Oikos Green Walls in Mumbai

A company based on an ecological approach to urban, rural and conservation development. Sustainable development that is.


1: Rural Mapping – First off this coming monsoon (if we have one), one or two mushroom hunting treks can be organised at Indigo Green. Costing would be approx Rs. 4000 per head per night inclusive of stay and food + treks. Max 8 people.
2: Urban Mapping – If you are interested in documentation and photography of mushrooms in Mumbai, we could organise to do such activities in suburbs or forest closeby. Nothing certain as yet, but would like a show of hands for who is interested.
3: Growers and mycologists – Contact us. Looking for good growers for local mushrooms species and research. And workshops if you conduct them, could be good.
Thanks and cheers everyone,


Gautam +91 9870129020

For full information on all our products contact us by email at enquiry@oikos.co.in

For other containers and products available see the Catalog page

To order, contact us on enquiry@oikos.co.in



Oikos Ecological Solutions
604, Springleaf CHS, J.P. Road,
7 Bungalows; Andheri (w),
Mumbai – 400 061





With his gravity-defying plants, ecological designer Gautam Muralidharan is looking to make the city greener one wall at a time



Current Proprietor at Oikos:Ecological Solutions
Past Project Manager at International Institute of City Farming
Education University of Vermont, Arya Vidya Mandir
Summary Ecological Water Treatment Systems, Phytoremediation, Green Space Development and Management, Recreation Design, Marketing and Media…

With Mumbai fighting for every inch of incredulously-priced space, the scope for greenery keeps getting smaller. But impossible is nothing, Gautam Muralidharan’s green walls prove. His gardens are planted on firm soil, only they grow perpendicular to the earth’s surface. A trend sprouting around the world, these vertical gardens that defy gravity use free walls or sides of buildings for plants, not necessarily of the creeper, bougainvillea variety.

A green wall is a wall, either free-standing or part of a building, that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and, in some cases, soil or an inorganic growing medium


Landscape architecture (design and development)
Green walls/vertical gardens
Urban farming initiatives
Guerrilla gardens/Overnight gardens
Forestry and urban forest parks
Advisory for urban development
Water systems redesign
Holistic health/wellness spaces
Ecohospitality design
Ecotourism design and development

With his gravity-defying plants, ecological designer Gautam Muralidharan is looking to make the city greener one wall at a time

With Mumbai fighting for every inch of incredulously-priced space, the scope for greenery keeps getting smaller. But impossible is nothing, Gautam Muralidharan’s green walls prove. His gardens are planted on firm soil, only they grow perpendicular to the earth’s surface. A trend sprouting around the world, these vertical gardens that defy gravity use free walls or sides of buildings for plants, not necessarily of the creeper, bougainvillea variety.

“I realised we were ruining the environment and had to work with what we have. Urban agriculture seemed a solution,” Gautam says. The 29-year-old left India to study wildlife biology and ecological design in the US. But he dropped out because he wanted less theory and more hands-on experience.

His innovation since has gained some ground with high-profile houses in the city. Rani Mukherji and Vickram Bahl, Creative Director at UTV are among his clients. Defying a law of physics is no mean feat. Gautam takes a lot of time preparing for it at his farmhouse in Khopoli. He uses a specially designed casing made from recycled plastic to hold the soil and plants together. With a handful of employees at Oikos: Ecological Solutions, he places each plant in these casings. “They are then mounted horizontally on steel strips nailed to the wall,” he says. The panels have been designed to allow drainage of water so the plants don’t sag.

Of course, it takes more than just the panels to keep the plants in place. “The soil we use is a special mix of different kinds, cowdung and compost. It needs to contain enough moisture so it doesn’t change shape but also allows drainage,” he explains. To save water, Muralidharan uses drip irrigation for about an hour, once every other day.

The gardens Muralidharan has created go beyond ornamentation. “They can sustain herbs such as coriander, ajwain and mint or miniature plants such as tomatoes and brinjals. I grew a three-foot chikoo tree on my wall,” he says.

Muralidharan wants to take his ideas to the streets. Already, with the blessings of the BMC, the young entrepreneur has created a smiley outside Love Grove, Worli. He made it for free so the authorities would start considering green walls as an option for public art.

