Australia-based Water Resources Group Ltd (WRG) has entered into a joint venture with Mandala Water Ltd, a wholly owned unit of the private equity firm Mandala Capital AG Fund Ltd. The JV will use Water Resources Group’s products and technologies in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Water Resources Group will own 49 per cent in the JV, which will allow it to tap the growing South Asia desalination market for both industrial and municipal applications.

Water Resources Group is an Australian company providing advanced, low-cost, chemical-free and community-based water desalination systems.

Mandala Capital AG Fund is a private equity fund which invests in Indian and South Asian agricultural sectors. The fund has been backed by Altima Partners LLP, a multi-billion-dollar investment fund with substantial investments in the agriculture sector globally. The JV will also look to develop new markets in seed & food preservation and food logistics, according to a statement.

“India is home to 16 per cent of the world’s population; yet, the country has only 2.5 per cent of the world’s land area and 4 per cent of the world’s water resources at its disposal. The rapid increase in population, urbanisation and industrialisation has led to a significant increase in water requirement,” a KPMG India report stated.

“The desalination market in South Asia, particularly India, is expected to grow dramatically in the next 10 years. We have been in discussions with Mandala Capital for over 12 months in preparation to enter into this multi-hundred-million-dollar market for desalination,” said Brian Harcourt, CEO of Water Resources Group.

“We invested in WRG at the time of its IPO and have taken the view that the application of its technologies in South Asia is going to enhance the value of the company. We are looking forward to taking advantage of the leadership position that WRG’s chemical-free, modular desalination system gives us, and expect expansion into other agriculture sectors, such as seed and seedling treatment, fresh produce preservation, aquaculture and fish farming in the near term,” said Uday Garg, CEO of Mandala Capital.

Garg is a part of the Barwale family, who is behind the Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company (Mahyco), the joint venture in which global seeds company Monsanto has 26 per cent stake. Before starting Mandala, Garg had worked with Duet Asset Management and Altima Partners.

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