Zain Mahmood, former CEO of Parkson, assumes the role
Nuvoda appointed Zain Mahmood as its new chief executive officer. Mahmood has more than 25 years of experience developing and marketing industrial, manufacturing and environmental technology solutions. He is an industrial engineer with a graduate degree in business with a strong operational/manufacturing background and later commercial/business development.
WWD Associate Editor Sara Myers spoke to Mahmood on his new position, his professional background and looking to the future.
Sara Myers: How long have you been in the water industry?
Zain Mahmood: I’ve been in the Industry since 2007. I was previously the CEO of Parkson. I was at Parkson for five years where we went through a major expansion and did three different acquisitions and significantly updated the portfolio of Parkson and launched multiple new products, winning [U.S.] EPA’s recognition for most energy efficient product during that time. I left Parkson and went on to the private equity side and was in different building material companies for seven years. Then I was approached to join Nuvoda late last year and that’s how the discussion started. The thing that attracted me to Nuvoda was how green the technology is and how energy efficient and how low cost it is. It is truly a natural technology.
Myers: As Nuvoda CEO, what excites you about for the future of the company?
Mahmood: Nuvoda is one of the greenest and most cost efficient biological processes in the industry. This completely natural, plant based process, eliminates the need or plastics in an [moving bed biofilm reactor] MBBR type process and is highly compatible with many other biological processes.
Nuvoda has perfected a proprietary and patented, biological and nutrient treatment technology, [mobile organic biofilm] MOB, which reduces the biological process footprint by [more than] 60%, reduces energy requirements by [more than] 50% and [reduces] chemical usage by over 75%, depending on the application. Our initial goal is to get the word out about what Nuvoda offers. This is a hybrid fixed-film, granular sludge movement (GSM) technology that can be utilized to meet utilities needs very efficiently.
Myers: What is your outlook on wastewater solutions?
Mahmood: The global wastewater treatment market is $30 billion with a [compound annual growth rate] CAGR of 3.68%. Frost and Sullivan estimates the 40% cost of global wastewater treatment is in biological process and nutrient removal with an annual growth of 5 to 8%. The U.S. market alone is more than 50% of the world’s treatment needs. U.S. water infrastructure needs more funding to improve its water and wastewater readiness. With new technologies, for example, Nuvoda can help reduce these costs while improving the performance characteristics and simplifying operations.
Myers: What is your opinion on the industry as it stands? What improvements do you think could be made?
Mahmood: Having worked in the industry for many years, I know the two major issues we face are funding and the long term nature of accepting new technologies in this space. Strong public-private partnerships can go a long way to improve the U.S water and wastewater industry and its capabilities in the long run. Municipalities need to acquire technologies in total lifecycle cost basis—energy, chemical, and maintenance—versus just first cost basis.