An Offbeat Business Idea

However, this is not the effort of one man, Siddharth Hande tells us his partner Sonaal Bangera, co-founder, handles the tech end of Kabadiwalla Connect while he heads the business division. Currently the startup’s expenditure amounts to ` 3,00,000 a month. “We are looking for seed investors for our enterprise. We’d like to raise $300,000 to 500,000 through seed investors.”

The start-up also upcycles solid waste and has a division called Upcykle. Upcykle deals in the production and sale of simple utility products and premium upcycle products made from reclaimed waste like glass, plastic or even wood.

On a concluding note, Siddharth tells us that they plan on teaming up with hotels and restaurants in the city to manage their recyclable waste. “We’ve just tied up with Ox and Tomato,” Siddharth smiles. Looks like this budding entrepreneur has all his business fronts covered!

 ‘Tired of all the extra plastic in your house, don’t know what to do with them or how to recycle them?  Here’s an app that can help you with all your recyclable waste troubles!’ Sure it sounds like just another infomercial, but city youngster Siddharth Hande is turning an everyday problem into a potentially viable business model. RITZ catches up with the brain behind Kabadiwalla Connect to learn how he makes the green, while keeping the city green

 

While many people use their smartphones to click those selfies, and make snap stories, several kabadiwallas in the city are using them to track recyclable material prices, locate areas from where waste can be picked up and hail a pick up to transfer this waste to Kabadiwalla Connect’s Material Recovery Facility. “We have networked all the kabadiwallas in a particular area and given them the ability to bypass the middleman when they sell recyclable goods through our app K Connect,” Siddharth tells us.

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Kabadiwallas or like Siddharth likes to call them ‘stakeholders in the informal waste ecosystem’ are said to be benefitting financially from Kabadiwalla Connect since the app allows them to constantly monitor pricing of waste plastic, thereby giving them the impetus to collect more recyclable material to sell. “Our app enables transparent pricing and also pushes up the prices of recyclables. It also educates them about the types of plastics that are floating in the market and their worth,” he says.

Once the load is collected from the kabadiwallas, KC transports them to their facility in Madhawaram where the plastic is further segregated and shredded before it is then sold to a larger recycler.

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While at first one may think of Kabadiwalla Connect as just another social cause organisation, Siddharth Hande is quick to correct our train of thought, “We are a for profit organisation, which revolves around a social cause.  We have the technical knowhow and the idea and we want to integrate IT into the informal waste ecosystem. This also allows us to be independent of funds that come through charity.”

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So how has the startup managed to develop the User Interface and an app without external funding? “We initially received a digital innovation funding from the World Economic Forum. Later on we were part of the Autodesk Social Entrepreneur programme where we received $150,000 worth of software from Autodesk,” he answers.

The 15-member team at Kabadiwalla Connect is currently working on mapping Kabadiwallas’ data in the city and developing the User Interface and User Experience for a household customer app which is set to launch sometime during the month. “This app is very similar to a cab hailing app. The app allows the user to identify their nearest kabadiwalla. It also gives them little tips on waste segregation and composting,” Siddharth says.

However, this is not the effort of one man, Siddharth Hande tells us his partner Sonaal Bangera, co-founder, handles the tech end of Kabadiwalla Connect while he heads the business division. Currently the startup’s expenditure amounts to ` 3,00,000 a month. “We are looking for seed investors for our enterprise. We’d like to raise $300,000 to 500,000 through seed investors.”

The start-up also upcycles solid waste and has a division called Upcykle. Upcykle deals in the production and sale of simple utility products and premium upcycle products made from reclaimed waste like glass, plastic or even wood.

On a concluding note, Siddharth tells us that they plan on teaming up with hotels and restaurants in the city to manage their recyclable waste. “We’ve just tied up with Ox and Tomato,” Siddharth smiles. Looks like this budding entrepreneur has all his business fronts covered!

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