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Meet The Climate Change Conversant Who Made it to Entrepreneur India's 35under35 List Propelled by a vision to slash carbon emissions born out of incorrect waste disposal, Som Narayan birthed bio-gas production firm Carbon Masters.

By Nimisha Gautam

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Blenders Pride Reserve Collection presents Entrepreneur's 35U35 list included some path-breaking names from the field of entrepreneurship and the new-age bio-gas producer Som Narayan, made it to the list owing to the climate conscious firm he founded that converts wet waste into eco-friendly fuel.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MOP&NG) has announced that as many as 5,000 plants for extracting biogas from wet waste are envisaged to be set up in India. The move comes with an attempt to replace fuels like petroleum and natural gas, and limit the country's dependence on oil imports. Anticipating this juncture, Bangalore-based Carbon Masters is already way ahead in the game, seven years to be precise.

Having launched the company at a university office in Edinburgh with the help of fellow colleague and co-founder Kevin Houston, Som Narayan returned to India when Bangalore's garbage crisis was at its zenith in 2012. Among the stench of heaps of ill-disposed city waste, the man caught a whiff of opportunity in processing wet waste, bottling the resulting biogas and selling it to commercial kitchens as a substitute for LPG. Carbon Masters' pilot projects and its brand Carbonlites caught the attention of the $15 billion Mahindra & Mahindra Group, which invested in setting up the startup's flagship Rs 7 crore plant in Malur, Bangalore. "Propelled by additional funding, I also sat toying with the possibility of producing organic fertilizer and a replacement for vehicular fuel to boost green transportation. An onsite waste management solutions integral was also added to the company's portfolio to join crucial dots in the entire waste disposal process," says Narayan.

His business now stinks, not only of the tonnes of wet waste he procures but also of entrepreneurial success. The concept has roped in local municipal administration and residential associations as well as private firms such as The Wadia Group and ISKCON. In addition to receiving a great many financial gains, the startup was also awarded the title of Climate Solver by WWF for having the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions drastically by an estimate of 28 million tonnes.

For someone so dedicated to providing commercial solutions to combat climate change, Som still has a long way to go. Banking on a combination of Kevin's expertise and his own eye for asset-light business models, he plans to enter new cities that suffer from landfills on the brink of avalanche. The duo is keen on raising Rs 56 crore as part of a Series A round in early 2019 to realize their target of growing the brand to a Rs 350 crore business in the next five years.

(This article appears in the February 2019 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)

Nimisha Gautam

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