Eco-entrepreneur saves for next generation

Eco-entrepreneur saves for next generation


An economist turned eco-entrepreneur Chandrasekhar Hariharan who has been conferred Green Builder – Extraordinaire, deserves the award rightly, as he is way ahead in foreseeing the lurking danger due to over exploitation of natural resources, finds out T R Sathish Kumar

He has designed and built houses for hundreds of people, but he does not own a house. He does not even plan to own one.

His projects are worth crores of rupees, but he does not zip in swanky cars. He says as he was without money for many years in his life, he does not know what to do with money. Even now he draws not more than Rs 20,000 a month from his company -  Biodiversity Conservation (India) Limited (BCIL).

A chartered accountant by education, Chandrasekhar Hariharan also did masters in econometrics and corporate communications from PennState, Harrisburg. He worked as a business journalist with reputed newspapers for a few years and also was with some non-government organisations.

Following the heart

He could have become an independent professional chartered accountant or landed a lucrative job in a top corporate company and could have reached the top position by now. But he was not cut for the usual. He followed his heart.

Chandrasekhar Hariharan turned into an eco-entrepreneur who has presided over national and international projects on water, energy and green buildings since 1989.

Since 1995, he has been creating community-based, sustainably developed residential enclaves through BCIL.

In the last three years, BCIL has won eight awards from six nations.

Since 2002, the company has won 14 awards from Indian and global institutions for leadership in sustainable design.

Chandrasekhar Hariharan is a recipient of the ADB Water Champion award in 2006. In February 2010, he was conferred the distinguished Udyog Rattan Award for Excellence by the Institute of Economic Studies, New Delhi.

Green Builder – Extraordinaire

Buildtech 11 is conferring Green Builder – Extraordinaire on him on January 28 in Mysore. But he says he does not deserve any award, humbly. He says there are many more achievers, who need to be recognised.

To inspire others

“When one gets recognition in the form of an award, one is in a better position to communicate his thoughts and inspire others. So awards are helpful,” he said.

“This will be the last generation to use COGM (coal, oil, gas and minerals) and exhaust them. We have exhausted COGM, which took 2 billion years to form in just 60 years. My aim is to remove COGM from H3O (hotels, hospital, homes and offices) to become sustainable. Apart from saving our planet, one can even save money and earn peace of mind by becoming self-sustainable,” he said.

“A family of four can save at least 35,000 litres of water every year by using aerators and flow restrictors on taps in energy-efficient houses we build. We discourage installation of bathtubs as it drains a lot of water. The case is the same with expenditure on power due to use of LED and such energy-efficient lights. So, even if our houses seem marginally expensive than the ones built by other builders, our houses are a good investment in the long run,”  Chandrasekhar Hariharan explains.

Apart from his staff at BCIL, he outsources design and plan from other professional.
He also trains professionals in the green technology. He also lends services as a water knowledge and communication coordinator for Manila-based Asian Development Bank.