India’s First Solar Ferry Company to Mark Its Presence in Other Asian Countries

India has about 14,500 km of navigable waterways which comprises rivers canals backwaters creeks etc. Transport by waterways is highly underutilized in India compared to other large countries. Water-based transport is characterized by low operating costs of fuel with the waterway the main infrastructure being naturally available without much maintenance and upgrading costs. In addition, there are many water-logged areas in Bengal, Kerala and Goa which can only be accessed through water transport.

Currently only 0.5% of movement is in inland waters. It’s possible reach the level of nations like China (10%), Germany (20%), if not Bangladesh (35%) with some thrust in policy support by the Government of India.

BWDisrupt spoke to Sandith Thandasherry, CEO of NavAlt to know more about this unique venture. He also serves the position of Managing director. With a B-Tech in Naval architecture from IIT Madras & MBA from INSEAD, he also has more than 16 years industrial experience. He is also the co-founder of Navgathi.

Inception of the Idea

NavAlt Solar & Electric Boats Pvt. Ltd. is formed in 24th October 2013 under the ownership of Navgathi Marine Design & Construction Pvt. Ltd. (India), Alt.En (France) and EVE Systems (France). Since 2009 Navgathi have been building solar powered cruise boats of smaller capacity and solar fishing boats and soon realized that the biggest and commercially viable sector is large passenger water transport boats.

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