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It’s been exciting past 12 months for us. Around 16 months ago (in June 2017), we (Mayur and I) had envisioned a media venture for the Water Industry that would be an integrated platform of print, online and live events. The dream was to create a neutral, unbiased platform that would be the most authoritative source of information for the water industry that propels decision-making and aids the growth of the industry. The platform would encourage the industry to share news, product information, technology white-papers, case studies, best practices, and standard operating procedures through active participation from the industry in the content generation.

We were very lucky to get early support for our dream from the Indian Express Group. After going through our business plan, the group had graciously offered to incubate our project for the first 12 months with the offer that we could then branch off on our own once we had settled down in the industry. This is how we launched Express Water in December 2017.

The high editorial values set by the group and its brand name helped us focus on the right content for the readers. The early pangs of a new product launch were offset by the initial logistical, financial and operational support from India’s leading media conglomerate and this went a long way in helping us deliver a quality product to the industry. The print launch in December 2017 was quickly followed by the online product in January 2018 and, in the past 8 months, we have emerged as a leading source of quality content for the industry to satisfy its information needs.

Our integrated 360-degree vision was completed when – in March 2018 – we executed our first event. JAL SABHA was envisioned as a unique platform for the decision-makers from the Water and Waste divisions of Municipal Corporations from across India. March 8th and 9th saw a gathering of 40 municipal corporations converge in Pune for a 1-Night/2-Day hosted event.

After launching all of our 3 formats in the first 4 months itself, this financial year the focus has been on consolidating our initial forays and preparing for the next most important milestone for us. As shared with you earlier, EXPRESS WATER was an incubation project with the Express Group and we had been preparing for the going out on our own.

I take great pleasure in sharing with you that from the October issue, we are on our own. We have formed our own independent company and this is the inaugural issue of SMART WATER & WASTE WORLD magazine.

We had the option of continuing with Express Water on a licensee agreement with The Indian Express Group. The option was very easy and would have allowed us to leverage a distinguished brand. But I (and have been lucky to have the support of a wonderful team) was always driven by the passion to create a brand and make a difference on our own. A licensee arrangement would have meant that the final ownership would have still been of The Express Group. We wanted to be in control of our own destiny and felt that we would benefit immensely if we had the complete right to our plans and its decisions without having to navigate the structures of a media conglomerate.

Also, the nature of the water industry is changing. New smarter utilities are emerging today having shed their bureaucratic set-ups and are rapidly moving to SMARTER networks focused on efficiency and data-driven customer service. Additionally, there is a greater focus on Waste today. Hence, we wanted a new name and identity that is in sync with the new smarter water user and decided on the name SMART WATER & WASTE WORLD which reflects our mission to cover this emerging trend.

We have completed all mandatory compliances as stipulated by the Ministry and Information and Broadcasting and have officially registered the title with the Registrar for The Newspapers of India (RNI). The Express Group has shared all the assets like previous content, database, design templates to the new entity, for us to now be an independent company. Most importantly, the people behind the brand have also moved to the rolls of the new company. This was very crucial to us, as we wanted to continue with the same quality product and benchmarks which we had set earlier.

I would like to take this opportunity to put on record our immense gratitude to the Indian Express Group in incubating us and helping us launch. I would also like to thank our early advertisers and sponsors VA TECH WABAG, L&T, ANDRITZ, PURE N CURE, QUA, ROCHEM, TIME TECHNOPLAST, TATA PROJECTS, JOSAB, and REWS, who had supported us then and have committed to support us in our new avatar. Their support is a vindication that we are on the right track.

We are also quite excited with some new alliances that we have struck and which we will announce by the end of this year.

It would be a lie if I did not confess that we are a little nervous. While we are quite confident of ourselves and the team, it’s not often that one gets to go through the birth pangs twice within the first 12 months. But we are passionate about the direction we are taking and, with the support from the industry, will prevail and grow.

I look forward to the support from every one of you for this new beginning!

Kailash Shirodkar
Founder & CEO
Smart Water & Waste World

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