Unfortunately, hidden behind construction sheets, its purpose is temporarily lost and a few of the plants on it have already been massacred. But the wall continues to smile and so does Muralidharan. “The city builds flyovers and buildings come up indiscriminately. Why can’t we use them for good? People talk about zero-impact structures. Why can’t we have positive impact structures?” he asks.

Oikos:Ecological Solutions
July 2009 – Present (6 years 7 months)
Project Manager
International Institute of City Farming
August 2005 – November 2005 (4 months)Mumbai Area, India
• Worked toward improvement in design, consultation and execution of urban agriculture and green roof projects.
• Proposed reorganization of structure in the NGO.
• Visited and interacted with Dubai Government on behalf of the organization
• Initiated website design for the NGO.
• Creation of an on-site nursery.
• Education of public on composting of household wastes and using the compost to grow vegetables and fruits for consumption.
University of Vermont
University of Vermont
B.Sc (Incomplete), Wildlife Biology/Ecological Design
2001 – 2005
Student Liason and Project Director, Walking the Walk:’Using Your Natural Resources Education’ Program, A. Aug 04 – May 05.

• Facilitated the conception, creation, upkeep, documentation and demolition of a microcosm ecosystem experiment for one year.
• Handled public relations and received media attention for the project.
• Received accolades in the form of Living and Learning Center Program Member of the Year Award for work done with the ecosystem & immediate community.

Program Director, Filtered Image Media Program, Aug 03 – Jan 04.

• Explored and produced independent media in print and film formats through work with photographers, filmmakers, and writers in the community.
• Conducted interviews on film, created, edited and produced short films and documentaries, produced print media.
• Trained in photography skills and video shooting and editing.
Activities and Societies: President, Anthropology Club – Aug 02 – May 03 Member, Student Advisory Board for the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources – Aug 01- May 05. Member, Wildlife Society – Aug 01- May 04 Member, Society of American Foresters – Aug 01 – May 04
Arya Vidya Mandir
Volunteer Experience & Causes
Research Intern
Exotic Feline Breeding Compound – Feline Conservation Center
May 2005 – June 2005 (2 months)
• Guided public & school tours to brief them on wildcat biology, captive husbandry and conservation.
• Studied the management of zoos and animal studbooks
• Studied and documented zoo and enclosure design and interacted with directors and zoo keepers to understand different perspectives on zoo exhibits
• Researched policy design for zoos and visited other facilities with the directors to learn how other facilities manage zoo design, policy and animal welfare
• Maintained facility through construction, painting, cleaning and fixing of exhibits and cages.
Research Intern
Exotic Feline Breeding Compound – Feline Conservation Center
December 2002 – January 2003 (2 months)
• Researched the linking of ex-situ conservation to in-situ efforts as well as the genetic status of the Amur Leopard in captivity and in the wild.
• Assisted with the maintenance of a population of up to 88 wild felines.
• Guided public & school tours to brief them on wildcat biology, captive husbandry and conservation.
• Trained and supervised new volunteers in facility safety and husbandry procedures.

Exotic Feline Breeding Compound – Feline Conservation Center
June 1999 – November 1999 (6 months)
• Maintained facility through construction, painting, cleaning and fixing of exhibits and cages.
• Assisted with the maintenance of a population of up to 72 felines, representing 16 species.
• Guided public & school tours to brief them on wildcat biology, captive husbandry and conservation.
• Assisted with animal husbandry such as dietary preparation and feeding, breeding introductions, juvenile feline care, and assisted with health procedures such as a caesarian section for a female North Chinese Leopard.
VJBU-. Mumbai Zoo, Mumbai
May 1997 – July 2000 (3 years 3 months)
• Assisted the education officer in education and PR related works
• Organized and guided school tours, composed surveys, and compiled data on public opinion.
• Gave talks on zoos and wildlife to the visiting public and school groups.
Sanctuary Asia
May 1999 – June 1999 (2 months)
• Assisted with daily office activities during organization of Tiger 2000: A Panel Discussion.
Madras Crocodile Bank Trust
June 1998 – July 1998 (2 months)
• Assisted in incubation, weighting, measuring, tagging and feeding of various species of crocodilian, venomous snakes, and monitor lizard species.
• Recorded sound files at the facility and kept a diary of the experience
Causes Gautam cares about:
Animal Welfare
Arts and Culture
Disaster and Humanitarian Relief
Human Rights
Science and Technology

