Episode 34: Tyler McMahon is an entrepreneur based in Colorado, USA and Kathmandu, Nepal. He graduated in 2007 from Colorado College with a degree in Economics focused on Environmental and Water Resource Economics. During this, in 2006 he studied abroad on the School for International Training (SIT) Nepal program and developed a proposal for a Fulbright Scholarship on the Economics of Urban Rainwater Harvesting in the Kathmandu Valley, which he won and went back to Nepal in 2007-2008. After this he worked for the UN World Food Progamme in Nepal on monitoring and evaluation and sustainability, which included the largest urban solar system in Kathmandu which set a trend for urban solar. In 2011, wanting to pursue the research from his Fulbright more and the fact that there was a market, need and few suppliers for rainwater harvesting, he started pitching people on the concept. Tyler McMahon, Suman Shakya, and Hem Narayan Shrestha and two others started SmartPaani in September 2011. On the side he races mountain bikes and trail runs, including competing the world's highest and one of the hardest mountain bike stage races, The Yak Attack, 6 times.
This episode's motto: "Cheap in the short run is expensive in the long run."
Tyler's description of Smartpaani:
"SmartPaani (http://smartpaani.com) started in Nepal in 2011, a direct result of my Fulbright (07-08) research on the economics of urban rainwater harvesting and subsequent efforts to get US properties to adopt it as well, along with my work at the UN World Food Programme on sustainability. The company provides a complete set of sustainable water management solutions: rainwater harvesting, water filtration, and wastewater treatment and recycling. These are primarily designed and built in Nepal, with a few products imported to complete the service offering. To date the company has reached over 2000 clients. These include rainwater harvesting systems that collect 50 million liters and recharge 150 million liters back into the ground regularly. Our clean water systems at schools cover more than 35,000 students and our wastewater treatment systems treat and recycle more than 20,000 liters daily. Finally our water filtration system for businesses, resorts and outdoor event management have eliminated the need for more than 40,000 plastic water bottles.
Our clients range from households, schools, and larger companies and industries including being the primary urban partner for Coca Cola's water neutrality project. SmartPaani's systems have also been instrumental in one of the most eco-friendly resorts in Asia, Pavilions Himalaya and recently in the new Green School for Blink Now Foundation/Kopila Valley where they both water 3 times before it leaves the premises.
The company's ability to address SDG #6 through sustainable water supply access, clean/safe drinking water, and wastewater treatment is unique and has won it recognition through Case Western University's Aim2Flourish award in 2017 and University of Michigan's Positive Business Award in 2018."
(The company pitch is a bit long, but trying to work out a pitch that captures our array of services and unique ability to attack the urban and even rural clean water issue with a multi-pronged approach)."