The case of water

Sustainability is not just about adopting the latest energy-efficient technologies or turning to renewable sources of power. Sustainability is the responsibility of every individual every day. It is about changing our behaviour and mindset to reduce power and water consumption, thereby helping to control emissions and pollution levels.

Joe Kaeser — President and CEO of Siemens

My first professional encounter with water as business and a source of profit started back in 2015. Back then, I was part of Qora Oltin closed joint stock company involved in the business of wholesale of diesel fuel within domestic market of Uzbekistan. Starting our work back in 2013 with then-twenty-year-old Chairman of the Board, we managed to close the period of 2013–2016 with the net profit of approximately 10 million USD. For a generally uninformed law school student, it seemed like a start-up backed with strong and established businessmen.

Having the diesel and gas depot of the company in Chartak district of Namangan region, we made frequent visits to that small town, famous for its soviet-period sanatorium with its mineral water for bathing and drinking said to be good for digestive system. The old-soviet-union sanatorium was built around late-19th-century oil drilling sites. So, the very reason of discovering the mineral water sources that were rich to sodium, chloride and sulfate, was the oil drilling explorations.

Having mineral and bathing water rich with certain required chemicals provided for a good business for a small businessman from the area that was bottling the water and selling for those coming to the state sanatorium. Evidencing the process of bottling the water using medieval equipment, closing the bottles by hand, we came to conclusion that modern line of water filling equipment would be the solution. And, it kind of made sense that the company involved in oil business to also be bottling water that was discovered only because of oil drilling explorations.

Then, we started the Chartak Mineral Water project. It was then when I acquired the status of CEO. CEO with no employees for another six months or so. It was then when I learned the true value of water as a resource, true value of which should be way beyond the value of oil.

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lawyer, runner, cyclist and a freshly minted father

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