Know the Founder


Contact Details
Mr. M B Nirmal
Founder, Exnora International
# 20, Giriappa Road, T. Nagar, Chennai - 600 017, INDIA
® 044 2475 9477, ® 5219 3595, (0) 2815 33 77,
(0) 2825 33 76, (M) 98400 34900
E mail :,
Website :

Profile of Mr. M B NIRMAL who is a globally known Motivator, Innovator, Trainer, Change-Maker, Mind Programmer, Humorist, Orator, Writer, Environmentalist, Social Reformer, Social-Activist & Social Worker.


M B NIRMAL served last as the Chief Public Relations Officer of Indian Overseas Bank before he took voluntary retirement. He had served as Chief Manager of a few of IOB major branches including the overseas Hong Kong Branch, Teynampet and Nungambakkam, Chennai, India.

M.B.Nirmal has been a regular guest and visiting faculty to deliver inspirational and motivational lectures on various subjects in the specialties related to Behavioral Science and Creativity at the National Level Apex Training Institutes, such as the Staff Colleges of Reserve Bank of India, State Bank of India, most of the Nationalized Banks, Private Banks, Co-operative Banks, Petroleum Corporations, Air Lines, Advertising Companies, LIC, General Insurance, National Institute of Bank Manager (NIBM), Anna Institute of Management and the Staff Training Colleges of many corporate organizations. He has trained the top executives of many of these organizations. He has imparted training to City Managers of forty foreign nations. He has trained top officials of State and Central Governments. Apart from Motivation, his 7th Sense, a powerful Brain Resource Development Training Programme is equally a great success, being attended by the top executives of Government and Corporate organizations as well as members of faculty of Arts & Professional Colleges. 'Study Smarter & Not Harder' for students and 'Effective parenting' for parents are also smash hits. His training programmes are conducted in India and Abroad.


He is a powerful motivating speaker has addressed meetings on topics of global concern, in the UN bodies, World Bank. US Government Organizations like US-EPA, US-AEP & NPPR, in USA Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in India, Technical Teachers Training Institute (TTI), Universities in India and USA and District Conferences of Rotary and Lions International. He chaired Sessions of UNCHS at Shanghai, China and Asia Pacific Cities Forum in Cebu, Philippines. Often he speaks in different T.V. Channels.

He and his Exnora colleagues have been continuously training the (i) Elected representatives of Local Bodies (ii). Officials & Workers of Local Bodies (iii). NGOs & CBOs . (iv) Teachers & Students of Educational Institutions like Universities, Colleges & Schools in several Indian States and also several countries the number of which should run in to several thousands .In Tamilnadu , the District Collectors availed Exnora’s Training for the elected representatives and Officials of their Local Bodies which Exnora has done for all the Districts several times. Many other Indian States, particularly the Southern State Governments have been availing Exnora’s service. Exnora has rendered this service in many International and National workshops that took place in India & Abroad. The training has been rendered also by the Exnora Subsidiaries ( E.G Water bodies Exnora, Green Cross Exnora, etc )

He is a powerful motivating speaker has addressed meetings on topics of global concern, in the UN bodies, World Bank. US government Organizations like US-EPA, US-AEP & NPPR, in USA Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in India, Technical Teachers Training Institute (TTI), Universities in India and USA and District Conferences of Rotary and Lions International. He chaired Sessions of UNCHS at Shanghai, China and Asia Pacific Cities Forum in Cebu, Philippines. Often he speaks in different T.V. Channels.

AUTHOR / WRITER for Societal & Individual Development
He is author of twelve books in Tamil and six books in English written for individual and societal development. He has been writing in leading Magazines and periodicals regularly. Details at the end.