Chat on “Conservation and Development in Emerging India” dated November 18, 2010
Gautam: Hi
Susan Sharma: Today stopic is Conservation and development in emerging India Welcome Gautam
Gautam: Thanks for the invite
Susan Sharma: Please start introducing the topic till others come in
Gautam: Well the topic is simple enough I think
Gautam: A lot of the issues in the world we are facing today are due to a very basic problem of coordination
Gautam: And unfortunately a lot of wildlife issues are tied in closely to this.
Gautam: Biodiversity loss is being helped along by a very strong push from development
Susan Sharma: That is an interesting thought
Gautam: Well I had noticed something from the archive in a topic about animals adapting
Gautam: and maybe thats a good start here
Gautam: Perhaps its time we begin to adapt to what we are doing to the planet and the rest of the biosphere
Gautam: I dont believe Nature is the one here that needs help…
Gautam: I think its more Humanity that really needs a little nudge
Gautam: We need to save ourselves.
Susan Sharma: Humanity benefits if we conserve nature..
Gautam: By disconnecting from the rest of the organisms on this planet, we have forgotten our place in nature
Gautam: Yes
Gautam: Thats true
Gautam: But our “benefit” at this point is what drives everything
nitin chinchorkar: hello
Susan Sharma: Ok. Then how does one go about achieving the connect with nature
Susan Sharma: Hi Nitin
nitin chinchorkar: hi
Gautam: Hi Nitin, welcome
nitin chinchorkar: interested in Western Ghats biodiversity project
nitin chinchorkar: hi Gautam
Gautam: Yes, what about it?
nitin chinchorkar: know anything abt its status?
Gautam: But to answer your question Susan I think its important for people to be aware of the idea that people start to see our place
Gautam: that of being one piece of this larger organism
Gautam: Very little, pieces here and there.
nitin chinchorkar: UNO is going to award it “World Heritage ” status
Gautam: There are basically small groups doing different kinds of work, unfortunately a singular holistic plan still evades us.
nitin chinchorkar: yes thats right
Susan Sharma: Western Ghats project is a huge one-affecting a big chunk of humanity
Gautam: The same reason why in this case, a good design standpoint should be the core of this approach
nitin chinchorkar: Maharashtra govt is granting permission for bauxite mining in Sindhudurg dist
Gautam: Roads, buildings, wildlife corridors all could be setup together if looked at correctly
Gautam: Yes I know. A friend of mine from germany in fact was in the area a few weeks ago and told me a lot about what is happening
Gautam: Really quite a sad situation
nitin chinchorkar: and it is playing havoc with that region’s ecology
Gautam: Unfortunately corruption is a very real problem
Susan Sharma: Can we ban all mining -Then whathappens to development?
Gautam: I dont think thats the idea
nitin chinchorkar: some of the medicinal plants are becoming exinct
Gautam: I believe mining can happen, but well planned and well executed, could be in fact helpful to local communities.
Gautam: For example, taking the idea of medicinal plants, one could create policy that makes sure that the mining company can mine
nitin chinchorkar: the big companies dont stick to the terms and conditions
Gautam: but 20% of their work days
Gautam: that is out of 100 days, for 20 days their heavy equipment could be used
Gautam: for making ecological developments, such as water harvesting systems, stream or river restoration
Gautam: or the labour could go into setting up of forest nurseries
Gautam: yes, but that is the village purview
Gautam: If you can get the villagers into the scheme of selling or growing those medicinals
Gautam: (the pharma industries and spa industries are growing and need more products)
Susan Sharma: That is a sensible proposal -authorities need to have the will power to implement it
Gautam: then they would be able to see to it that these conditions are met
nitin chinchorkar: today only 3 of us are attending the chat — I think people are not interested in ecology and invironment and what lies in future
Gautam: Yes, and some do. Unfortunately too much game playing at the lobbyist/govt interface
Gautam: AH!! The lights are back in on in Mumbai!
Alok Mishra: Namaste to everybody
Gautam: Good I can be on longer.
Gautam: Hi Alok
Alok Mishra: hi
nitin chinchorkar: Is this the root cause — common man is disinterested?
Gautam: Susan, is there a reason that chat doesnt allow long and wordy statements?
Susan Sharma: The CEC of Supreme Court has managed collecting a large fund for reforestation
