Environmental Biotech: Aziz Tejpar
Tejpar has built his sanitation company, Environmental Biotech, up to boast a portfolio that includes Whitbread and BAA
Issue 37, March 2005
Aziz Tejpar is a one off. He knows it and his clients know it. Not only has he sold off his lucrative luxury car rental business in order to clear up other people's waste, but he opens every presentation by pulling out a potty and urine sample and declaring: “I'm the only guy that's ever gonna make you smell piss.”
Amazingly, it appears to be working. With Environmental Biotech, a revolutionary way of clearing fat-blocked drains and a number of hygiene-related spin-offs, Tejpar can boast the likes of ASDA, BAA, Whitbread, Westminster Council and four water authorities among his early customers.
“People thought I was crazy,” admits Tejpar. “But if you look at any business model today you look at where the future is going. Cars are just commodities and you're beating the hell out of margins. Waste is a growing business.”
Tejpar's moment of clarity came in 2000. He stumbled upon the biological breakthrough behind Environmental Biotech in a US in-flight magazine. “This guy had found a bacteria that eats sewer fat,” recalls Tejpar. “This was the opportunity I'd been looking for. In America the law on waste is strict. It's not like that here but it's coming.” He predicts a £5m turnover in two years.
Convincing clients to act now has been a challenge. Aside from the potty, he's held ‘Grease Summits' to educate clients and been forced to undertake large-scale trials to prove they offer a viable alternative to calling out a plumber. The company positions itself as a bespoke ongoing solution to waste problems, managing drains and areas where hygiene issues arise.
And that's where the spin-offs come in. Urine-off, as the name suggests and Tejpar so articulately demonstrates, cleans and re-fragrances toilets, while PetFresh offers a household version for pet lovers. Other variations include cleaning products specifically tailored for care homes, street cleaning and taxis.
Tejpar has grown the company vertically very early but admits he'll need VC support to fully spin out 10 brands in all. However, there's been no shortage of interest.
Company: Environmental Biotech Activity: Bespoke drainage and hygiene solutions Turnover: £1.5m in 2004 Staff: 22