CHENNAI: What could possibly prove to be a challenge for two boys engaged in recycling of waste? “Mafia,” without batting an eyelid, says Yogesh Sood. Before we come to it, let’s understand what he and his partner Apoorva Chaturvedi do at the helm of Kabaadivala.com. Desiring to bring about a change in the ways kabaadivalas (your neighbourhood scrap collectors) work, the duo started Kabaadivala in October last year. “The money you got for your scrap was less, most kabaadivalas aren’t tidy enough (certainly not someone you wish to entertain at home), their traditional weighing machines didn’t guarantee transparency and there were too many intermediaries in the cycle,” says Yogesh listing the reasons behind launching Kaabadivala.com.
The final-year MBA students of JRE School of Management, Greater Noida have managed to secure good business in the area by employing a team of 40 to collect paper waste, iron, plastic, metal, etc, from households, educational institutes, industries and such. “The people we put together were earning a pittance doing odd errands earlier, whereas we pay them a decent sum,” says Apoorva. Kabaadivala is funded by their college president Harpreet Singh.
How does Kabaadivala.com work? “You can register on our website to get scrap collected at your doorstep. We have also circulated a number of pamphlets and some of our traffic comes via the hotline (+91-8527810555),” says Yogesh. Kabaadivala pays a little extra for your scrap — newspapers are bought at `9/10 while for bulk scrap, `11 is paid. Similarly, the rate varies depending on the kind of scrap and the customer.
So far, they have recorded an impressive turnover of `30 lakh. However, the going was not a bed of roses al through. “When we ate into the market of the local kabaadivalas, they were enraged and a couple of our guys including myself and Apoorva, were beaten in a bid to intimidate us. With us taking some retaliative measures, they have dispersed,” says Yogesh. Some of their clients include Wipro, Jaypee and Unitech Infrastructure Limited.
Their future plans include infiltrating the Delhi and Gurgaon region in the next couple of months and building an electronic recycling plant in the next one-one-and-a-half years. “We hope to change this industry and be known as the men behind the largest recycling plant in Asia,” they echo.
Idolising Vijay Mallya, Yogesh plays a safe tune when he says, “People are always divided about their opinions on ethics in business – when you enter a market, it’s not possible to do it in an ethical manner all the way; you might have to be flexible at times to survive. Nevertheless, while we at Kabaadivala have our sight on profits but at the same time, ensure there is transparency through use of electronic weighing machine and such.”