Founders of Hydroquo+ Zahin Razeen and Rizvana Hredita, who made their way to the Forbes 30 under 30′ Asia list shared their journey at an EMK Center virtual discussion on Youth-led Innovation in Safe Water Management on Tuesday, read an EMK center press release.
Zahin and Rizvana’s startup Hydroquo+ provides artificial intelligence-powered water management solutions that report on the quality of the water, identify leakage in supply lines, and provide forecasts of demand based on usage.
The program started with the opening remarks of U.S. Embassy Dhaka’s Acting Cultural Affairs Officer, Sharlina Hussain-Morgan, and was followed by a discussion on the journey of Hydroquo+ with Zahin Razeen and Rizvana Hredita.
“In 2018 I shared the idea of collecting data from water pipes to create AI and machine learning algorithms to efficiently treat non-potable water in Bangladesh’s poverty-stricken residential areas at the Hague One Young World Summit,” said Zahin Razeen, whose brainchild is Hydroquo+, shared how he came up with the idea and presented for the first time at a global platform.
Zahin then went on to show the machines and the monitoring dashboard of Hydroquo+ from which they get real-time updates of the water supply and quality of water.
The organization now provides support to the government agencies and NGOs on water-quality modeling. In September 2020, Razeen, CEO of Hydroquo+, was named one of the United Nations’ 17 Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals who are leading efforts to combat the world’s most pressing issues.
Zahin claimed himself as a risk-blind person who can go to any extent to find the solution to a problem. On the other hand, Rizvana Hredita, the COO of Hydroquo+, is more of a grounded person who would assess the risks and act accordingly, which she believes was helpful for the organization.
Rizvana recalled a few stories of installing the machines. “There were instances, where we had to go to places and dig the roads to install the machine under the ground where the water supply pipe was located,” said Rizvana.
EMK Center started the virtual discussion series with the Bangladeshi Forbes 30 under 30 awardees from August 2021 which will continue throughout the year.
Hydroquo+ is Bangladesh’s first hydro-informatics start-up that develops, designs and executes specialist consultancy projects in the field of water quality monitoring
The Ganges Delta, atop which Bangladesh sits, has a naturally occurring aquifer which injects arsenic fluoride and other impurities into the water.
After Bangladesh’s independence in 1971, various organizations drilled over 10 million tube wells without testing the water.
Fast forward 29 years, by the year 2000, 30% of the water was found to be contaminated with arsenic, leading the World Health Organization (WHO) to state this as the biggest mass poisoning in history.
To help prevent such colossal disasters in the future and to prevent water wastage, 23-year-old Zahin Razeen and his sister Rizvana Hredita have started Hydroquo+.
Razeen is a student of Pure Maths and Applied Statistics from the University of Glasgow in the UK and Hredita has a background in Finance from Canada’s York University.
Hydroquo+ is Bangladesh’s first hydro-informatics start-up that develops, designs and executes specialist consultancy projects in the field of water quality monitoring and hydrological modelling to mitigate water-related challenges and their potential implications on the infrastructure, lives and livelihoods in real-time.
“We have put together a unique industry-first approach to automate testing, monitoring, and reporting at scale,” says Razeen.
“Our organization is focused on delivering water intelligence to determine water safety and availability with actionable insights in real-time. Through this, we eventually hope to prevent and predict outbreaks to ensure water security for years to come,” he added.
This business model started off as a research and development initiative idea pitch at the 2018 Hague One Young World Summit.
The duo began laying the foundation work the following year.
According to Razeen, if the consumption of water keeps on going the way it is at the moment, we will see a very different scenario in the next 200 years.
“If you take baseline water consumption globally across the whole world and compound it at just a few percent a year for just a few hundred years, you have to cover the entire surface of the Earth with desalination plants,” he explained.
One in every three people does not have access to safe drinking water, according to WHO. And as the annual global consumption of fresh water is around 4.3 trillion cubic meters, a large portion of the global population is still deprived of this basic need.
Fresh, clean and drinkable water accounts for just 0.003% of all water available globally, and the rest is just too saline for human consumption.
“There are actions that we can take that affect those probabilities or that accelerate one thing or slow down another. There is an infinite number of potential futures — of ourselves, of individuals and of humanity. It is possible to shape that future by altering the probability streams perhaps by introducing something new. Freshwater scarcity in that framework is a grand challenge we have to solve before it is too late,” he added.
Hydroquo+ has successfully collaborated with Dhaka Wasa and the Central Microbiology Laboratory on two different projects.
Based on the success, Chittagong Wasa as well as the Chittagong Port Authority and MENA region, have also expressed their interests in doing pilot projects with Hydroquo+.
At present, the start-up is working on transitioning towards the implementation of tracing technology for private water supply, as well as city and regional level utilities.
