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 Climate Change

Water
Published on: Aug. 22, 2020, 5:53 p.m.
WEGoT has a solution for water scarcity in south India
  • Team WEGot

By Business India Editorial

Water is a problem so perennial and pervasive in south India, that it cannot be ignored. For Abilash Haridass, a co-founder of WEGoT, not only was water access a constant concern, people were equally worried about quality and consistent supply.

“We’re constantly being told that we need to save water. Much like we are told to save money. How can we save water if we don’t know how much we start off with and how much we consume?” says Haridass.

This was the genesis of WEGoT’s focus on enabling resource efficiency in the use of water, through a combination of data, actionable insights and remote-managed actions.

WEGoT Utilities has built an IoT platform – hardware and application layer – that provides consumer analytics and solutions for water efficiency.

The IoT combination enables users to dynamically track how much water they individually consume as well the amount of water consumed by the entire building. This could be in terms of the quantity extracted from the ground (borewells), sewage treatment plants, rainwater harvesting systems, tankers and piped water systems. It also identifies areas of leakage and provides inputs on addressing these leaks, and enables remote shut down of flow in affected areas.

The solution aims to make people more accountable for their usage, as they have to pay for consumption like they would for other resources like electricity. WEGoT says its water management solution has seen buildings reduce water consumption 30-35 per cent.

Founded in 2015, the solution currently works across 30,000 houses, 40 million sq. ft. of commercial real estate, and counts large enterprises like Google, ITC and Indian Railways as key partners.

In addition, WEGoT actively partners with established real estate companies like Brigade Developers, Mahindra and Ascendas, for integration in new constructions as well as retrofitting with existing constructions. Almost 40 per cent of its installations are retrofits.

While WEGoT has its deepest traction so far in south India, since 2019 the company says that it has started seeing word-of-mouth business from developers in NCR, Kolkata and Mumbai.

In 2020 the company aims to foray into international markets – with the Middle East an initial area of focus given its requirement for active water management. There is also growing interest from other water-stressed parts of the world, including Australia and Singapore.

In March 2020, the government announced a policy mandating that all buildings in Bangalore (old or new) over a size of 1,200 sq. ft. to have water management systems. This indicates strong government support for sustainable and resource-efficient solutions. Once this policy is rolled out successfully in Bangalore, WEGoT believes it will be replicated across other urban centres in India.

WEGoT raised its initial round of funding from GoFrugal, Brigade and other strategic investors, and has been supported and incubated by the Brigade Reap incubator. The company is in the process of closing a second funding round with another real estate developer and considers investors as key growth partners.

The WEGoT platform was initially envisioned as a broad resource efficiency solution – water, electricity and gas – with an initial focus on water. Moving forward, the team aims to optimise data capabilities, using it as a lever to impact awareness, consumption and resource efficiency.


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