In a world grappling with environmental challenges, two visionary entrepreneurs, Akshat Tyagi, and Raghvendra Suryavanshi, have emerged as pioneers in sustainable biotechnology solutions. As second-year Mechanical Engineering students at BITS Pilani, Goa, they embarked on a journey to tackle a pressing sewage treatment issue plaguing their institute. Little did they know that this venture would not only resolve the problem but also ignite a passion for environmental engineering and entrepreneurship.
Unfazed by the allure of high-paying corporate jobs, Tyagi and Suryavanshi combined their entrepreneurial spirit, risk-taking ability, and out-of-the-box thinking to establish Sustainable Biosolutions LLP. This environmental engineering firm specializes in providing solid and liquid waste management technology solutions. Their product range encompasses sewage treatment plants, effluent treatment plants, biogas plants, RO-UF-UV systems, organic waste composters, sanitary napkin incinerators, and compost bins, all with a strong commitment to environmental friendliness.
In the five years since its inception, Sustainable Biosolutions has been operating year-round, treating an astounding 1,642 lakh litres of wastewater last year alone. Their groundbreaking technology, SUSBIO SBR, developed in collaboration with the French Government Institution INRA, revolutionizes sewage treatment. Remarkably, 95-98 per cent of the treated water meets reusable quality standards, suitable for purposes such as gardening, toilet flushing, chiller systems, and washing. Moreover, they have even pioneered a natural method to transform sewage into drinking water, aptly named “Toilet to Tap,” without the use of chemicals.
Suryavanshi emphasizes their commitment to natural methods, stating, “We believe in using natural ways to treat sewage and do not encourage using chemicals or any external microbes.” This philosophy extends to their wide range of products, including small-scale food waste biogas plants for restaurants and food outlets and large-scale biogas technologies for unconventional waste sources like slaughterhouse waste, fish waste, food processing industry waste, and municipal solid waste.
However, the journey was not without its challenges. Breaking into an industry heavily reliant on referrals posed a significant barrier for young entrepreneurs. Akshat Tyagi recalls, “Most sewage treatments were being done because of mandatory regulations, with few people genuinely concerned about keeping the environment clean.” To overcome this, they decided to build a full-scale demonstration plant capable of treating sewage from a 20-flat building. This calculated risk, supported by a bank loan, showcased their technical superiority and convinced clients to invest in their solutions.
With collaborations with national and international organizations and mentorship from esteemed faculty members at BITS Pilani, Sustainable Biosolutions flourished. They are determined to change the industry mindset, shifting the focus from compliance with pollution control regulations to genuine environmental concerns. Geographical expansion, covering major parts of India, is also on their agenda.
Their clientele spans a diverse range, from homes to large organizations, with plans to target hotels, institutions, shopping malls, apartments, hospitals, industries, municipalities, and schools in the future. When asked about sustainability, Suryavanshi confidently asserts, “As long as people live on this planet, sustainable bio solutions are required to keep the environment healthy and livable.”
The remarkable achievements of Akshat Tyagi and Raghavendra Suryavanshi have garnered recognition. They emerged as proud winners of the TiEHubli Big Idea Business Plan Competition 2013 and the DBT-BIRAC-Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – Grand Challenges India Initiative (RTTC: India 2014). Additionally, they were finalists at the Millennium Alliance in 2014 and 2016.
Akshat Tyagi and Raghvendra Suryavanshi’s journey is a testament to the power of innovation, environmental consciousness, and entrepreneurial drive. Sustainable Biosolutions are transforming the world, one sustainable biotechnology solution at a time.