Hydroquo+ is also incorporating the technology in the commercial filtration process, for example, in the water treatment plants, pharmaceutical, agricultural, and food and beverage processing industries.
Effluent Treatment Plants (ETPs) and water treatment plants can also potentially benefit from the technology, according to Razeen.
The water industry is one of the hardest industries to operate in due to long procurement cycles and lead times.
“90% of water start-up companies do not survive the valley of death,” he says.
In the beginning, he was the company’s engineer, facilitator, and commercial viability partner. As first movers, they had to operate at a breakneck speed to comply with one utility demand after another and that too frugally with scarce resources.
He was having to play multiple roles because of the lack of understanding among people about the projects they were working with.
“The authorities appreciated our relentless efforts and have cooperated with prompt responses,” Razeen said.
Currently, the duo is in the process of closing a round for scaling up, and eventually, sometime in the future, they plan to branch out to different industry verticals in the Global South and MENA regions.
This year, they made it to the prestigious Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list.
“Last year was, however, a landmark year as I was selected as one of the 17 United Nations Young Leaders on a two-year mandate by the UN Secretary General’s Office, being the only Bangladeshi in the last four years,” Razeen told Dhaka Tribune.
“Hydroquo+ bagged the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and Engineer 4Change (E4C) Rising star Award at New York’s Annual Impact Engineered Summit that brought together worlds innovative startups working to solve SDG’s. Forbes was a cascading effect of all the work we had done,” he further said.
Zahin Razeen, a graduate of the University of Glasgow, has been utilising technology to make a positive impact on society and the environment. He has built four technology companies, such as Hydroquo+ and Quantum Polychemics, which address water-related challenges and the demand for sustainable plastics.
তিন বাংলাদেশি পেলেন ইউকে অ্যালামনাই অ্যাওয়ার্ড
অন্ট্রাপ্রেনিয়াল ক্যাটাগরিতে অ্যাওয়ার্ড পান জাহিন রাজিন। ইউনিভার্সিটি অব গ্লাসগো থেকে স্নাতক করা জাহিন প্রযুক্তির সাহায্যে সমাজ ও পরিবেশে ইতিবাচক পরিবর্তন সাধনের লক্ষ্যে কাজ করছেন। তাঁর হাত ধরে যাত্রা শুরু হয় হাইড্রোকুয়ো প্লাস এবং কোয়ান্টাম পলিকেমিকসের মতো চারটি প্রতিষ্ঠান। যেগুলোর প্রধান লক্ষ্য হলো পানিসম্পর্কিত চ্যালেঞ্জ এবং টেকসই প্লাস্টিকের চাহিদা নিয়ে গভীরভাবে কাজ করা।
Tothyo Projuktir Duniya | তথ্য-প্রযুক্তির দুনিয়া |NTV
Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2021
Hydroquo+ is a Dhaka-based startup that uses AI to improve water management. Founded in 2018, Hydroquo+ has developed systems and technology to detect germs in water and analyze water quality. The company also consults for government agencies and NGOs on water-quality modeling. In September, Razeen, CEO of Hydroquo+, was named one of the United Nations’ 17 Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals who are leading efforts to combat the world’s most pressing issues.
For the first time, a total of nine Bangladeshis have made the ‘Forbes 30 under 30′ Asia list. Launched in 2011, by the prestigious business magazine Forbes, the ’30 under 30’ lists the thirty movers of shakers under the age of thirty. From 2016 till 2020, a total of nine Bangladeshis got themselves listed for their outstanding work. This year alone nine Bangladeshis under the age of thirty got listed for their work in three sectors: enterprise technology, social impact & retail & e-commerce.
Hydroquo+ co-founder Rizvana Hredita and Md Zahin Rohan Razeen
Hydroquo+, founded by Rizvana Hredita, 28 and Md Zahin Rohan Razeen, 22, provides AI-powered water management solutions that report on water quality, detect leakage, and forecast demand based on consumption.
The Dhaka-based startup was founded in 2018. They consult government agencies and NGOs on water-quality modeling.
বিখ্যাত মার্কিন ম্যাগাজিন ‘ফোর্বস’-এর এশিয়ার ৩০ বছরের কম বয়সী উদ্যোক্তা ও সমাজ পরিবর্তনকারী (চেঞ্জমেকার) তালিকায় এ বছর প্রথমবারের মতো জায়গা করে নিয়েছেন ৯ বাংলাদেশি। রয়েছেন অভিযাত্রিক ফাউন্ডেশনের প্রতিষ্ঠাতা আহমেদ ইমতিয়াজ জামি (২৭), হাইড্রোকো প্লাসের প্রতিষ্ঠাতা রিজভানা হৃদিতা (২৮) ও মো. জাহিন রোহান রাজীন (২২) ও পিকাবোর সহপ্রতিষ্ঠাতা মোরিন তালুকদার (২৭)।