Waste to Wealth
BY RADHIKA SAXENA
“The challenge lies in creating social impact but one also needs to make money alongside,” says Pavan Murali, co-founder of Enviromitra, a start-up working in the domain of solid waste management and recycling.
In their quest to “do good”, Pavan and co-founder, Gayatri Hegde, along with a group of volunteers, are working actively towards empowering and helping to create value for the waste aggregator or the kabadiwalla (as they as locally known) community, in Bangalore and Mumbai.
Still in pilot stage, Enviromitra works as an intermediary, connecting the kabadiwallas with households and apartment complexes as well as with recyclers. The kabadiwala is offered better prices, provided skills training, operations streamlining and an umbrella brand to attract more customers. To individual households, the duo has plans of offering a branded kabadiwala service.
Starting the enterprise in August 2010, Pavan and Gayatri believe that their “social venture” will be successful only if they look at it like a business that has to generate revenue to be self-sustainable.