Doshion: Flush with Funds

Recycling water makes for a healthy planet (and a healthy balance sheet)

Published: Nov 6, 2012 06:48:01 AM IST
Updated: Nov 7, 2012 10:39:35 AM IST
Doshion: Flush with Funds
Image: Pravin indrekar for Forbes India
Ashit Doshi, MD, Doshion

Water, water everywhere not a drop to drink. India has 17 percent of the world’s population and perhaps 4 percent of world’s water. We hear of villagers walking kilometres to fetch water and we hear of urban areas where water is supplied for just a few hours. Doshion is one of the few companies—the publicly-listed VA Tech Wabag is another—which has the technology and the business model to cater to a variety of water needs like helping industries reuse water or developing projects to allow municipalities supply clean drinking water. Doshion closed last year with sales of Rs 587.25 crore and a net profit of Rs 25.20 crore, while its FY2011 sales were Rs 391.67 crore and net profit was Rs 14.53 crore.

The man behind it
Ashit Doshi, 46, is the man who has made this 35-year-old company competitive. “He is an assertive leader with a high degree of passion. He doesn’t want to wait for the market to develop but wants to create the market,” says Shivani Bhasin Sachdeva, founder, Indian Alternatives, who invested in Doshion five years ago when she was in IDFC Private Equity. For instance, Doshion has picked up a huge challenge in
developing a brand new water distribution system for Shivpuri town in Madhya Pradesh and tied up with foreign partners like Veolia, Dow and Asahi for the latest water treatment technologies.

Why it is a gem
There are a variety of companies trying to attack the $30 billion Indian water supply market but very few are able to make an integrated approach to solving a customer’s water problem. In that sense, Doshion is much like an electricity company that will set up a plant, create the distribution infrastructure and then have the billing system in place.

Two things set Doshion apart. First, it has access to almost all major water treatment technologies that allow it to treat water from almost all possible sources such that the treated water becomes as good as new. Its technology partnership with Veolia helps it do that. And it has the competence to put it all together to develop one-stop solutions for its clients. Second, its has the ability to put its skin in the game. It sets up the water treatment plant for its industrial customers or municipal corporations, runs it and then lets them pay it on a usage basis. “We know how to set up and manage these plants optimally. We are able to deliver the water at a 20-30 percent cheaper price than if they were to do it themselves,” says Ashit Doshi, CEO, Doshion.

Why it was hidden
Ashit Doshi runs a fairly quiet ship and being based in Ahmedabad helps. Besides, unlike roads, ports or power, the water sector hasn’t seen the sort of reforms that would put a company like Doshion in the limelight. Doshion  is focussed on the industrial and urban water supply market. “I think they are exceptionally strong in the industrial water treatment market which is not something that everyone notices,” says Bhasin Sachdeva.

Risks and Challenges
The biggest headwind it faces is the lack of regulatory clarity on water. The Centre gave road development a fillip when it created the National Highway Authority of India. There is a chance for India to improve its water supply infrastructure. Treatment and reuse of water is one huge step. “But a lack of clear-cut policy direction is slowing down the opportunity,” says Doshi.

(This story appears in the 09 November, 2012 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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  • Rana Kumawar

    Doshion only believes in becoming rich at others cost

    on Aug 22, 2015
  • Manoharsinh

    Doshoin is holding employees salary & annual benefits. Even not depositing pf regularly.

    on Apr 6, 2015
  • Pankaj S.

    Guys, Doshion doesn\'t have a penny to run the companies. Neither the deal mentioned above went through. No one is investing in the company and if you ever see any good comment on internet about the company, take it for sure they are all fake and paid by Doshion. They have no money to run the company neither they pay salaries to their employees on time - mostly they are 3 months delayed. Variable Pay are just on appointment letter - you will never get those PLI\'s, LTA, Conveyance etc. When you try to relieve yourself, you dont get relieving letters, service certificates and mostly they blackmail you to stay since there are no replacements coming up for the positions since market is already aware of their misery. Once you do get relieved, you never receive full and final settlements neither your PF forms ever get signed. More than 1000 Employees are struggling to get their full and final since last 3-4 years - if you dont believe, please check this site where all the ex employees have posted about their dues not getting cleared. fightforrightnow.wordpress.com

    on Jul 26, 2014
  • CA Benoi Antony

    Despite several reminders, no one in the organisation cares about ex-employees plea. SALARIES DUES NOT PAID SINCE 14 months. Pathetic. Didn't expect Forbes India publishing it. Balance sheet looks good on paper but not in reality. Utter bull. Worthless company.

    on Nov 12, 2012
  • Hiten Shah

    Our Salaries are outstanding since last 7 months post leaving the company. The Company is not paying its salaries on time. I am wondering how come forbes has published this article

    on Nov 8, 2012
  • Philip9876.com

    Water is the next frontier. Perhaps the issue on which the next wars will be fought. Countries like Singapore have mastered the art of industrial level cleaning of water. We need to catch up

    on Nov 6, 2012
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