He conceptualized Waste Management for the first time. The revolutionary concepts & innovations are:

A.. Solid waste management (SoWaM) at various levels
• At Source (So-SoWaM- Source Solid Waste Management),
• At street, colony, area or settlement (De-SoWaM- De-Centralized Solid Waste Management)
• At Village / Town (Ce-SoWaM- Centralized Solid Waste Management)

B. Liquid Waste Management (LiWaM) at various levels
• At Source (So-LiWaM- Source Liquid waste Management)
• At street, colony, area or settlement (De-LiWaM - Decentralized Liquid Waste Management)
• At Village & Town (Ce-LiWaM- Centralized Liquid Waste Management)

He made so many innovations and inventions in the field of environmental protection. He converted a fish cart to a trash collection cart in the year 1988 which has become now a moving icon for trash management throughout India,

D. Other Innovations for the Society & Environment - Sky Farming, Vertical Farming, Vertical Composting, Perennial Landfill, Psych Cycling, Cycling Cling, NONE Cycling. Synergy Composting, Thennai Chennai (on growing Coconut trees), “Teach Reach” (An easy to start inexpensive tuition center for slum children), “Helmet or Hell mate” (Novel campaign on the importance of wearing Helmet)


November 2005 United States - Asia Environmental Partnership (USAEP) Environmental Leadership Award Presented by US consul General
18th August, 2005 Hamsadhwani The Distinguished Citizen Award presented by Mr. N Ravi, Editor, The Hindu
17th July 2004 by leading periodical, Wisdom Star of India Award, presented by Chief Justice, High Court Chennai. & Karnataka Governor
26th April, 2003 Probus Award of Excellence (Rotary) In Commemoration Of A Decade Of Service by Rotary Award
2002 – 2003 Tamil Nadu Government Best Environmental Service Organisation. Presented by Honourable Minister for Environment
1999 Former President of India Dr V V Giri’s family Dr.V.V.Giri Birth Centenary Award presented by Governor of Tamilnadu for contribution to protect environment.
4th July, 1998 Tamil Nadu Foundation of USA Inc. Excellence Award for 1998Presented in USA by Hon’ble Mayor-Tamil Nadu Foundation of USA Service Award-1998 pres
1997 District Rotract Council Example To Youth Award Presented by Rotary Governor
June 1996 UNCHS Habitat - United Nations Center for Human Settlements. Best Practices of the World trcognition for Exnora International in the Habitat Conference in Turkey
16th November, 1996 Indian Overseas Bank, Founders Day Award
Meritorious Service To The Public Presented By RBI Governor Mr. Rangarajan
6th March, 1996 News Today Man of The Year
31st December, 1995 Trinity Mirror Daily Man of The Year
1995 The Rotary For The Sake Of Honour Award Presented by the Chairman IOB & Rotary Governor
1994 Lions Melvin Jones Award Presented by LIONS Governor
1990 Innovators For Public, USA Ashoka Innovator fpr Public Innovator Recognition. Fellowship And Monetary Assistance
1989 Saavi Weekly Best Writer Award Presented by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamilnadu
1989 ASHOKA Innovator for Public, USA  
1989 Indira Gandhi Memorial National Award Excellent Bank Manager of India, presented by Governor of Andhra Pradesh
1988 Indian Overseas Bank Best Branch Award to Chief Manager M B Nirmal Presented by Union Finance Minister, Mr V P Singh
1978 Indian Overseas Bank Best Bank Manager Award Presented by Bank Chairman


INDIA TODAY -15th January, 1995
“Mr. M B Nirmal is one of the ten Angels of Change transforming India”. Cover Story

INDIAN EXPRESS, - 25th January, 1996. “One of the six Crusaders who will change India”.

READER’S DIGEST, - March 1999 -‘Hero For Today’.
“Mr. Nirmal is a peerless leader who has a remarkable ability to inspire people to work together”

“One of the six Pathfinders of India along with Mother Teresa, Dr. Kurian, Sunderlal Bahuguna & Dr. M S Swaminathan.

“One of the Ten Leading Gentlemen of Chennai”- “Mr.Nirmal is a walking example of positive thinking.”

THE HINDU, - 10.02.1996
Catalyst Of Social Change” “Nirmal’s optimism Is Infectious” “He is an Outstanding Achiever”.'

NEWS TODAY, - “Man of The Year For 1995”, 3 June 1996
“Mr.Nirmal is a highly motivated person and an incurable optimist with undying and unquenchable optimism. His watchword is ‘never say die’ and lives so”

FROZEN THOUGHTS – Cover Story, ‘Simply Great’- August 2005.- The man who gave Chennai face lift. A man with a great sense of responsibility towards his country, he is filled to the brim with initiative and dedication. He has recycled good the world over to adapt India and its people. Mr M B Nirmal is innovative and charitable and his purpose in life is to make a difference.

