How this second generation real estate entrepreneur launched a vertical nanotechnology solution that had sales of Rs.3 billion in one year
Vikas Bardiya joined his family’s real estate business in 2005 after graduating from Regent’s Business School in London. Vikas says his father, Rajendra Bardiya, who ran the real estate company Bardiya Group for about four decades, was also considering getting into production.
“My father and I shared a vision of having our own manufacturing industry,” he jokes. Vikas says he looked for suitable opportunities and found a gold mine in Africa in 2007. However, after exploring the room for a while, he realized that this was a major operation with huge investments. Nothing came up under the immediate circumstances, but Vikas continued to investigate.
Around 2012, Vikas found a huge one Graphite deposition in Africa again. In this statement he found an opportunity. “Graphite alone has hundreds of uses, including in areas such as lithium-ion batteries, clean energy, and more.”
Graphene is a single layer (monolayer) of carbon atoms that are tightly bound in a hexagonal honeycomb lattice. Stacked graphene layers form graphite with a lattice plane spacing of 0.335 nanometers.
Research helped him realize that the use of graphene had tremendous potential and was an emerging industry. According to the market analysis platform ResearchandMarkets, the global graph market was estimated at 4386 million US dollars in 2020, of which China had a share of 33.4 percent. In addition, its use extends to multiple sectors such as transportation, medicine, electronics, automotive, and other sectors.
According to Vikas, between 2017 and 2019, he spent the time doing research, hiring scientists and consultants from around the world including Germany and the United States, and started collecting resources for nanomaterial development. He’s finally started Nanomatrix materials in Jaipur in February 2020.
The company has a unit in Jaipur where it develops graphs. A total of Rs.5 billion has been invested in the business that is part of the larger real estate business, the Bardiya Group.
Vikas Bardiya (center) and his team
The business model
The most important task was the development of graphene, a 2D carbon nanomaterial made from graphite. Although this involved huge complex processes, the team was able to achieve it in 2019. The next big question was how to use it in product development.
When the team of scientists and technocrats got back into research, they realized that graphene possesses several antimicrobial properties.
The basic idea was to use graphene as one of the raw materials and to further scale its production by introducing it into several areas of application.
“The purpose here is to improve the performance of the existing raw material or develop products that are sustainably scalable and solve the real world problem by integrating graphs with amazing properties.”
Despite his commercial background, Vikas made breakthroughs in this highly complex scientific field. “We dug deeper to understand graphene and its integration into a new or existing material at the atomic level.”
With this core piece, the company was able to bring two products to market last year – a range of face masks and air conditioning filters powered by graphene-silver nanotechnology.
All of these products contain graphene as the main material that improves the functionality and properties of the existing product.
The company is certified by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL). Vikas adds, “As a company, we don’t go to market until we have compelling evidence of our technology in hand.”
Regarding the masks, he explains that when tested according to the ISO 18184 protocol, antiviral testing against the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus that causes COVID-19) resulted in a 99 percent reduction and a 99 percent kill rate in just a matter of seconds.
Vikas explains how this works, saying that grains of silver are introduced into the membranes that make up the outer coating of the mask, and this thin layer helps control the virus.
The same membranes are also used in the filters of air conditioning systems that are built into the air conditioning systems.
The products are sold both online and offline, including e-commerce sites like Amazon and Flipkart. The company also sells under the brand name G1 Wonders through its own website.
Although the company is new, Vikas has had sales of Rs 3 crore since its inception. He also claims the brand has sold over 2 lakh masks and over 20,000 filter membranes to date.
Mask and AC filters
Competition and the way forward
While the company is excited about the multitude of opportunities in this area, Vikas is also aware of the growing competition. Several companies such as Log 9 Materials, Nopo Nano and a few more are already in this field.
Full control over the supply chain sets the company apart from its competitors, according to Vikas. “We are in control of the entire graphene ecosystem, from the mining of graphite (the starting material) to the synthesis of graphene derivatives and the end product development or application according to the requirements of the market.”
For the future, the company plans to enter the water filtration and production area for lithium-ion batteries. Another product she develops can also be used for oil disaster management.
Oil spills are common in industry. Sometimes the oil spill is so enormous that it results in significant losses as it is difficult to extract oil from water. Nanomatrix Materials is developing a product called Oil Sorbent Pads, which should help to sustainably rescue spilled oil from the oceans.