Air pollution in India is a serious health issue. According to a report by IQAir, of the 30 most polluted cities in the world, 21 were in India in 2019. As per a study based on 2016 data, at least 140 million people in India breathe air that is 10 times or more over the world health organisation’s (WHO) safe limit.
A number of startups are trying to find solutions to the problem. LogicLadder, a company founded by Mayank Chauhan and Atindra Chandel in 2011, helps companies to have a data-led approach to going green. The Gurugram-based startup creates software that makes energy and environment data simple to understand and act upon.
Based in Delhi, the founders realised the pollution crisis played havoc in the lives of people and also the society at large.
Mayank says, “We thought we should do something about it and we started analysing it deeper. We concluded that enterprises were one of the largest causes for environmental issues, and it was easier to solve the problem at their level than at an individual level. We met sustainability heads of several enterprises, and one of them told me that there was no good software to manage sustainability goals and compliance.” This gave birth to Logic Ladder, adds Mayank.
The team and workings
Atindra and Mayank are childhood friends and have known each other for more than 30 years. A BTech graduate from IIT Bombay and a law graduate from Delhi University, Mayank has previously worked at Sapient Corporation with strong domain knowledge in sustainability, energy, and environment.
Atindra has worked with global corporations like Exxon, Anglo Eastern, and Shipping Corporation of India. He has a background in Nautical Sciences and Commerce from Delhi University. They have a 50 member team.
The co-founders realised how sustainability is an end of year number affair for many companies with little happening on a regular basis, leaving its impact on the environment. That conversation inspired the founders to build a sustainability management platform for Indian companies.
“Climate change is an urgent and complex challenge, and CXOs need to come up with stricter regulations. Sustainability needs to be managed every day. A company achieving ‘Net Zero’ means rapidly reducing the amount of carbon, water, and waste to neutralise the impact of the business on climate. Organisations need to have an accurate account of emissions, water use, and waste generated. Accounting that can help them clearly understand every debit and credit,” says Mayank.
As organisations engage and serve companies seeking their own NetZero, they must take the goals seriously. Secondly, regulatory frameworks are becoming stringent, which means environmental compliances must be managed with more importance. Non-compliance and no data to prove compliance can lead to large fines and sometimes can even lead to a shutdown. “We are helping companies solve these challenges,” says Mayank.
Speaking about challenges, Mayank says: “We have seen our fair share of challenges. In the early days, the biggest challenge was shaping the sustainability vision. We came to understand that sustainability is a complex topic and in the initial days it would be difficult to articulate the value proposition. Hence, we used our experience to filter the most common customer asks to a product value proposition to shape our business model,” says Mayank.
How does it work?
LogicLadder is an enterprise platform that takes out data from systems that run the heating, lighting, and manages the water and waste. It also acquires data autonomously in real-time from environment sensors, web services, and enterprise systems, creating a central data repository of all sustainability data. This directly helps the startup in sustainability, accounting, and auditing to account for GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, solid waste, and water use.
With dashboards and management information systems, the startup claims it can centrally track sustainability KPIs for targeting and making improvements on an ongoing basis.
According to the founders, one of LogicLadder’s major strengths is compliance management and reporting. It allows enterprises to manage compliance by aggregating compliance data, automated reporting, and auditing. It says it also complies with the guidelines of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and all State Pollutions Control Boards (SPCB).
“As we gather more data, we leverage this with deep insights and intelligence with machine learning, AI, and algorithmic rules to make it easy for the sustainability teams to identify non-compliance risk and opportunities to improve and meet their environment benchmarks,” says Mayank.
While the sustainability cloud application is a niche market, the carbon accounting market has startups like Cloverly, Veridium, and Carbon Grid Solutions, all of which are based in the USA.
LogicLadder competes with players providing cloud-based energy management and carbon accounting solutions from Salesforce, Accenture, and Cognizant.
The market and business
According to Statista, the global sustainability management software market is expected to record a substantial market valuation of up to $900 million by 2023 with a CAGR ranging from 8-12 percent based on various reports.
LogicLadder works on a B2B Enterprise SaaS model and charges a subscription fee for the software platform.
“We are not into sensing hardware. We provide aggregation and communication components and the software platform. We charge a one-time capex/system integration for the cloud connectors/system integration and recurring annual subscription for the sustainability cloud based on the extent of usage,” says Mayank. This data helps companies in getting regulatory approval.
The platform now claims to be having 40 plus channel partners in India. According to LogicLadder, there are 700 plus customers using the sustainability cloud, and these span from small SMB players to large global enterprises.
Some of LogicLadder’s prominent customers include Maruti Suzuki, NTPC, PVR Cinemas, Reliance Industries, and Aditya Birla Group, among others.
The founders have jointly invested $500,000 in the startup. LogicLadder also raised an undisclosed angel round in 2014. In 2019, it completed an undisclosed institutional round from Oil and Gas Corporation (ONGC) Limited. Shell is also a minority investor via its E4 programme. The startup reported over Rs 7 crore in revenue for the financial year 2019-20.
Mayank says, today corporate sustainability is a boardroom topic. “Globally, energy costs are steadily increasing at five to eight percent per year,” Mayank adds. The startup is now looking to expand to the US and European markets this year.