TIMES OF INDIA – Sunday, APRIL 30, 2000. – ‘Newsmakers’ —

If there is one dream that has consumed every walking moment of the last 12 years of banker turned noted environmentalist M B Nirmal’s life, it is that of a garbage free and eco friendly Chennai. Nirmal has shared his expertise with officials in developing countries like China, Laos, Ethiopia, Thailand and Sri Lanka and has addressed international bodies like the World Bank, Asia Pacific Cities Forum and the national pollution prevention round table conferences at Denver.

ECONOMIC TIMES - 9th October 1994,
“Exnora’s concept has become the blue print for people’s participation in urban – clean –up”.

THE WEEK - 29th May 1994,
“The Movement has grown in Madras from an anti – garbage campaign to a movement that gives each street a feeling of identity and pride.Encouraged by Exnora, the people often find their own solutions to problems”.

“Jawaharlal Nehru said, ‘success often comes to people who dare and act; it seldom goes to the timid who are ever afraid of the consequences’. Nirmal is one such individual who dared to make a difference”.

“He has the ability to bring out the Gandhi in every one”

NEW INDIA TIMES (USA), 8.10.1999.
“Mr.Nirmal’s speech at FETNA conference, Missouri, USA was electrifying”, “Many call him a Visionary. “Most regard him a motivator. He has proved that motivation can move mountains and people too. He is always pregnant with ideas”.

THE HINDU - 10th February 1995,
“The Founder of Exnora International and its diverse wings is person who has taken the plunge straight into the heart of urban ills, the dirt and ugliness and Civic problems and come up trumps. Nirmal’s unpretentious façade hides enormous initiative and drive which kindles dormant wills to constructive use. He has helped set the huge ball of awareness and collective responsibility rolling and promises it will carry away with it the filth and maladies plaguing both cities and villages. Within six years since Exnora was started, the voluntary service organization has become a distinct presence not only in Madras but also in various other cities gathering into itself human resources and potential of those belonging to all age groups and social strata”.

MUMBAI MIRROR (Times of India)– 11th October,2005,- “Nirmal is not just another armchair expert. He chucked a job in the corporate sector to clean up his city and set up an NGO Exnora International in 1988 to implement his ideas. The NGO promotes Resource Management as opposed to Waste Management. Its techniques not only generate revenue from waste but also helps protect the environment. With its motto “Waste is not waste until wasted”, EXNORA has scripted many a success story in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Many Exnora volunteers including Tailors, Auto drivers, Clerks and slum dwellers – are role models for their communities now. It now one of the leading NGOs in South India. He has brought out a CD ‘Innovative Solid

Waste Management’ which dwells on concepts like Solid Waste Management, ways of doing it, vertical composting, perennial landfill, sky farming and home beautifiers.

THE HINDU- February 11th , 2001 - Exnora has revolutionized the application of community hygiene and environment protection practices. It has received numerous awards, Nirmal has attended international seminars to share his experiences. The enormous success of Exnora is probably due to his single minded determination and unswerving focus. "We are all human beings and I believe that we should live in dignity" Nirmal said. That is what Exnora is about

The news paper has honoured him as outstanding Environmentalist of the century and described him as a legend.

Mr.Nirmal is full of new ideas and suggestions”.

THE HINDU – 2nd June 97
The National daily covered him under Personality Column and described him as a Catalyst of Social change and wrote, "Nirmal's Optimism is infectious"

TRINITY MIRROR, (Evening Daily) 31.12.1995
The daily honoured him as an Outstanding Environmentalist for 1995

INDIA TODAY - "Civic Exnora is an example of what people can do if they want to help themselves. Exnora has transformed Navalar Nagar, one of the dirtiest slums on the banks of the Buckingham Canal into a showpiece. The low-lying part, on level with the canal has also been raised with rubble and a park designed on it. Sixty volunteers now sweep the roads and maintain plants in the colony.

INDIA TODAY -31st October, 1994, following the outbreak of PLAGUE gave a gloomy account of the alarming situation arising out of garbage and sewage all over India and praised Exnora as an organization showing the way, in effectively tackling problems of insanitation by novel methods and by involving the citizens. Four national dailies published from Bombay, Calcutta & New Delhi in their Editorial on the causes and consequences of the PLAGUE praised Exnora’s services and recommended Exnora’s concepts to the rest of the Nation.

