How did you get started in the water treatment industry? Where did you begin?
I was doing my chemical engineering degree during my final year in university. That’s when I got interested in water treatment. I did some projects, when a company came to college for recruiting. The company was named Aquatech. It’s an American company and I got selected to work for them after several rounds of interviews.
It was the company of my choice and the field of my choice. It was where the entire journey started. It’s been about 6 and half years in the water industry, and more if you include college.
Which industry or segment is your core focus? What excites you most about this industry?
And the exciting part: since Oil & Gas onshore is upstream mainly, there is a lot of advancement happening because the oil dynamics are changing, like the way the oil is pulled out of the reservoir. A lot of development and innovation is happening. It is a good place to be in in the water industry. I think we can contribute a lot in that segment, and be part of the innovation. We can support companies, some of the leading companies, in their endeavor in how to optimise the production of oil, exploration and production. For food & beverage and process industry, I am talking about recycle & reuse.
The most exciting part of both segments combined is that there is an opportunity to provide a solution. And that gives an immense satisfaction. As opposed to simply competing for a competitive tender after it comes out and win the job. Instead, if you are able to work with your customers from a very early stage, provide them a solution. This is the most satisfying for me.
Why did you choose to work for Advanced Watertek?
When I got the call from Advanced Watertek, it was as a Design and Proposal Engineer. I would say I was mainly a Proposal Engineer at that point. I had done a little bit of design at Rochem but I was mainly a Proposal Engineer. My designation was Applications Engineer at Aquatech. They were doing only pre-order jobs, pre-order stage and then process.
I did some research on Advanced Watertek, and they said Design and Proposal Engineer. So it was very exciting for me as the designation itself gave me an opportunity to utilize my skills at very different levels. And being a small to medium scale company, there could be a great opportunity to give my ideas, and have things implemented. I was fortunate enough that I could manage some of the jobs from bidding stage until commissioning.
It would be extremely difficult to find a company where you can really contribute from bidding stage to providing solution to executing the system. That opportunity I got here. The knowledge and experience that you gain from such activity is invaluable. That is the something of the charm of the company culture that we have. So that really helped me. And it helped me stay, and looking forward.
How do you see the immediate future of the water treatment industry? Is there something that companies must do to stay afloat?
Most important is keeping up with the innovations that are happening and align with those innovations in our systems. When we take my segment into account, upstream, there is a whole lot of change happening. Everything is changing, the reservoir is changing, and people are talking about innovations. If our clients are talking about innovations, if they are talking about different ways to take out the oil, then of course there are people talking about different ways to treat water.
And second part, as I was saying, is reuse & recycle. This is the way forward in this industry. We have to be up to date. To me, conventional systems are very much over. Since it has become so competitive, there is nothing much left when you are talking about a conventional seawater system or a conventional brackish water system. In case of downstream, refineries and all, they’ve got the oil; everyone has extracted what they wanted. The way ahead, the future, is to align with the innovations, the optimization, that people are talking about.
Is there a quote or life philosophy that you like to live by? If not, is there a celebrated professional who’s product philosophy you look up to or strive to emulate?
I try to live the way I’ve felt life has taught me so far. There is a very famous quote about destiny and the path you choose. So the quote says, “Destiny is not the path chosen by you, it is the path given to you.” So for me, I believe destiny is not the path given to you, destiny is the path chosen by you. I believe that you keep on doing the thing towards your ultimate goal, what you have in your mind. And just concentrate on the steps. And forget where the destiny is going to take you. People say I’m going to choose my destiny to reach a particular location. I don’t believe that. For me, you work, step by step, you have a goal in your mind, and leave the destiny. It will take you wherever it wants to.