Helping companies see profits in greenery

Striking a balance: Richa Bajpai and Abhishek Humbad(centre), the founders of NextGen. Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint

NextGen, an offshoot of a college research project, is helping firms reduce their carbon footprint, says Byravee Iyer.

Bangalore: When you think carbon accounting, Ernst and Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers come to mind. But when little-known NextGen PMS Pvt. Ltd gets ICICI Bank Ltd, Infosys Ltd, Yes Bank Ltd and some 30 Fortune 500 companies as clients, you tend to notice.

Started by Abhishek Humbad and Richa Bajpai in 2009, NextGen is an offshoot of a college research project. It began as an investment club the two ran for alumni members of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), primarily trading in carbon and providing consulting services to banks. In 2007, the Reserve Bank of India directed banks to report what they were doing for the environment.

While making a presentation at the World Youth Renewable Energy Congress in Portugal during their final semester, the two got noticed by the World Bank​. Much of their initial experience around carbon emission management and sustainability came from projects with the World Bank.

“But we needed the backing of business school to take the business forward,” says Humbad. NextGen was incubated at BITS before it moved to the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and then to the Indian Institute of Management in the same city.

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