Bhavan’s Journal 31st December 1993: Bharath Ratna Late Mr. C Subramaniam - Former Governor of Maharastra and President Bhavan's Journal in the editorial of the magazine, Bhavan's Journal dated December 31st, 1993 wrote, "I had the privilege of participating in a function organized by the Exnora School movement. I was greatly struck by the large number of people belonging to various sections of the community present on the occasion. There were the teachers, industrialists, high level management experts, lawyers, doctors etc. They were all actively associated with the movement. Politicians were scrupulously avoided. Exnora has started extending its activities to other cities also. Here was a demonstration of what well managed and properly motivated voluntary agencies can achieve to tackle many of the problems which we as a nation are facing. The motto of Exnora is Think Globally, Act Locally and Do Domestically. There is still hope for India".

THE HINDU January 18th, 2001- Article on Exnora titled, "Why Waste Waste?" "Garbage, Rubbish, Trash, Waste and even Junk - These have not just become improper nouns but derogatory adjectives as well. All that smelly stuff usually has us turning our noses up and our eyes away. Instead let us look towards Solid Waste Management which tells us that the garbage we are disposing off, piling up in our landfills, leaving to mix with our water supply and subsoil ecosystem, burning and polluting is actually encashable wealth. If that sounds unbelievable we only have to look at what a committed band of volunteers have accomplished to realize that there is only one thing we really need to throw away - our apathy".

INDIAN EXPRESS - 26th April, 1992,
“Exnora must be the fastest growing service organization in the world”.

MALAYALA MANORAMA, April 10, 1989 - “Wonder Man’ Of The Banking Industry”
His work was hailed by Sunday, The Week, Economic Times, Financial Express, Times of India, Chitralekha (Gujarathi), Eenadu (Telugu). International Newspapers like India Abroad (USA) and other leading newspapers and periodicals.


OUTLOOK - Aug 15, 2003
THE ‘CAN CAN’ TWIRL by Mr, Gurucharandas, A resident of Vadapalani Road in Chennai wrote to me last year to say, “Our street used to be one big garbage dump. The bin outside our home was always overflowing because the corporation van did not often show up. My neighbour in frustration used to set the garbage on fire, but the smoke irritated my asthma and I would douse it with water. So, we began to quarrel and we fought all the time.

“But one morning the dustbin suddenly disappeared and a brightly painted cart stood at my door with a boy in uniform and gloves. Called the ‘street beautifier’, he taught us to separate our garbage at home. Each morning he would empty the organic waste into the green section of his cart and the recyclable waste into the red section. When he had covered the street, he would take the cart to our Zero Waste Centre, and empty the organic waste into a storage tank that had holes at the bottom and where it got converted to compost. He would sell the recyclables and the compost to augment his income. I have to pay Rs 20 a month for this, but our street is now spotlessly clean, and where there was garbage outside each home, we have now planted trees.”

All this happened, she told me, because residents of Vadlapani Road decided to form an Exnora Club. Started by M.B. Nirmal, a bank manager, the Exnora civic movement has been so successful that it has rapidly spread across the entire South, and now covers 40 per cent of Madras city, 75 per cent of its suburbs and has clubs across Tamilnadu and the three southern states. Its 17,000 street chapters provide clean, scientific garbage collection to approximately 17 lakh homes. Having realised their collective negotiating power, many clubs have begun to solve other civic problems, such as sewage, street lighting, and water supply through their municipality. Hence, Exnora was recognised by the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements in 1996 as one of 100 Best Urban Practices around the world.

The story of Exnora is not unique. It is one of hundreds of examples of a new India that began to emerge in the nineties, and I think it happened because we broke decisively with the old dogmas of the ancien regime, shedding our earlier rigidities of the mind, as we discovered a new view of ourselves and of the world. This change in mindset more than anything can help to unravel the behaviour that underlies the theme of this special Outlook issue.

