EcoCentric: The New Revolution in Eco-Friendly e-Waste Management

Karan Thakkar, ,Founder & MD

Karan Thakkar,

Founder & MD

The Indian union environment ministry in March 2016 had a prospective rationale to revamp the stagnant e-Waste management rules of 2011, accounting to the dreadful inflation in unsystematic & unorganized e-Waste disposals in the country. Must be an after effect, recently the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) caught 27 active illegal e-Waste industries in Uttar Pradesh, which were dumping e-Waste into the Ramganga, causing irreparable damage to the river and its surrounding environment; a lucid instance of India leaving behind every other country when it comes to awareness about e-Waste management. Need of the hour is a systematic & organized approach with extreme commitment towards the environment, which has been the whole story of EcoCentric– an end-to-end recycler of anything e-Waste ranging from CFLs & tube lights, IT assets, home appliances to large electronic goods, and work in compliance with every e-Waste global regulations.

Recently, one of the large pharmaceutical companies that span across India posted a challenge to collect their e-Wastes from locations across the North, East, West &Southern parts of the country. EcoCentric’s reply was no words, but the company’s strong PAN India reverse logistics network performed an excellent act of collecting e-Waste from all the locations simultaneously. Stepping into its sixth year of inception, no wonder EcoCentric has already grown as an Indian MNC that caters to more than 1000 organizations across globe including the largest ones in industries such as, but not limited to, automobile, pharma, IT and OEMs. Having offices in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Bangalore, Delhi, Goa & London, the company offers both e-Waste recycling and total asset management services.

A Completely Monitored Process Paradigm
Transparency in e-Waste disposal process is an elixir for industries like Banking, where data plays a pivotal role. To offer on site & off-site data destruction services, EcoCentric has developed mobile vans with shredders being mounted on them, which go to the client’s location and enable them the convenience to destroy data contained in the hard-disks in front of their eyes within seconds by merely depositing it inside the van. Once the contract is signed, clients can easily track the IoT integrated processes inside the company using an RFID, and in virtue of providing such transparency, today, most of the country’s renowned banks are using EcoCentric’s services. “Providing online & offline data destruction services, we not only ensure a 24x7 CCTV coverage of how the material is being recycled,but also provide a certificate for the destroyed data,” elucidates Karan Thakkar, Founder, EcoCentric. Thanks to these features (PAN India logistic network and secured data destruction paradigm which is augmented with a proprietary ERP system that makes the whole process streamlined & hassle free for both clients and EcoCentric), the company has already become a buzzword in such a young age.

Once the wastes reach EcoCentric’s 2500 mtpa recycling plant in Khopoli (licensed by MOEF & MPCB),the materials like plastic, glass and metal are segregated. Post this,the plastic and metal are extracted separately in in-house extraction units where valuable metals like gold, silver, and others are separated for re-introducing
them in the value system again,thus reducing the waste. The whole process is highly transparent& traceable to an extend where the clients can track every process over the ERP or can come and visit the plant, just like ICICI Bank did recently.“Instead of a pure e-Waste purchase transaction, we understand the client’s current disposal mechanism and policy, find their pain points, and then we strive to create an experience for them, starting from the initial enquiry to planning, execution of disposal activity, and following compliance to close the loop,”adds Karan.“Here, it’s all about the quantity of e-Waste collected, rather than the number of on-boarded customers. We did about 100 tons in our first year itself, and have never allowed the pace to come down,” he further adds. Between 2013 and 2016, EcoCentric processed about 1,500 tons of e-Waste which includes 250,000 laptops, 50,000 air conditioners, 20,000 servers, and 2,50,000 printers approximately.

The whole process is highly transparent & traceable to an extend where the clients can track every process over the ERP or can come and visit the plant, just like ICICI Bank did recently

Conquering the Success
Rewinding five years, at a time when India was emitting one million ton of e-Waste a year (which has doubled now), Karan an ex-employee of KPMG, had his opportunity to visit some of the largest mines in the world, and his life story changed thereafter. He mused about a reverse mining process (Urban Mining) – extracting materials from an electronic device, similar to mines extracting metals from its ore. Karan quit his job, and for the next six months travelled across the country to learn more about multifarious mechanisms of e-Waste management – an epoch of hardship in a country like India where no company allows you to enter its premise even for a formal visit.

