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For IT Support please contact:
Arvind Nagwani ― +91-9811-862-456
Arvind Deshmukh ― +91-9821-169-663
Deepak Tokas ― +91-9953-533-631

For IT Support please contact:
Arvind Nagwani ― +91-9811-862-456
Arvind Deshmukh ― +91-9821-169-663
Deepak Tokas ― +91-9953-533-631

Past Webinars

Webinar Proceedings

Executive Summary

The Webinar “Small Water Enterprises’ 1 (SWE) Strategy to Adapt During COVID-19” was held on Thursday May 14, 2020 to promote knowledge exchange and discuss scale up strategies among SWE implementers under the aegis of SEWAH – ‘Sustainable Enterprises for Water and Health’, a joint initiative of Safe Water Network India and USAID. The SWE implementers shared the challenges and adaptation strategies to run sustainable operations, retain teams, and continue to serve communities in these unprecedented VUCA times that pandemic COVID-19 has thrust upon mankind. The SWE sector suffered a setback as COVID-19 lockdown hit us at the beginning of the peak summer, during which more than 50% of annual business is transacted by water sale. In addition, the majority of the CSR funds are now being prioritized towards COVID care and rehabilitation. SWE implementers, today like other businesses, need to reinvent to adapt to the current situation. Organizations are strengthening their foundations through agile, high performance lean teams and adaptive strategies for survival during 2020 that offer customer simplicity.

We extend our sincere gratitude to Dr. Ashok Kumar Jain, Adviser NITI Aayog, Government of India (Rural Development, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Housing and Sustainable Development Goals) for Chairing and summarizing the session. We also sincerely thank Mr. Anand Rudra, Senior Adviser – WASH, USAID India, for addressing the SWE implementers and encouraging them to work cohesively for the scale-up of the sector under the ambit of SWE Alliance, table the concerns of the SWE sector to the NITI Aayog urging for policy reforms. Special thanks to our donors and patrons USAID, Honeywell Hometown Solutions India Foundation and Pentair Foundation for their grant and technology support.

This Beyond the Pipe Webinar had 14 imminent panelists – national SWE implementers who are providing decentralized affordable safe drinking water in rural India for over two decades and have now forayed in the urban cities in the last 6-8 years. Their footprint is present in all the States of India except six northeastern states. The participating SWE organizations included Decentralised Water Systems, Drinkwell Systems, Earth Water Limited, Janajal, MS Scientifics & Aqua Systems, Maithri Aquatech, Naandi Community Water Services, OCEO Water, Rite Water Solutions, Tata Projects, Sarvajal, WaterHealth India, Bala Vikasa and Safe Water Network India. We thank the 125 participants ranging from civil society, academia, technology providers, corporates, and international development organizations for their participation and questions.

The panelists, SWE Implementers highlighted the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on their operations, challenges they faced, strategies they adopted for business continuity, and serving their communities. They willingly agreed to share their best practices.

The strategies adopted by the SWE implementers during the lockdown ranged from keeping their teams informed, connected, and motivated; transparently sharing the changes in operations and services; promoting employee safety, and providing flexible working hours. There was increased communication and support to employees, messaging to their communities and increased donor engagement. Everyone logged into the virtual world where telecommuting and teleworking were the new norm. The leadership undertook risk assessment, developed a revised forecast and the business plans to examine the continuity of operations while building operational resilience. At the field level, the first and foremost task undertaken was to instill safety protocols and precautions for the entire chain, involving SWE entrepreneurs, operators, repair technicians, and the consumers. There was increased IEC activity for personal hygiene, social distancing, frequent hand wash, personal protection, use of masks, gloves, and sanitizers. Disinfection of water treatment plants, dispensing touchpoints were adopted by the majority of the SWE implementers. And a few implementers conducted save water during hand wash campaigns.

Lockdown challenges commonly faced by the SWE implementers included the inability to expand, setting up new plants, reduced consumer footfalls, affected distribution systems, delay in resolving technical issues due to restrictions on people and spares movement, complete loss of revenues from the water treatment plants at cities, schools and railways stations as they were shut down. Some of the SWEs falling in the ‘red zone’ were also completely shut owing to the lockdown restrictions.

Post lockdown strategies include driving cashless digital payment system incorporation, touchless transactions, remote monitoring system installation for visibility of operations, hand wash stations at their Water ATM sites, IEC on personal, community and team safety as prescribed by the government. Ask from the Government: The SWE Implementers seek commercial concessions from the Government on license fees, electricity charges, capital outlay, exemption on GST on the services provided, use of Direct Benefit transfer to provide safe water to the poor.

What lies ahead: SWE sector was barely sustainable during the pre-COVID times and is now under the threat for survival. This crisis has led to water sales revenue loss, increased expenditure in employee safety, setting up hand wash station, frequent disinfection, etc. In addition, the sector requires investment for upgrading the SWE or Water ATMs for automated contactless dispensing, incorporating technology for migration to digital and cashless payment modes, etc. The CSR funding is shrinking.