Gautam: I think disillusioned is more like it
Susan Sharma: by collecting a levy for cutting trees for development. A success story on the lines suggested by Gautam
Susan Sharma: Sorry Gautam, limited by the system
Gautam: Funds is not the issue, unfortunately. Glad they could do it, but they now need to figure how to use the funds.
Gautam: Ah, I see.
nitin chinchorkar: more highways are coming up on BOT contrac
Gautam: This is the problem, inflow of foreign funds for conservation and ecodevelopment is also there, plus there is money from within, but no place to put it.
nitin chinchorkar: they cut the trees and dont plant new trees
Gautam: At small scale, its even ok to cut trees.
Gautam: Esp. in forest areas.
nitin chinchorkar: The timber mafia is hand in glove with govt babus and politicians
Susan Sharma: Alok, I see you are in education-what are your views?
Susan Sharma: Can we do something to make a difference
Alok Mishra: I spoke majority of the people on the issue of drastic change in climate
Alok Mishra: and I found a kind of learned helplessness among them
Alok Mishra: even the educated strata of the society has shown
nitin chinchorkar: they cut old trees and plant some useless foreign variety
Susan Sharma: Helplessness-Gautam is that how you see it?
Gautam: As I said earlier:Disillusionment
Gautam: Im so small what I alone do.
Alok Mishra: so first we have to gain the confidence of majority of population by setting toughest rule on climatic curroption
Gautam: Alok, have you considered creating a database with the contacts of all those people? Maybe you could send them some info when you find some good initiative
nitin chinchorkar: there is on example near my city
nitin chinchorkar: Mr Popat Pawar
Gautam: What is that?
Gautam: Oh he has done super super work
Gautam: You live close?
Gautam: Friend of mine did a documentary on him
Susan Sharma: What does Pawar do?
nitin chinchorkar: He has changed the face of his village with help of Mr Anna Hazare
Gautam: Very good example of bottom up approach toward conservation leading to economic and ecological self sufficiency
Gautam: Or some combination of those three concepts anyway
nitin chinchorkar: many people come to see his role model
nitin chinchorkar: water conservation and tree plantation
nitin chinchorkar: no sugar cane plantation
Gautam: He basically pushed his village people to do some basic land works, watershed restoration, plantation work
nitin chinchorkar: you are right
Susan Sharma: It will be great if all of you can blog about such initiatives on IWC blog. It will reach a larger no. of people
Alok Mishra: sure
nitin chinchorkar: it is 20 kms from my city Ahmednagar
Susan Sharma: Gautam, what is the name of the doc. on Pawar?
nitin chinchorkar: you should invite people to visit his village
Gautam: Dunno. Will have to ask my friend dunno if he has finished it
Gautam: Nitin you may know him, have you heard of Yogesh Kardile?
nitin chinchorkar: see it first hand
Alok Mishra: yes I know Yogesh
nitin chinchorkar: Yes I read abt Kardile
Gautam: Basically he is the one who is doing the doc.
Gautam: Susan, ill ask him if its done, if it is Ill let you know.
Susan Sharma: Thanks.
nitin chinchorkar: Hivare Bazaar
Gautam: In fact this can bring us back to the topic at hand
nitin chinchorkar: name of Mr Pawar’s village
Gautam: I work with Yogesh, a community dev. guy working with tribals
Gautam: As well as an alternative energy company Hindustan Renewable Energy
Gautam: I think this approach is something that could work
Gautam: This is why we need to work alongside developers and sensitize them
nitin chinchorkar: he is doing something in eco-tourism
Gautam: At the moment there are many new emerging concepts sch as green building which can be used to steer dev toward true conservation
Gautam: Yes, that also.
Gautam: He basically does ecotourism activities in tribal areas where he is working to bring in funds for proper development of basic infrastructure
nitin chinchorkar: eco-tourism gives the tribals some income and incentive
Gautam: Yes, basically in this case conservation can help development.
nitin chinchorkar: Highest mountain peak in Maharashtra
Gautam: Yes, in this case conservation helps development
nitin chinchorkar: right
Gautam: Next step would be for the development that happens to be in tune with the ecology of the region
Gautam: and not just sit side by side, but to help the biodiversity of the surroundings by being there
Gautam: So a road built could have reptile and amphibian underpasses to aid in crossing and breeding sites can remain undisturbed
