Mon, 19 Aug, 2019

Lila Digitall: 90% of revenue comes from environment related projects

12th August 2019, 01:56 Hrs

Karan Sehgal  

For most businessmen, installing a sewage treatment plant (STP) or an effluent treatment plant (ETP) is more of an obligation, which they have to do to meet certain requirements set by the government. Most people don’t understand why they should be paying for a STP installed by a builder when they go out to buy a flat. Obviously then, it is not easy for a company to focus on STP, ETP and other environment projects as a business model.  

Interestingly, Lila Digital & Environmental Solutions has done exactly that by installing and maintaining STPs, ETPs and rainwater harvesting projects for clients like Pentair, Mormugao Port Trust (MPT), Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB), Lupin, Sanofi and many others.  

Intriguingly enough, the company started in the information technology (IT) services space to begin with. Gavin D’Souza, director, Lila Digital & Environmental Solutions, said, “Originally, the company was into IT services. Later on, I became part of the company and we saw a huge potential in environment related green opportunities. As a result, we totally changed our business.”  

Today, Lila Digital & Environmental Solutions is into both environment and IT services. Within IT, it has a small back-office processing unit for income tax related works -- TDS filings, digital signatures, etc.  

However, 90% of its revenue comes from environment related projects and only remaining 10% is from IT services. The company saw a huge potential in installing and maintaining STPs. In Goa, it is mandatory for a residential building with 24 flats or more to have a STP. Or else, it does not get an occupancy certificate from the State government. Large parts of Goa do not have sewerage networks even though Goa is one of the richest States of India. 

In the absence of sewerage networks, most buildings have to treat their own sewage, or else they will be discharging it into water bodies, resulting in large-scale pollution. Over the years, the company has installed STPs for not only residential projects, but also for large public sector undertakings like MPT.  

D’Souza said, “For MPT, we have installed a STP of 1,200 kilo litres per day (KLD) capacity. Since MPT is under the Central government, they have to follow the Central government’s norms, which are really stringent. The water quality coming out of the STP at MPT is so good that it is used for washing and many other tasks down at the harbour.”  

Lila Digital & Environmental Solutions has also installed a rainwater harvesting project at the Pentair factory in Verna. Unlike in the case of STP, it is not necessary for companies to harvest rain-water. But, Pentair has done it because of its own consciousness about the environment.  

D’Souza said, “For Pentair’s factory in Verna, we have built a rainwater harvesting storage tank. Anytime when it rains, the tank holds 1.36 lakh litres of water, which can be used for non production related purposes once they run it through filtration.”  

He continued, “When the tank with 1.36 lakh litre capacity overflows, the water is recharged into the borewell at Pentair. Everything is measured by a water metre. Till date, Pentair has recharged 1.5 crore litres of water into the ground directly. Moreover, Pentair is managing to recharge back to the ground 6 months of its water consumption in a year. That means that they are water neutral for 6 months.”  

However, the State government has no policy to incentivise companies, which are harvesting rainwater. Interestingly, the government has a policy to give credit to those, who supply electricity to the grid from their solar panels. D’Souza opined that the government should consider providing similar subsidies to even those, who are recharging harvested rainwater into the ground. That will give a huge boost to the sector and also to the environment.  

Apart from that, Lila Digital & Environmental Solutions is also into installing and maintaining ETPs, which are necessary because if not for them, industries will be discharging harmful effluents in the water bodies causing pollution. Large chunks of ETP business for the company comes from the pharmaceutical sector in the State. Pharma companies result in large quantities of effluents in their manufacturing process, which have to be treated at ETPs.  

In recent times, Lila Digital & Environmental Solutions has also diversified into new verticals like installing green walls on the exterior of buildings. Such walls have plants and they are fully connected to drip irrigation systems, which is totally automated.  

D’Souza said that green walls help in reducing the temperature inside a building. That also helps in reducing the cost of air-conditioning. Diversification in areas like green-walls is because the company thinks that the share of its STP business will come down eventually. At some point in future, the State government is going to expand sewerage networks to most parts of Goa. When that happens, fewer people will need to install their own STP.  

D’Souza said, “To diversify further, we are focusing on turnkey plumbing, wherein we will take care of everything, right from fitment of sanitary (tap) to outdoor sewage tanks.”  

Lila Digital & Environmental Solutions’ focus and commitment has helped it in undertaking prestigious projects in the recent years. And, it seems that their journey in the future will be equally exciting.  

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