Business Ideas, Business Plans, Calendar, Innovation, Motivations, Resources

World Startup Expo 2016


An exciting 3-day platform aimed at attracting over 7,000 attendees, including startups, leading technology providers, investors, thought leaders and influencers


21-23 November, Bengaluru

Click Here for the Preliminary Brochure

Business Ideas, Innovation, News

India’s ‘Plastic Man’ and His Incredible Innovation

Achievers 6

India’s ‘Plastic Man’ and His Incredible Innovation


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Did you know that an Indian has already invented a method to convert hazardous plastic waste into roads? Unfortunately, his achievement has neither been appreciated nor remembered by our government.

R Vasudevan, the ‘Plastic-Man’ of India is a Maduari-based chemistry professor. He came up with an innovative method to reuse plastic waste to construct better, more durable and very cost-effective roads. The roads also show greater resistance to damages caused by water during rains.

Sadly, our own country did not take him seriously, and now the Netherlands is testing his idea and constructing roads using his patented technology. The technique will involves molding of plastic waste using blue metal into pre-fabricated bricks. These bricks help to build roads quickly.

This system will not only help to use up dangerous plastics for a good cause, but also allow roads to be built quickly. The plastic also provides durability to the roads as well as lightens the surface load as plastic is lighter than traditional road material. The maintenance cost will also be lower compared to asphalt roads. As per The Guardian, these roads are also hollow, making it easier to install cables and utility pipelines below the surface. Sections can be prefabricated in a factory and transported to where they are needed, reducing on-site construction, while the shorter construction time and low maintenance will mean less congestion caused by roadworks. Lighter materials can also be transported more efficiently.

India needs such innovations to tackle its mounting environmental and infrastructure problems. It is surprising that no mainstream media channel has tried to highlight this novel innovation yet.


Source :

Courtesy : Tusna Park


Indian government planning to set up 100 incubation centres, 500 tinkering labs


The Indian government is planning to set up 100 new incubation centres, while scaling-up the existing ones and establish 500 ‘Atal tinkering labs’ for schools, under the new initiatives of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), launched by NITI Aayog. The details:

Atal Incubation Centres (AIC)

  • can be setup for manufacturing, transport, energy , health, education, agriculture, water and sanitation.
  • The government will provide support to academic and non-academic institutions (companies/technology parks/group of individuals) to establish new incubation centres across India.
  • The government has pledged an initial grant of Rs. 10 crore for establishing AICs over a period of 5 years towards capital investment, operations, and maintenance expenses.
  • AIM will also provide Rs. 10 crore over a period of two years to scale up existing incubation centres.

Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) will be set up in schools across India, where young children will get a chance to work with tools and equipment to understand the concepts of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

  • will provide an initial “establishment grant” of Rs 10 lakh to schools (grade VI–XII) across India.
  • Rs 10 lakh will be provided for each lab over 5 years for operational expenses.
  • NITI Aayog has called for applications to be submitted online from eligible schools, organisations and individuals for the three schemes. The last date for submission of application is 27th June, 2016.

Startups incubation program by governments

– SETU program for startups: In February 2015, a “techno-financial incubation and facilitation program” called the Self Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) had been proposed, and Rs 1000 crore was initially set aside for the same.

– In April, Telangana government had announced policies and initiatives to help promote startups and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure in the state.

– In March, The Tamil Nadu Government and IT industry lobby group Nasscom had set-up a startup warehouse in Chennai. Nasscom had also set-up another startup warehouse in Bangalore with the help of the Karnataka Government in 2014. It also has startup warehouses in Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Kochi, Gurgaon and Hyderabad.

– In December 2014, it had been announced that Incubation centres (National Centre of Excellence) under PPP mode with NASSCOM and other industry players will be set up, to host startups, SMEs and students.

– In the budget presentation of July 2014, the finance minister had proposed a nationwide “District level Incubation and Accelerator Program” for incubation of new ideas and providing necessary support to accelerate entrepreneurship.

Innovation, News, Social Entrepreneurship

Generateing Water in Drought Affected Areas

This Experiment Using a Glass Cover and the Sun Can Generate Water Even in Drought Affected Areas!

Tanaya Singh

April 7, 2016

In a semi-arid region of Satara district in Maharashtra, there is a plot of lush green land with about 20 fully-grown, beautiful trees – all of which were the part of a very efficient experiment. The seedlings for these trees were fed with water obtained from dry soil, with the help of solar energy.

“I did my PhD in America way back in the late 1970s. And most of my work was around solar distillation of water. I looked at everything that could possibly be done with solar energy at that time and found that if you dig a small hole in the desert, and cover it with plastic, solar energy heats the soil and you can collect a cup of water every day. This was something that remained at the back of my mind for years,” says Dr. Anil Rajvanshi, Director of Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) – a non-profit research and development institute based in Phaltan, Maharashtra.

In 1981, Dr. Rajvanshi returned to India with the aim of using his education to work for the development of rural India, and started establishing the energy and sustainable development work at NARI.

