Family values and culture did not let Namita Banka to work with any other company. That did not stop her to get in to any profession. She started off her career with jewellery design and manufacturing. She moved with her husband to different parts of the country doing successful business in jewellery everywhere. Eventually, she had come to the City with the transfer of her husband and created Banka enterprises, which manufactures bio-toilets.
Talking about the idea, she says, “I always wanted to do something for the environment. After shifting here, I don’t want to continue the jewellery business but want to get in to the business that can create difference to the public life. To pursue the dream, I joined a course in NGO management in 2009 in Centre for Social Initiative and Management (CSIM). After completion, I started my own company which initially worked as a service agent for Vibhu Composite works and Aikon Technologies, orginal equipment manufactures (OEMs) of controlled discharge toilets.”
The initially challenge for the company is to make sure the toilets sold to Indian railways by the OEMs were functioning properly. “We knew very well there were no issues with manufacturing of the toilets but it is the faulty usage which created problems. We worked the round the clock with our team to make 90 per cent of the toilets fully functional with our training.
“This helped us to gain expertise in the area and later got the technologies from DRDO to build bio-toilets. This is a great solution for people who could not construct toilets for various reasons. These bio-toilets can be placed tanywhere; fitting does take more than a day, does not need huge space. More important of all, it can be used in the areas where there is no connection to the sewage systems. The outlet water that comes from the bio tank can be used for gardening purposes,” she says.
This technology helped the company to turn as manufacturer and make it stand among major companies to whom it provided services. Talking about the challenges, she says, it is very difficult to compete with big companies and win orders. The bureaucracy also doesn’t support small companies.”
The company aims to cater these toilets at public places, rural areas, and construction areas, hilly areas and the areas where there is no sewage connection. The company which has a turnover of Rs.75 lakh last fiscal is aiming for Rs.2 crore this year with the increasing awareness of bio-toilets. It also started offering services in Nairobi by providing 27 bio-toilets.