As Water Saving Week in the UK is marked to raise awareness of the issues around water use, we highlight an Executive MBA student with water tech ambitions.
Kanishka Arumugam is Co-CEO of his family business EKKI based in India, specialising in sustainable water technologies.
The company began in 1981 by producing agriculture pumps but has since moved onto cutting edge sustainable water technologies, which are marketed internationally.
Kanishka, a next-gen family business entrepreneur, has also setup an International Joint Venture Alliance with Germany’s HOMA, a world leader in wastewater technology.
‘What I'm trying to do is solve the global water issue. I believe that like fintech and health tech, water tech will be very big. Today, 70% of water use is in agriculture and the rest, 30% in buildings and industry. Nearly half of the world will not have water by 2030 as urbanisation and climate change make an impact.’
For Kanishka, the approach to his business has been informed by insights on the EMBA programme:
‘The programme has opened a lot of my thinking on leadership and I hope to attract new people onto my team. The applied academia model will help me to translate theory into practice in my family business.’
Kanishka believes that smart pumps, akin to smart watches and mobile phones, are the future, to help to balance regions prone to flooding and those prone to drought.
The company uses technologies such as advanced waste water solutions and digital solutions, to bring in water efficiency. EKKI is working on improving quality, quantity and efficiency in the water sector, in agriculture, building, industry and public utilities.
EKKI is also investing and partnering with water technology accelerators and digital startups.
Kanishka sees innovative ideas and models in different industries as part of the solution. As the youngest of his cohort, he values engagement with his fellow students and having access to groups in the wider University, to energise his perspectives on business:
‘I enjoy learning from peers and applying what I’ve learned. I thought I'd be the only guy coming all the way from India, but people come from as far afield as New Zealand and Singapore for this programme. It's embedded very much into the Oxford larger University - world number one with a thousand-year-old history.’
The meaning of the family business name EKKI is to ‘pump’ or lift up’ in the ancient Tamil Indian language. With that in mind, Kanishka reflected:
‘Surround yourself with incredibly talented, intellectual and kind human beings - you are who you hang around with.’
Find out more about the EMBA programme at Oxford Saïd