[Round One Winner: 5/8] Vijay Kedia – Solution to Water Crisis of a Village
Posted By: Rise Team|Dated: January 6, 2012
After losing all his investments in land due to water scarcity problems, Vijay Kedia devised a water conservation mechanism that could solve India’s water crisis.
As you read this, notice a few things:
His answer to what sparked the idea for Kedia Farm Patterns—like a previous project champion, he realized a problem he was facing also impacted a larger community. So in solving his problem, he was coming up with a solution for others.
He failed at first: he invested six years in a farming project that eventually failed. But this led him to think of a solution to the water scarcity problem he faced. Bottom line, it has taken him years to improve and perfect his methodology—it takes time, and there is no “perfect” idea or start.
His biggest challenge is fascinating: although he has numerous credibility markers (awards, patents, and recognitions), people are still reluctant to buy his technology. “They don’t know how to spend money”, he says, “it takes time”—some interesting takeaways on getting in his customers’ heads to get them to buy.
Who are you?
Vikay Kedia, mechanical engineer from BITS Pilani 1977 batch. After graduating from PILANI, I worked for four years in service, and then I moved to Aurangabad. There I became a civil contractor; I retired from my flourishing business in 1996, bought another land and started experimenting on water conservation. I’m in this business for last 15-16 years.
I decided to come in the field of water conservation because that time I realized that water is not the problem of only Vijay Kedia, it’s the problem being faced by whole humanity.
What sparked the idea for Kedia Farm Patterns?
I took a 20 acre farm. Within 6 years, everything failed, I lost total crop because of the water failed. There was no water in the ground, so ultimately I get to leave that project. Then I decided to come in the field of water conservation because that time I realized that water is not the problem of only Vijay Kedia, it’s the problem being faced by whole humanity.
Why did you start the company?
People wanted me to do the work; they didn’t want to do it themselves. So last year I converted it into a business, started a company, lost money because in the first year no one has the profit. But immediately, somewhere in my heart, the idea was it should go to the society.
So we selected two villages in June, made the whole project on our own to create a model. We think it will take about two years to solve the water crisis because normally rain is the primary source of water, but rainfall is unreliable, you never know how much it will rain, when it will rain. Similarly, rain is again not controlled by us—how much water will be accepted by our land, how much will be given back to your well—you don’t know.
People wanted me to do the work; they didn’t want to do it themselves. So last year I converted it into a business, started a company
How does the conservation method work?
Roots of the crop cannot absorb water; they take only moisture. So, by this method, when we recharge water underground, it creates moisture, and that moisture remains there throughout the year. So the plants and crops do not need maximum water from irrigation. So by doing this we have been able to save electrical power, which is required for irrigation.
What is your biggest challenge?
People say if they see it with their own eyes, they believe it, but human being doesn’t want to change easily. That is my biggest problem in last ten years: there is so much strength of this technology, I’ve won many awards, patents, I’m known all over India now. But still people don’t accept it because they don’t know how to spend the money on their own. It will take time, it takes time.
Your experience with Spark the Rise?
Mahindra is a known name. When I told them “my project has won,” our collector called me “OK Mr. Kedia, tell me about your project, how we can implement it in Aurangabad at least”. Today only on the flight I met an investor. He said “OK great, it has been accepted on Spark the Rise, so why not come to me and implement it.” I was following you for last one year, he has not taken note of it, being on Spark the Rise, he has taken a note of it.
Vijay Bhaskar, one of the winners for Round 1 for Spark the Rise, has developed a product that improves the lives of farmers–providing them safety, and saving them time, money, and labor—by allowing them to water their fields remotely via their cell phones.
How do you turn the problem of forest fires in the Himalayan region into energy for rural India, 2K jobs, 4K acres of restored biodiversity and 60K carbon credits annually? Check out how Rajnish is doing it.
People around the world are living Rise every day - accepting no limits, thinking alternatively, and driving positive change. Do you know someone whose story should be shared, or an organization whose work should be recognized?