What started out as a personal difficulty for founder Achitra Borgohain, blossomed into a full-fledged business that helps individuals, households, SMBs, schools and colleges to recycle their e-waste responsibly.With 10 years in the corporate sector behind him Achitra runs the company’s strategy and business and co-founder Amisha Sethi, who has previously worked at Airtel, BlackBerry and Air Asia and heads Marketing and Sales. BinBag’s vision is simple: reward and inspire people to make responsible choices. We chat with the founders.
An excerpt from the Interview
• What made you start your venture?
I was not able to dispose e-waste in a frictionless manner, BinBag was founded to help others recycle their e-waste in a responsible manner. People tend to hoard electronic items, such as old wires, cables and mobile phones, at home. Other dry and wet waste is disposed regularly.
E-waste is even more hazardous when it reaches the landfill and is burnt. Our purpose is to channelize e-waste to authorized recyclers and provide that last-mile connectivity. We have already collected over 600Kgs of e-waste.
What has been the key to your business’s success?
The key for our business success is the “clear need” and “undiluted belief” for BinBag to come and solve the basic problem of E-waste management in India at the last mile level.
There are recyclers in a place like Bangalore who are running only 10% of their capacity and at the same time there are thousands of households and individuals who want to dispose the electronic waste responsibly but have no choice or know how to do it.
We have received in just 3 months of incubation at NSRCEL, phenomenal response from recyclers, household individuals and even waste picker communities. Our vision and passion is solid and we are committed to bring innovative ways to serve our customers and partners in a in a fun, frictionless and yet responsible manner.
• What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them?
The challenge here is to overcome the major barrier at this point in time which is the unorganized way the e- waste is disposed and recycled. Bringing responsible methods to the overtly unstructured system and at the same time incentivizing those who dispose responsibly is a herculean task. We are like a Social network to do “Good”.
The three interesting pillars here are: the person who wants to dispose responsibly (we are on demand e-waste management service), waste pickers (we are elevating their standard of living), Recycler (helping him with his capacity utilization)….. And we are bringing these three pillars together and striving for value creation at all levels……..We are like an Uber of e-waste.
We want to inculcate a culture of e – waste disposal which is responsible and hence the immediate gratification and fun incentives to the people and organizations who are willing do it! •
What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion?
What separates BinBag from the rest of the e-waste recycling centres is that it also work hard at motivating waste generators to dispose of waste responsibly. Moral obligation and concern for the environment is usually not enough. We try to recognize people’s efforts and reward them for making the effort of choosing to dispose waste responsibly.
Currently, the start-up is incubated at N S Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL), IIM-Bangalore. From a one-man show, the team has now expanded to include two more people, for handling marketing and operations. In the next few months, we’d like to scale up exponentially. We have a few people who want to start franchises of BinBag.
One person has already started operating a franchise in North Bengaluru. We are a fun and responsible brand, and are continuously trying to innovate in bringing value to the completely new ecosystem that we are creating with BinBag.
This ecosystem of household customers, waste picker communities, recyclers and incentive partners is the center of gravity for all our key business decisions. We want to collect as much non-working electronic waste as possible by creating proper collection channels and easy touch points across categories of e-waste generators.
• What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
o Stay passionate and focused on the vision everything else will fall in place o Keep the energy levels high, every day is full opportunities and yet there are challenges, just start enjoying the actions o Don’t be afraid of failures, they will always outnumbered by opportunities!!! Visit their Website: http://www.getbinbag.com/ Like them on Facebook: BinBag