Dr. Caitanno J Fernaandes highlights his journey from starting out as an ambitious young man to setting up Goa’s first portable sanitation company, in order to keep his state clean and green, while making a difference to the environment

Gomantak Brands of Goa 2022 Award

Dr. Caitanno J Fernaandes describes himself as a small town boy who had dreams of making it big in the world. And big did he become by establishing CAM Industrial Services in the year 2005 – a hygiene company and trading house. In a short span of time, his company has expanded and diversified. The versatility combined with quality and reliability of CAM Services are the factors for Dr. Fernaandes’ growth and success. CAM Services boasts of providing complete sanitation services for indoor and outdoor events, complete housekeeping services by trained staff for all occasions, construction and implementation of bio-digester toilets and complete turnkey projects for waste management education and early years.

At a young age Dr. Fernaandes left his beautiful tiny village of Assolda Chandor in South Goa to go to the big city of Mumbai to pursue his education. He earned a diploma in production management from Fr. Agnel Polytechnic Institution, Bandra; from there, he got selected as one amongst a few people in India to acquire special training and expertise in welding at Finland. This culminated in him becoming one of only seven people to receive a certification and recognition from the American Welding Society in 1998.

Dr. Fernaandes subsequently worked with the welding giant Advani Oerlikon Ltd. as a consultant and training instructor, providing support to the Indian Navy on its submarines, the Indian railways, ONGC and several other PSUs. He was also involved in training welders for a year all over India and has given a certification to around 3000 welders.

He was then called upon by Oerlikon Ltd. to represent SouthEast Asia and the Middle East as Vice President Sales and Marketing for over 30 countries from Switzerland. Dr. Fernaandes was there for almost five years before he decided to come back home to Goa.


Business Goa Award for Corporate Excellence 2022

Dr. Fernaandes speaks fondly of his time in Finland and Europe and feels that people in India should send their children to study abroad so that they are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills. “I visit Finland every two years. I picked up some of the best skills out there, thanks to their latest technologies and ideas. When I moved to Europe as Vice President, Sales and Marketing, I had to deal with 30 countries. This meant getting used to different languages, different cultures, different people, and habits. In six months, I managed to make myself familiar with all of this. I performed well which impressed my seniors and every year I got a promotion. I left the company as Senior Vice President and came back to India.”

Homecoming and setting up CAM Services

Dr. Fernaandes made plans to come down to India when he decided to get married. On one of his visits to Goa to meet his family, he noticed the poor conditions of sanitation and waste management in his beloved state.

“My wife is from Mumbai and we had come to Goa for a holiday. I visited quite a few beaches with my (then) fiancé and I noticed the lack of sanitation around these beaches and popular picnic spots. It was a terrible experience especially for women who wanted to use a clean place to relieve themselves. I was quite moved by the plight of the people here. I remembered seeing the concept of portable toilets in Europe and that is when I decided that I could no longer stay in Mumbai and have to come down to my roots to work here and make a difference to my state.”

Portable Toilet Cabins

Dr. Fernaandes set up CAM Industrial Services in 2005 with the core value of serving society by meeting its most rudimentary needs – by providing essential services to people. This endeavour has led CAM Industrial Services to work extensively in the field of sanitation, waste management, housekeeping and bio-remediation. “Our vision was to join hands and take a pledge to make our state and country cleaner, greener, healthier and a dignified place to live in,” Dr. Fernaandes adds when speaking about his business.

“In the first year I went to Germany and bought 20 portable toilets with the help of a friend from Pune. This was a totally new concept to Goa and it was difficult at first to convince people to set up a portable toilet for their programs and events. The cost factor too played an important role as each of these portable toilets cost around Rs 3 lakhs, given that they were High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). I gave these toilets out for free for the first six months to create awareness amongst the people, especially the government. After these first six months, I received tremendous support from religious institutions, events companies, government organisations and that is where my journey to making Goa cleaner and greener began.”

 CAM’s Mission

Dr. Fernaandes states that his mission is to provide every household with a toilet. “Much as we claim to be open defecation free, we have yet many remote places to take care of. We are supporting the government in this endeavour and I have extended my support to our Chief Minister, Dr. Pramod Sawant for the same. Our mission at CAM is to maximise resources value while minimising environmental impact, so that both our economy and environment can thrive. At the end of the day, we all want a clean and green state and I am happy to be of help to our government in achieving this milestone.” He also has a dream to make India as an ‘open defecation free’ country, so that someday we are on par with the first world countries.