TIMES OF INDIA –Mr.Gurucharandas 10th August 2003
Aristotle reminds us that man is a political animal; he also teaches that human beings have capabilities and a good life consists in exercising these capabilities. By not getting involved politically, not only are we not living the proper life of a citizen, but we are also not fulfilling our capabilities as human beings. Fortunately, Indians have begun to engage in recent years and we are rightly proud of Exnora in Tamil Nadu, Sewa in Gujarat, Swadhyayee in Maharashtra, Lok Satta in Andhra, who are mediating between the excesses of the state and the market. There are other fine civil society initiatives, but they are still too few. If we have lost faith in our corrupt institutions, we must rediscover that faith in ourselves and do something and make a difference.

Mr.Frank G. Wisner, Ambassador of United States of America visited Exnora and went round to see the various projects of Exnora. He was in all praise for the work of Exnora. He said, “The work of Exnora with your community was discussed by all nations in a United Nations Conference held recently”.

His visit was followed by a beautiful letter from him which read:

“I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to visit Exnora.

Exnora is known for its strong community development and for the excellence of its environmental programmes. It is the voice of the poor, empowered to take charge of their lives and their surroundings. It is a model example of the wonderful results which occur when NGOs and business link together to solve problems. The US Government and the American people are fortunate to be associated with such a dynamic organization. Your commitment to the less fortunate is truly commendable and I wish you well in all your future endeavours”

Mr. Nirmal must be the first person, who did not restrict the act of environmental protection to himself, but made several lakhs of men and women individually and collectively work for the cause. Like Rotary and Lions which are founded in USA with laudable mission to serve humanity, Mr. M B Nirmal founded Exnora International in India with the main objective of environmental protection.

Mr. M B Nirmal’s Grand Father and Father were very rich. They lost their huge fortune of wealth in family business. In 1971, a young Nirmal was forced to move to a small house surrounded by slums which was in alarming proportion of unhygienic condition with heaps of trash, piles of cow dung, pools of sewage and open defecation. With no option of moving to a better place, Mr. Nirmal started making his place better and indeed achieved his mission. Though he had an easy option of displacing the slum dwellers numbering over 2000 and realize his goal, he chose the path of displacing their unhygienic habits. Instead of throwing them out, he motivated them to throw out their misconceptions, wrong perceptions and Pessimism. He made them partner to his mission and part-owner to the success. Today the Area has become a Model in all respects including the slum dwellers having a common People’s Toilet, Children Toilet, Community Underground Drainage, Tuition Center, A Lush Street Garden, A Gym, and Water Collection System etc.

He started replicating what he did achieve in his place in other places and today several thousands of streets, neighborhoods and slums in Tamilnadu and other parts of India wear clean look. Mr. Nirmal made so many innovations in the field of Solid Waste Management. He created a concept called SoWaM (Solid Waste Management) and three branch concepts called So-SoWaM (Source Solid Waste Management), De-SoWaM (Decentralised Solid Waste Management) and Ce-SoWaM (Centralized Solid Waste Management).

He is also the innovator of several other ideas like Perennial Landfill and Vertical Composting. The idea of sky farming, using the sky place for horticulture, would indeed solve the major problems of the world. Viz – Poverty, Unemployment, Air Pollution and Garbage.

Finally Mr. Nirmal easily makes people, male and female, old and young understand that environmental pollution is the biggest threat and involves them in its protection. He convinces people that a person of another religion is not an enemy, but mosquito and bacteria are the common enemies of the whole human kind. Thus he is able to unite people of various religions languages and castes to work for a common cause.

Exnora International has several organizations in itself such as Civic Exnora, Rain Water Harvesting Exnora, Water Bodies Protection Exnora, Pollution Prevention Exnora, Organic Farmers Exnora, Students Exnora etc.

The best part of Exnora Vision is bringing a big revolution in the very outlook of service clubs. Only people of social status and financial standing can normally become members of leading service clubs. Exnora has made the membership available to ordinary men, who of course will be developed to do extraordinary things in environmental service activities. The subscription is very nominal Rs. 200/- per annum. The Exnora Top Leadership includes a tailor, a clerk and a slum dweller. Exnora has its membership even in gypsies. But they are today role models in their knowledge as well as ability to act in matters related to environmental protection.

Exnora is serving in different important committees of the State Government.