The SWE sector has to reimagine itself.

The Webinar “Small Water Enterprises’ 1 (SWE) Strategy to Adapt During COVID-19” was held on Thursday May 14, 2020 to promote knowledge exchange and discuss scale up strategies among SWE implementers under the aegis of SEWAH – ‘Sustainable Enterprises for Water and Health’, a joint initiative of Safe Water Network India and USAID. The SWE implementers shared the challenges and adaptation strategies to run sustainable operations, retain teams, and continue to serve communities in these unprecedented VUCA times that pandemic COVID-19 has thrust upon mankind. The SWE sector suffered a setback as COVID-19 lockdown hit us at the beginning of the peak summer, during which more than 50% of annual business is transacted by water sale. In addition, the majority of the CSR funds are now being prioritized towards COVID care and rehabilitation. SWE implementers, today like other businesses, need to reinvent to adapt to the current situation. Organizations are strengthening their foundations through agile, high performance lean teams and adaptive strategies for survival during 2020 that offer customer simplicity.

We extend our sincere gratitude to Dr. Ashok Kumar Jain, Adviser NITI Aayog, Government of India (Rural Development, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Housing and Sustainable Development Goals) for Chairing and summarizing the session. We also sincerely thank Mr. Anand Rudra, Senior Adviser – WASH, USAID India, for addressing the SWE implementers and encouraging them to work cohesively for the scale-up of the sector under the ambit of SWE Alliance, table the concerns of the SWE sector to the NITI Aayog urging for policy reforms. Special thanks to our donors and patrons USAID, Honeywell Hometown Solutions India Foundation and Pentair Foundation for their grant and technology support.

This Beyond the Pipe Webinar had 14 imminent panelists – national SWE implementers who are providing decentralized affordable safe drinking water in rural India for over two decades and have now forayed in the urban cities in the last 6-8 years. Their footprint is present in all the States of India except six northeastern states. The participating SWE organizations included Decentralised Water Systems, Drinkwell Systems, Earth Water Limited, Janajal, MS Scientifics & Aqua Systems, Maithri Aquatech, Naandi Community Water Services, OCEO Water, Rite Water Solutions, Tata Projects, Sarvajal, WaterHealth India, Bala Vikasa and Safe Water Network India. We thank the 125 participants ranging from civil society, academia, technology providers, corporates, and international development organizations for their participation and questions.

The panelists, SWE Implementers highlighted the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on their operations, challenges they faced, strategies they adopted for business continuity, and serving their communities. They willingly agreed to share their best practices.

The strategies adopted by the SWE implementers during the lockdown ranged from keeping their teams informed, connected, and motivated; transparently sharing the changes in operations and services; promoting employee safety, and providing flexible working hours. There was increased communication and support to employees, messaging to their communities and increased donor engagement. Everyone logged into the virtual world where telecommuting and teleworking were the new norm. The leadership undertook risk assessment, developed a revised forecast and the business plans to examine the continuity of operations while building operational resilience. At the field level, the first and foremost task undertaken was to instill safety protocols and precautions for the entire chain, involving SWE entrepreneurs, operators, repair technicians, and the consumers. There was increased IEC activity for personal hygiene, social distancing, frequent hand wash, personal protection, use of masks, gloves, and sanitizers. Disinfection of water treatment plants, dispensing touchpoints were adopted by the majority of the SWE implementers. And a few implementers conducted save water during hand wash campaigns.

Lockdown challenges commonly faced by the SWE implementers included the inability to expand, setting up new plants, reduced consumer footfalls, affected distribution systems, delay in resolving technical issues due to restrictions on people and spares movement, complete loss of revenues from the water treatment plants at cities, schools and railways stations as they were shut down. Some of the SWEs falling in the ‘red zone’ were also completely shut owing to the lockdown restrictions.

Post lockdown strategies include driving cashless digital payment system incorporation, touchless transactions, remote monitoring system installation for visibility of operations, hand wash stations at their Water ATM sites, IEC on personal, community and team safety as prescribed by the government. Ask from the Government: The SWE Implementers seek commercial concessions from the Government on license fees, electricity charges, capital outlay, exemption on GST on the services provided, use of Direct Benefit transfer to provide safe water to the poor.

What lies ahead: SWE sector was barely sustainable during the pre-COVID times and is now under the threat for survival. This crisis has led to water sales revenue loss, increased expenditure in employee safety, setting up hand wash station, frequent disinfection, etc. In addition, the sector requires investment for upgrading the SWE or Water ATMs for automated contactless dispensing, incorporating technology for migration to digital and cashless payment modes, etc. The CSR funding is shrinking.

The SWE sector has to reimagine itself.

Download the Proceedings

Please download the detailed webinar proceedings

Register for the Webinar

Link to attend the Webinar

For IT Support please contact:
Arvind Nagwani ― +91-9811-862-456
Arvind Deshmukh ― +91-9821-169-663
Deepak Tokas ― +91-9953-533-631