Products and Services offered by CAM

Dr. Fernaandes started out his business with portable toilets and housekeeping services. Any event taking place in Goa be it IFFI, Sunburn, Goa Fest, CAM was at the forefront offering their products and services at these big footfall events. He makes a special mention of the St Francis Xavier Feast that is held at Old Goa every year in December. “Every Goan wants to be a part of the feast and the novenas taking place over ten days. I would see everyone well dressed, men, women and children but when it came to using a washroom there were great difficulties. I then approached Fr. Savio Barreto who was the Parish Priest then and the then PWD Minister, Churchill Alemao, to make use of the portable toilets I had with me. I am especially grateful to Alemao, Fr. Savio, Dr. Wilfred D’Souza and Pratapsingh Rane who helped me in getting permissions and setting up these toilets there. Alemao was my biggest support and thanks to their help things were so much easier, not only for me but also the people, which is what I wanted. We started with setting up ten toilets in the first year at the feast and novenas and now the government is providing around 200 toilets at the site. I consider myself extremely blessed to have brought about this change. I am proud that any event – be it a large one like IFFI or Sunburn, right down to the smallest village wedding, people avail of our services. This is a huge achievement for me and the vision that I started out with and I am glad to say it is a success,” he adds with a smile.

CAM is not only the largest  supplier of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) mobile toilets in Goa, which includes installation, cleaning, and evacuation, but also provides safe disposal of waste, handle waste management and waste treatment solutions. CAM not only cleans and maintains the portable toilets but also refurbishes and maintains existing toilets in slums, schools, public places, communities, constructed toilets on sites.

Apart from this, CAM also provide housekeeping services with the combined strength of manpower and the best cleaning chemicals, equipment and trained staff to deliver superior standards of cleanliness to homes and commercial establishments. CAM also leaves no stone unturned towards providing waste management services for mega projects in Goa. They also deal in bio-toilets which is a system of decomposing faecal waste with minimal environment impact at very affordable prices.

Coping in a Post Pandemic Era

Much as the pandemic affected most businesses, CAM Services did not bear the brunt simply because their services were in demand. The pandemic has shown us that our existing systems for sanitation, waste management and hygiene are still not advanced or developed to support a crisis of these proportions. In such times, it is often the marginalised communities that suffer the most. Throughout the pandemic, CAM made efforts to provide various facilities to people and the state. “We provided our portable toilets at check posts, testing centers and other smaller kiosks catering to the needs of the people. In the post-pandemic era, we aim to make sustainable sanitation and waste management accessible to all people as we believe that it is the basic right of all. This in turn, will lead to a more sustainable, healthier and a prosperous economy for Goa and India at large,” Dr. Fernaandes affirms.

Achievements and Awards received

In 2017, Dr. Fernaandes completed his doctorate and received a Ph.D in Philosophy. In 2021, he received a state award at the hands of Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant – this was for his contribution towards making Goa ‘open defecation free’ and promoting sustainable development in the state in the field of waste management and sanitation. He was also awarded the Times Entrepreneurs of Goa-2021’ for ‘Valuable Contribution in the Field of Sanitation and Waste Management’. In 2022, Dr. Fernaandes  was awarded the Business Goa Award for Corporate Excellence in the category ‘Excellence in Sustainable Development in Sanitation and Waste Management’. He also received the Gomantak Brands of Goa 2022 – a recognition for being part of Goa’s 60 years iconic journey and valuable contribution in sustainable sanitation and waste management.

During the 2022 Assembly elections, CAM Services provided over 1250 toilets at different polling booths. Thanks to Dr. Fernaandes getting into the business of waste management and sanitation, many other people have opened up similar businesses, which have given him a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.

Challenges Faced

Dr. Fernaandes is grateful that he did not have to face many challenges especially when it came to finances. “My job in the international market assured me of financial stability and money was never a problem. The biggest hurdles that I faced were in dealing with the government when it came to the paperwork and seeking permissions. But that too was taken care of, once certain ministers and people in government departments knew that my business was all about serving society. Now, all major industries like event management, tourism sector and government departments have recognised the work that I do and everyone has been very supportive, be it private players, senior officials in private firms, government officials and ministers, everyone knows what I and my company stand for. No matter the kind of business that we run today, nothing can be done without the help of the government and I have been lucky to receive a lot of support from them.”

Another issue that Dr. Fernaandes  has faced is that of labour. “It is rare to find Goans who will do these kinds of jobs. I have to depend on people from outside the state and while I do have to pay them extra it does not matter at the end of the day as it is all for the greater good of our state and country.”

Entrepreneurial journey over the years

Having begun his journey with 50 portable toilets, Dr. Fernaandes’ organisation now has over 450 portable toilets and are now working on sustainable solutions in the areas of housekeeping, bio remediation, e-waste management, operation and maintenance of material recovery facilities, wet waste management systems like composting and biogas plants, and construction of Indian household toilets. Their consistent, time bound and quality services since 2005, operational excellence and hard work define their success. “Making a difference to my home town and state was all that I ever wanted to do and I am very happy that I have delivered my best when I set out on my entrepreneurial journey. Two more players have entered the same field and I am very happy that I could make a difference. I do not see these people as competition but as fellow industry players who are all working towards the betterment of the state. I feel more people should enter this business and though there will be competition, it must be a healthy one. Today, I am happy with my work as I am giving the best of what I have to offer. We have made a name for ourselves, thanks to our quality and I intend on keeping it that way.

