top