Dr. Anil Rajvanshi

“I came to this very dry and partially semi-arid region. Sometime in the 1980s, the Government of India conducted a very large-scale tree plantation program. But of the many seeds that were planted, only a few resulted in fully-grown trees. Most of the seeds perished,” he remembers.

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Business Ideas, Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship

Transformational Rain Water Harvesting

A reservoir of hope for poverty alleviation that also addresses problems such as crop failure

A social entrepreneur and innovator based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Biplab Ketan Paul, has devised an innovative and path-breaking water-harvesting community initiative led by women. He has facilitated more than 14,000 farmers and transformed 40,000 acres of barren, disaster-affected or highly saline land into productive farms.

“Water is powerful, you cannot control water,” says Biplab, 46, who has successfully harnessed the precious natural commodity through an innovative process named ‘Bhungroo,’ which uses pipes to filter and store rain water in underground reservoirs with capacities to hold as much as 40 million litres of  water in it.

Biplab’s innovative process to harness rainwater with the help of women’s groups has transformed the lives of farmers in arid rural Gujarat

A single Bhungroo – the Gujarati word for a hollow pipe –unit harvests water for only about 10 days a year, but supplies water for as long as seven months and ensures food security for five families by irrigating two crops in two seasons for at least 25 years. Besides, this non-saline rainwater reduces the salinity of groundwater, making it fit for agricultural use.

Water has been the leitmotif of Biplab’s life, right from his formative years in Hooghly, then an idyllic town on the banks of river Ganges, 62 km from Kolkata.

Both his parents earned modest incomes, and the greatest gift they gave Biplab and his two equally intelligent sisters was the love of books and empathy for others.

After his graduation and postgraduation in Economics from Jadavpur University, while studying at the Centre for Environment Education, Ahmedabad, and working in the Aga Khan Development Network, he was hit by ground realities of farming in arid rural Gujarat.

Lok Vikas, an NGO, had invited Biplab to provide technical knowhow for addressing the drinking water problem at Mehsana district of Gujarat. In 2001 while conducting a biodiversity analysis in villages there, he learnt about the far-reaching effects of water scarcity and contamination.

In Mehsana there was a peculiar situation: farmers were not allowed to draw underground water, yet a water park with 1.5 lakh borewells depleted ground water, pushing the level from 200 feet to 1,200 feet in just ten years. “The small farmers could not survive in this scenario,” recalls Biplab.

In 2004 Biplab was invited by the Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs of the US Government as part of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). In Miami, Biplab learnt how the city secured fresh water for residents in its salinity- affected regions.

Each Bhungroo unit is owned and managed by a group of five women belonging to small and marginal farmer families

This was the genesis of Bhungroo. “I learnt things that I applied in a constructive way,” says Biplab.

In 2007, Biplab conceptualized the social enterprise Naireeta Services Private Limited, with his wife Trupti Jain as founder-manager, and himself as innovator and director, looking after the technology aspects.

Naireeta promotes a social business model that ensures women empowerment, as each Bhungroo unit has to be owned and managed by women from small and marginal farmer families. Now there are seven in the team, along with 17 women farmer volunteers and eight members on an on-call basis.

The Women Self Help Groups of a village identify the below-poverty- line women members of a village with the help of Biplab’s team.

A group of five then agrees to their roles in the group and the costs of maintenance. One of them gives a part of her land for construction of the Bhungroo while the other members contribute labour, bringing an added sense of teamwork.

Biplab with a group of  women managers of a Bhungroo unit

The first Bhungroo units were installed in five villages in Patan district of Gujarat in 2002 in nine months at nearly Rs. seven lakhs each.

The current Bhungroo units come in 17 designs and their prices range from Rs. four to 22 lakhs, based upon 29 variables such as rainfall and subsoil. Installation of the unit takes a mere three days.

A one-time investment of Rs. 8 to 9 lakh in Bhungroo can generate an income of Rs. 3 lakh per annum and the investor breaks even after 36 months. It increases a farmer’s agricultural income illustratively from Rs 11,000 a year to a minimum of Rs 34,000 in three months.

Each Bhungroo unit caters to the irrigation need of 15 acres of land, making that much land productive twice a year.

With several awards and honours such as the Ashoka Globaliser Award for Innovation in 2012 and 2014, Biplab has received grants, awards and accreditations from organizations such as the World Bank, the Commonwealth, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Asian Development Bank.

Biplab has implemented the Bhungroo technology in several African, EU and Asian countries

Bhungroo technology has been replicated widely in Gujarat, Karnataka, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha. Internationally, Bhungroo has crossed over to Africa (Ghana, Liberia, Kenya), EU countries, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Biplab has made Bhungroo not only a reservoir of water, but a reservoir of hope for poverty alleviation and women empowerment, besides addressing seminal problems such as crop failure.

By  Kavita Kanan Chandra
07 Apr 2016

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