Dr. Fernaandes set up CAM industrial Services in 2005 with the core value of serving society by meeting its most rudimentary needs by providing essential services to people. This endeavour has led CAM Industrial Services to work extensively in the field of sanitation, waste management, housekeeping and bio-remediation

Hobbies and Interests

Running the kind of business that he has is not an easy ball game and yet Dr. Fernaandes makes the time for a different kind of ball game which he calls as his passion and first love, and that is football. “Right up from my childhood and school days, football is my biggest passion. I never played for the state or even my college but I played good football and it is something that I really enjoy apart from my work. Over the years, I have attended four World Cups and whenever I have been to Europe or the UK I make sure to watch live football matches. I will also be attending the World Cup this year which will be held in Qatar. Like every Goan says xitt-koddi is our staple and then comes football and that is something I firmly believe in. Although I lived in Mumbai, I would watch football matches there too, whenever I got the chance. We used to have our team when I worked at Mahindra & Mahindra.” Apart from football, Dr. Fernaandes also watched cricket but gave up once Sachin Tendulkar hung up his bat. “We were neighbours in Bombay and I have watched him grow up and become the ‘God of cricket’. After he retired, I sort off lost a connect with the game and gave up watching cricket altogether.”

Running for GFA President

Dr. Fernaandes is the President of Football Club Tuem and is currently running for elections for the post of President of the Goa Football Association. Speaking on the Tuem Football Club he says, “This Club is nine years old and today I feel football is alive in Goa because of all these small village clubs. These clubs put in their own money and keeps the clubs going, while ensuring everyone is invested in the game. No government organisation or association is supporting them. Even the GFA I feel needs a lot of improvement. Each term a new President just comes in and goes, which just makes it a mere formality while doing nothing else to keep the game going in the state. I feel the game needs to be revived. We cannot blame covid or any other crisis. Football should thrive in Goa. A game like football helps build unity amongst people, builds our health and we have some excellent footballers who have so much potential. We have also had the best of footballers in the past but today we still have to make a lot of inroads when it comes to this game.”

He hopes to bring about a change in the way Goa plays football now and hence his decision to run for the post of President of GFA. “I want to make a change in the football scene in the state. I feel we should focus at the grassroot level; and this includes all the villages.

My vision is to meet the clubs in each village and take up the challenges that they are facing. Our village youth need something to keep them busy and I feel that football is a great way to do this. I also want to focus on the infrastructure of our stadiums around Goa which is the need of the hour. At the end of the day, I want to see Goa at the top of the game and hope to one day have as many of our Goan talent play internationally,” he adds.

Corporate Social Responsibility

In 2017, as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility, CAM Industrial Services conducted road cleaning of the entire stretch from the Miramar Circle to the Dona Paula circle. This was a regular cleaning service started by the company and was inaugurated by late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Dr. Fernaandes also sponsors an old age home and is looking after 300 neglected senior citizens. He is contributing towards their daily needs of accommodation, providing them with nutritious food, he has a doctor available for them round the clock, on all days of the week. Their emotional wellbeing is also looked after by Fernaandes and his team.

Dr. Fernaandes started out his business with portable toilets and housekeeping services. Any event taking place in Goa be it IFFI, Sunburn, Goa Fest that used to take place years ago, CAM was at the forefront offering their products and services at these programs

Family Life

Dr. Fernaandes’s biggest support is his family and he gives all the credit to his wife and his two daughters. “My family means everything to me and my wife has been my biggest support and inspiration”. He also includes his CAM Industrial Services team as part of his family and is immensely grateful to have a supportive and hardworking team who are always there whenever he needs them. “Without my team I wouldn’t be here today and most of my success I owe to them.”

Mantra for Success

“I believe that one needs to put in a lot of hard work and not give in to pressure of what people say. If you are starting something, do your research on it and weigh the pros and cons. Then don’t look back and keep going. Give it your best shot and you will be ensured of success.”

Future Plans

As far as his future plans go, Dr. Fernaandes is now into bio remediation of dumps. “The entire country is facing a lot of issues as far as dumping of garbage goes. There are huge piles of garbage everywhere and I want to do something about this soon. CAM has been selected to clean up these places and this is the vision of our Chief Minister. He wishes that all such dump sites should be cleared by 2024, and we are supporting him in his mission. We are also working on a zero waste policy in all villages and our vision is to have Goa as the first state in the country to be free of waste.”

Dr. Fernaandes intends to expand his business in the international market and has already begun taking steps in this direction. “I have spoken and given a presentation to the Mayor of Paris. She was so accepting and welcoming of my business that within a year she has set up portable toilets around the touristic areas. The infrastructure will be taken care of by them while I will be providing the maintenance and this is where our expertise comes in. We have provided around 60 toilets to Paris already. We have a presence in Dubai and I would like to take this service to other countries as well. I have studied the markets in Belgium, The Netherlands and Maldives and I hope to make a name for my state and country abroad.” His priority is to make India completely free of waste and have people say it is one of the cleanest countries in the world.

Dr. Caitaano J Fernaandes J Fernaandes continues to pursue his dream of sustainable development for his beloved state of Goa, wherein all people have access to basic essential facilities in addition to a clean environment, air, and water

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