“I had an internal urge to contribute something to the environment; getting acquainted with the local methods of e-Waste management made me confident about doing it in a much better way. While starting my own company, the initial idea was just to commence something related to recycling,” asserts Karan. Initially started as a consultant, Karan’s dream of an eco friendly electronics industry didn’t show up in that way. Thus, Karan went on and incepted EcoCentric in 2011 while he was only 25 years of age. Right after the company got its recycle license in Jan 2013, it built a 2500 mtpa recycling plant in Khopoli. With a broad vision in mind, he conveyed his socially committed eco friendly plans to his friends-networks. And that’s how Karan built a team with couple of his friends – his batch mate HemalDamani who was an investment banker with JP Morgan, and an old friend SanketChauhan who was in the Marketing Department of BPCL at that epoch in time. Being determined towards contributing their part to the environment,Hemal and Sanket took no time in coming along with Karan and turn their dream into reality.

While managing research driven end-to-end services on one hand, Karan had to empower masses about the relevance of organized and regulatory compliant e-Waste management on the other. Hence Eco Centric deeply involved in providing training and enlightening customers every detail about e-Waste and how they can play a role in reversing this huge catastrophe. Nevertheless, the company is still committed in spreading awareness, and in fact it has dedicated a department to
spread awareness that indulges in environmental activities under the aegis of Anchal Bajaj (CSR Head)
joining hands with environmental organizations, schools, colleges and forums like CII &TiE. Recently, the company ignited a campaign #Iam Eco Centric by placing multiplee Waste bins across Mumbai where people can come and drop their electronic waste post destruction of data.This included IMC Chambers, CCD outlets, CCI club amongst others. The company plans to take the initiative across India in the next few months to let people contribute their part towards environment building and sustainability.

The Growth Pattern
Commenced its operations from a small office in BMC Colony, Mumbai, with a meager Rs.50,000, EcoCentric has been doubling its revenue from the year one, and today it is all set to open another 25000 mtpa recycling plant in Khopoli. The company raised its first round of growth capital in 2016 from a couple of high net worth individuals (HNIs) –Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia (a well-known UK-based seed-stage investor & the founder of Euro Car Parts), and Badri Baldawa (Director Founder of the three-decade old Seeba Group).

Today, being one of the fastest growing companies in India, EcoCentric takes pride in dedicating all the credits to its 50 people strong team. Karan says,“It’s such a great honor to have employees who are completing five years in the organization. We lived this dream together”. When it comes to training and grooming of employees, the company goes beyond regular training methodologies and team discussions to include topic based special trainings conducted by industry experts, team building games, annual offsite gatherings and much more. And this out-of-the-box training model is visible as company’s outcome.

Team EcoCentric is genuinely passionate & futuristic about contributing towards society, and that’s where exactly the success begins from. The innovative team is currently working on a couple of futuristic areas - Solar Panel and Lithium Ion battery recycling, which are going to be the severe pain-points of the industry in the next few years. They are genuinely spot on and definitely have a bright future ahead!

Key Management:
Karan Thakkar, Founder & Managing Director
Best known as the ‘chief dreamer’ of EcoCentric, Karan is a well -experienced professional who is extremely committed towards the Mother Nature and persistently brainstorm and implement the eco friendly innovations.

HemalDamani, Director
The second one in the buddy gang, Hemal is professionally an investment banker who is the ‘Money Man’ of the company. He is also an extreme nature lover who finds happiness in contributing towards it.

Sanket Chauhan, Director
The marketing head of the company, Sanket’s role has been predominant in EcoCentric outreaching to masses. He brings in an experience of over a decade.

Anchal Bajaj, CSR Head
Another nature lover and social worker, Anchal heads all the CSR activities of EcoCentric.

• e-Waste Recycling
• Complete Asset Management

Offices: Mumbai (Headquarter), Pune, Nagpur, Bangalore, Delhi, Goa& London

• Indian Leadership Award
• 50 most talented Green Leader Award
• Roaring MSME by Maharashtra Chambers of Commerce and much more