Dr. Anuj Kumar Ghorpade: Paving The Way For Resilient Water Systems Through Innovation & Strategic Planning | CEOInsights Vendor
Dr. Anuj Kumar Ghorpade: Paving The Way For Resilient Water Systems Through Innovation & Strategic Planning

Dr. Anuj Kumar Ghorpade: Paving The Way For Resilient Water Systems Through Innovation & Strategic Planning

Dr. Anuj Kumar Ghorpade,   Co-Founder & CEO

Dr. Anuj Kumar Ghorpade

Co-Founder & CEO

Addressing water management challenges in developing countries is paramount for sustainable development. The scarcity of clean water, inadequate infrastructure, and environmental degradation pose severe threats to communities. Implementing advanced, smart, and economically feasible solutions is crucial. Such innovations not only optimize resource utilization but also enhance resilience against water-related crises, fostering economic growth. Giving precedence to efficient water management goes beyond necessity; it is a strategic investment guaranteeing a more vibrant, healthier, and equitable future for developing nations. Aligned with this objective, Dr. Anuj Kumar Ghorpade along with his Ph.D. supervisor Prof. Pradip Kalbar from IIT Bombay founded Ajivam Water.

Dr. AnujKumar Ghorpade, a visionary leader and Co-Founder of Ajivam Water, stands as an exemplary figure in the realm of water resource management and sustainable infrastructure development. Below is an excerpt of Dr. AnujKumar Ghorpade’s exclusive interaction with CEO Insights magazine.

Could you give a brief account of your professional background and experiences?

My professional odyssey unfolded as a civil engineer, graduating from Shivaji University Kolhapur in 2011. Venturing into the field, I served as a site engineer in Himachal Pradesh, spearheading the construction of a railway line where none existed before. This demanding stint provided hands-on experience and resilience crucial for any civil engineer. Seeking broader perspectives, I pursued a master's at the Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat, followed by a stint at Larsen and Toubro in Mumbai as a stormwater design specialist. There, I immersed myself in the intricacies of stormwater drains for railways, highways, and airports, refining my expertise.

Fuelling my thirst for knowledge, I embarked on a PhD journey at IIT Bombay, delving into the overlooked realm of water supply. I have completed by PhD under the supervision of Prof Pradip Kalbar at
IIT Bombay. Our research yielded innovative solutions for improving the performance of water supply system, leading to a patent currently under review. Workethics, patience and perseverance are few of the significant attributes which I have learnt from Prof. Kalbar. Convinced of the need for practical impact, we co-founded a startup - Ajivam Water, aiming to revolutionize water supply conditions. With a resilient team, we navigate challenges with the belief that our efforts will uplift the lives of stake holders and make a lasting contribution to the industry.

NIT Surat not only shaped my academic prowess but also instilled in me a dedication to excellence & a professional work ethic

Could you tell us about the unique experiences Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat offers and what you learned from the campus beyond academics?

Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology in Surat offered me an enriching experience beyond academics. SVNIT became a melting pot of diversity, introducing me to friends from various corners of the country. This multicultural environment broadened my perspectives, showcasing how different minds approach the same issues.

During my Masters, Professor Mansoor Ahmed, my guide for Master’s Thesis, left a profound impact on me. His strong commitment to research and professionalism was inspiring. WitProf. Mansoor Ahmed inspired me to do a PhD. NIT Surat not only shaped my academic prowess but also instilled in me a dedication to excellence and a professional work ethic.

How would you define Ajivam Water as an organization and its current position in the market?

Ajivam Water stands as an organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of urban communities and consumers by revolution-izing water supply systems. Our primary focus lies in satisfying our customers, primarily urban local bodies and parastatal entities responsible for construction and operation of water supply system. Unlike conventional consultants, we don't offer generic solutions based on foreign conditions; instead, we tailor our approach to uniquely Indian challenges. Over the past two years, our projects, whether in feasibility studies or execution, have aimed to bridge the gap between current and improved water supply systems. Ajivam Water's distinctive feature
lies in its commitment to addressing Indian issues with indigenous solutions, making us a pioneering force in the market.

Tell us about your leadership approach. What are the guidelines or methodologies you follow as a leader?

In my leadership approach, I prioritize understanding my team's strengths and capabilities during the initial weeks. Rather than imposing tasks based on my preferences, I tailor assignments according to their individual strengths and interests. If someone excels in site work and client communication, I ensure they are allocated tasks aligned with their expertise, fostering efficiency. Open communication is a corner-stone of my leadership style, I maintain an open channel for discussion, irrespective of hierarchy. Whether it's a junior engineer or a project manager, I encourage team members to express concerns or seek assistance, fostering a collaborative and supportive work environment that extends beyond professional matters to personal challenges.

In light of your strong experience within the industry, what advice would you give to budding industry leaders?

Embrace the process, not just the results. Make bold decisions, deviate from the norm,and prioritize delivering substantial value to clients over mere profits. Having spent seven to eight years in the water supply industry I've witnessed the repercussions of subpar practices. Focus on providing genuine solutions to clients and stakeholders - profits will naturally follow. In a private limited company, profitability is essential, but coupling it with meaningful contributions ensures sustainable success. My advice to budding leaders: prioritize impact, and make a difference and prosperity will organically follow suit.

Dr. AnujKumar Ghorpade, Co-Founder & CEO, Ajivam

Dr. AnujKumar Ghorpade, Co-Founder & CEO of Ajivam Water, navigates an entrepre-neurial journey from civil engineering roles to pioneering water solutions. His journey from site engineering to co-founding Ajivam showcases his dedication to transforming water management through innovation.

Awards & Recognitions –

•Received Best Paper Award at 55th IWWA Annual Convention, 20th- 22nd January, 2023, Hadapsar, Pune, India. Ministry of JAL Shakti Recommendation - Government of India

•Maharashtra Engineering Research Institute Recognition - Notable nodal body for irrigation in Maharashtra

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