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Generating wealth from waste collection!

L N Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on January 11, 2018

There seems to be more wealth in waste than what meets the eye.

When he picked the thermocol packing material lying on the road side, S Mohan Prabhu did not quite know that someone would actually pay him for collecting the stuff.

“I picked the stuff with the intention of disposing it off in the garbage bin, but found that the shop keeper, who was watching me collect the material, was willing to pay for it. I realised that there is money in collecting the material,” he said, recalling his entry into waste collection business.

A zoology graduate with a post graduate degree in management, Prabhu started his career as a marketing executive. “I worked for seven years before entering this trade,” he told BusinessLine, talking about his venture Kuppaikadai.com.

The two-year old start-up is run by management graduates – Prabhu and his friend N Arun Prakash.

Basically into collection of junk material from households and corporates, the duo collect the old stuff that people want to dispose off from their door-step and make the payment instantly.

Sporting a t-shirt bearing the name of his venture “Kuppaikadai.com”, Prabhu visits his customers.

“Households are generally reluctant to allow/ entertain strangers, particularly waste collectors into their homes. But our leaflets, introducing ourselves as management graduates, willing to collect old and worn out stuff – be it old washing machine, mixie, mixie containers, wooden racks, vessels, literally anything that they intend to junk – from their doorstep seems to have kindled people's interest.

“They call, do a check before fixing an appointment so we can go over and collect the stuff. We have a customer base of 1,500. The growth has been slow, but steady.

“Small foundries have availed our services for dismantling their machinery and disposing off the same. This involved huge sum and we did not have that kind of money. The customer understood our plight and gave us time,” Prakash recalls.

The collection, Prakash says is more organised than at start. “We draw up a plan, send bulk text to our existing customers, to alert them that we would be visiting their locality on say “Sunday”, so they can keep the materials they want to dispose off ready, ahead of our visit. This makes it a lot more easy – both for our customers and us.”

Prakash is at present conducting a survey to extend this concept across Madurai,Tirunelveli and Nagercoil. “We need to understand the market before foraying into newer towns.”

The collected junk is segregated and resold to merchants who deal with scrap waste.

Waste collection though is not new, but the way in which Kuppaikadai has taken it forward, reveals possibly, the organised manner in which they have planned this business.

Published on May 20, 2017

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