Gautam: Buildings could have green walls/vertical gardens and green roofs which could be planted with agricultural produce and natives for restoration
nitin chinchorkar: before closing let us exchange our e-mail IDs — so we will be able to keep in touch and exchange our information and data
nitin chinchorkar: aditya.chinchorkar@gmail.com
Gautam: And energy could be site specific, such as what biomass incinerators for electricity
Gautam: gautam.muralidharan@gmail.com, you can see my website on the link for the chat I think
nitin chinchorkar: web address?
Gautam: www.oikos.co.in
nitin chinchorkar: Susan and Alok ??
Susan Sharma: Biomass incinerators-can you explain a bit
Susan Sharma: Susan: susan_sharma@hotmail.com
Alok Mishra: akmishra.edu@gmail.com
Gautam: Basically a closed stove/burner type contraption, which burns biomass of any type – grass/leaves/wood, and can create electricity from this combustion
Alok Mishra: it was an enlightening session indeed
Susan Sharma: Do use the user facilities at IWC-you can upload a trip report about a visit to the tribal village, write a blog on initiatives
nitin chinchorkar: ok thanks Gautam –some of your points are very vital and everybody should think seriously abt it
Alok Mishra: I write popular science article on Biomimicry
Gautam: Glad to hear you got something out of it.
Gautam: Really?
Gautam: I am meeting the Biomimicry team from the guild tomorrow
Alok Mishra: I am planing to make a teachers trainig module on it
nitin chinchorkar: we should arrange a workshop with help of Yogesh
Alok Mishra: nice Gautam
Susan Sharma: Great idea Nitin
Gautam: Yeah they are here from the U.S. for a workshop at lavasa, same like the one they did in Mexico.
nitin chinchorkar: He lives there and knows the tribals
Gautam: Yes, I think you should speak to him, we can arrange. For sure he will talk to me about it if you tell him to.
nitin chinchorkar: let us see his efforts
Gautam: Yes, I met him because i had also done some development work for an NGO there some years ago.
nitin chinchorkar: we could ask our friends to his facilities
nitin chinchorkar: to use his facilities
Gautam: Yes, he conducts quite a few very nice camps.
nitin chinchorkar: instead of costly resorts
Susan Sharma: Nitin, can we ask Mr.Pawar to moderate a chat?
Gautam: That may be doubtful susan
nitin chinchorkar: we should visit his village first
Gautam: yes
Susan Sharma: OK
nitin chinchorkar: I will co-ordinate the visit
nitin chinchorkar: where everybody lives?
nitin chinchorkar: Me at Ahmednagar city
Susan Sharma: I live in Gurgaon
Gautam: bombay
nitin chinchorkar: Cell – 9822811042
Gautam: unfortunately dunno if ill have the time
Susan Sharma: Mail is the best way to stay in touch with me- or facebook
Gautam: I have been telling Yogesh Im coming to his place now for a year and havent had the time yet. And its only 7 hours away
nitin chinchorkar: try hard
nitin chinchorkar: given my mobile coz I am ready to co-ordinate the visit
Susan Sharma: Yes, Gautam I think we must take out some time-this group of four in the chat room that is
Gautam: Ok. Well Im glad you all came. Hope everyone got some food for thought. Hopefully no one is on a diet.
Susan Sharma: Gautam I will close the room when you say
Gautam: Yeah I mean if you all come, I can do maybe a day or two.
Gautam: Its all you Susan.
nitin chinchorkar: Visit to Mr.Anna Hazare– Pawar and Kardile – 2 days programme
Susan Sharma: Any topic suggestion for next month chat?
Gautam: Thanks for the time.
nitin chinchorkar: should continue todays unfinished chat
Gautam: No idea. Need to look through the archives i think to figure it out
Susan Sharma: Do let me know if you suggestions for chat topics by mail
Gautam: Ah thats a good one
Gautam: heheh
Susan Sharma: It is not a bad idea Shall I say Cons..and Dev- Part II
Gautam: Alright. Good night everyone.
nitin chinchorkar: from chat rooms we should first go to the field
Gautam: That sounds fine.
nitin chinchorkar: thats the only alternative
Gautam: I think then probably a focus on a specific topic would be good
Gautam: Either construction or infrastructure or energy or something
Susan Sharma: Nitin, both have a role to play- On that note good night and thank you all!
Gautam: Thanks. Nite
nitin chinchorkar: thanks allround

4 thoughts on “Oikos Green Walls in Mumbai”

  1. if you like big project in green wall working give me your company more details .. in my mail id and my mobile number 09586775439


    krupal patel


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