EXNORA’S MAJOR CONTRIBUTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Exnora Senator Late Capt. Velu and Environmental Activist Amrita Patel went on a tour from Kashmir to Kanyakumari under ‘THE EXNORA CLEAN INDIA PROJECT’ to see the conditions particularly the role of local bodies in Solid Waste Management. They called their trip as Garbage Yatra. India was one and same from North to South. They found in no place the municipal solid waste was managed, it was only mismanaged. They filed a case in the Supreme Court which ended Supreme Court passing judgment directing the local bodies to do the work of Solid Waste Management including Zero Waste Management. This was followed by Government of India bring an enactment making it a Law requiring local bodies to do.

The garbage yatra organized by Exnora ended in filing a case by INTACH & Exnora in the Supreme Court which led to a historical judgment followed by enactment by the Government of India.

He has participated in National & International seminars on issues concerning environmental protection, community service, Individual Development


Mr Nirmal innovated and founded many organizations.

  • He considered pollution is the world’s enemy and he started Exnora International
  • He thought India’s enemy is corruption and started 5th Pillar (of the volunteers & voluntary organizations) The 1st Pillar is Elected bodies like the Central Governments, State Governments, & Local bodies, 2nd Pillar is the Executive from the Chief Secretary to the government village officer, the third pillar is Judiciary and the 4th Pillar is the news media. Nirmal thought there should another pillar of all the volunteers and the voluntary forces to fight the enemy within and the mightiest, the corruption. He formed a body which he named the 5th Pillar
  • He considered the enemy of the Society is Communalism and Regionalism and hence founded ‘MA’ meaning motherliness. Booklet titled “MA”
  • He considered extravaganza is the enemy of families and hence formed ‘PRINCIPLED SIMPLICITY’. See Two Books titled “Principled Simplicity” and Tamil Version, “ILLATCHIYA ELLIMAI”.
  • He considered the alcoholism of men is the enemy of women and hence formed SARVASAKHTHIE. See Book titled “SARVASAKHTHIE”.

AUTHOR of the following books on Societal Development

  1. “Model Town”- on realizing Enviro -Friendly Model Town
  2. “Model Area”- on realizing Enviro -Friendly Model Area
  3. “Model Home”- on realising Enviro-friendly Model Home through Home composting, Home Farming / Sky Farming & Home Gardening Includes terrace farming of vegetables, fruits, medicinal plants & flowers- Home Gardening includes ornamental Gardening inside & outside the house with a home front garden on a part of the pavement on the road in front of the house
  4. “Civic Exnora Guidelines” – on How you bring the community together
  5. “Principled Simplicity” – a book on adopting simplicity and leading a simple life
  6. “5th Pillar”- on how to fight corruption
  7. “Corruption Made Easy”,- a book on corruption prevention, in Tamil
  8. “Corruption Prevention Made Easy”, -a book on corruption prevention, in Tamil
  9. “Neervalam” -on Water bodies protection & restoration- Rain Water Harvesting both domestic & community water bodies rain harvesting
  10. “Maghizhungal Maghizhiuiyungal” on All about Tree Planting in Tamil
  11. “PORKALATHAI NOKI INDIA” -India Towards Golden Age- through Rural Development
  12. ‘MAA’ -a book on communal harmony through adopting motherliness
  13. “Marungal Mattrungal”-a book on communal Harmony & positive attitude , in Tamil
  14. “Illatchiya Ellimai”- a book on simple living, in Tamil
  15. “Sarvasakhthie” – a book on de addiction of alcoholics & empowerment, in Tamil INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT
  16. “Thadaikarkale Padikarkal “ – a book on positive attitude and how to convert hurdles as stepping stones, in Tamil
  17. “Sollungal Vellungal”- a book on positive & effective communication, in Tamil
  18. “Ayalnattu Anubhavangal” – a book on positive learning by his trips abroad, in Tamil
  19. Written a number of smaller books: Magic Wand, Auto Great, Teach Reach, Thennai Chennai.
  20. V eg-Edge, Voice Against Noise

AUTHOR of the following CDs

  1. 1. Exnora Wonder World
  2. WATER- Water Available To Everyone Really
  3. 7th Sense
  4. Motiva"c"tion


  1. Relax (Tamil)
  2. Relax (English)
  3. Health (Tamil)
  4. 100% Health (English)
  5. Combined Study

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