It’s an oft-repeated doomsday quote that the next World War will be fought over fresh water. And indeed water, a prime resource, seems to be the major cause of stress in the world. Already at least one-third of the global population is water-stressed with access to very little or no safe drinking water. Rapid urbanization, with water in cities being treated as if it is unlimited due to it’s near-zero cost to consumers, has helped build the notion that water has no economic value. Losses of water due to leakage across the chain remain a major challenge. Furthermore, the depleting of natural drinking water sources has made it imperative to look at ways to minimize wastage and maximize efficient utilization.
With this bleak scenario, water efficiency and conservation is the need of the hour. The Chennai-based water conservation company WEGoT Aqua decided to offer integrated water management solutions in real-time, to prevent and address the water crisis.
Khushboo Vyas had a chat with Abilash of WEGoT Aqua, to find out more about his venture and how it benefits the world.
Why WEGoT and how did it begin?
Water scarcity in India is a looming issue. WEGoT Aqua was innovated with an aim to reduce the water consumption by bringing about a much needed behavioral change in the way people use water. In April 2015, 4 engineers (Vijay, Mohideen, Abilash, Sundeep) with absolutely different yet complimentary skillsets founded WEGoT.
In a country like India where almost all big cities are water starved, there is still no accountability for a consumer on his water usage. Growing up in Chennai and being witness to acute water shortages, the founders wanted to contribute and help the city solve its water shortage. Having understood the promise of IoT, the group ventured to develop a sensor-based IoT device and a software platform that provided an end-to-end water management solution. WEGoT Aqua enables real time, data driven and automated decision-making to reduce the water demand and increase the efficiency of water infrastructure in buildings. WEGoT Aqua tracks the usage at all consumption points and generates bills as per water usage. The sensor also detects and notifies leakages, broken pipes, abnormal usage in real time via mobile app and web dashboards. Once notified, the user can shut the leaks remotely, thus saving water from getting wasted in leakages. Our presence in over 30,000 homes, 1 million+ sq.ft of commercial space had created a huge impact by saving 1 billion+ litres of water.
WEGoT Aqua integrates every facet of water and provides a simple and convenient platform to manage all the water in a facility. We have innovated on the business model to increase adoption. We give the product for free and charge a nominal monthly subscription. We have the smallest sensors available, thereby making it the easiest sensor to install. The entire solution is a simple plug-and-play model which will help us scale faster.
What is WEGoT’s USP
Defensibility is a function of time and we have taken several concrete steps to help maintain the headstart we have as early movers in this space.
1. We are the only product that tracks water at all stages of the lifecycle (from source to consumption) and have a solution for each specific problem-point in the water cycle.
2. We have innovated on the business model to increase adoption. We give the product for free and charge a nominal monthly subscription.
3. We have the smallest sensors available, thereby making it the easiest sensor to install. The entire solution is a simple plug-and-play model, which will help us scale faster.
4. Our wireless LoRa sensors come with remote set-up feature that makes it flexible.
5. Our product is built on IoT-first platform, unlike other water meters that use IoT technology only for some functionalities.
6. Ultrasonic water meters are flexible for mounting in all directions, are dirt resistant, and come with negligible pressure loss.
WEGoT Aqua is a low-cost, high-precision, data-driven IoT-based water management solution that provides real-time data like average water consumption, abnormal usage, leakage alerts, etc. This gives exclusive data insights about overall water usage and wastage. This is already bringing about a much-needed behavioral change in the way people use water. We look forward to this behavioral change that makes people water conscious, thereby solving the impending water crisis by reducing water consumption by up to 50%.
What is your clientele like
Our target audience is all those who use water like apartment communities, commercial spaces, industries, malls, hospitals etc. Our solution currently works across 30,000+ homes, 40 million sq.ft. of commercial space, 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, Sobha Builders, etc., for integration in both new constructions and retrofitting with existing constructions. Some residential clients include Appaswamy Real Estate, Casa Grande, etc., and commercial clients such as Infosys, Danfoss, Zoho, Ascendas, among others.
Now, after Covid19, how has the business scenario changed for you
The coronavirus pandemic had brought WEGoT’s field work to a halt and its new projects were on hold. But with few relaxations, WEGoT is leaving no stone unturned to complete the pending installation projects, adopting complete hygiene and safety measures in place. The Customer Happiness Team at WEGoT is constantly available to resolve all queries of existing customers.
What keeps you excited
WEGoT aims to put India at the forefront of water conservation and pledges to save 10 Billion liters of water by 2022! This water conservancy revolution is what keeps everyone at WEGoT excited about.
A bit about you, Abilash
I have a degree in Electrical Engineering from the State University of New York and subsequently worked with Cisco systems for 3 years in leadership positions. I am responsible for building awareness of our intelligent solutions and driving marketing initiatives with specific focus on marketing communications, including advertising and promotions, distribution channel management, pricing, market research and public relations. With my deep connects in the industry, it is my job to ensure that this essential solution reaches the minds and hands of as many people as possible.
Prior to WEGOT, I founded VBMS, a successful company, which specializes in end-to-end security solutions. When I am not obsessing over WEGoT, I am a fitness enthusiast. I also represent India at Ultimate Frisbee.
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