The home grown ‘raddiwalla’ goes online on Kuppathotti [Trash your trash]
I am sure everyone has been paid visits by the ‘roadside raddiwalla’ sometime or the other. And it’s like a dedicated affair. Every few weeks he pays a visit and takes old newspapers, bottles etc. Infact, when we were small it used to be a part of our job to collect and give away the waste to the raddiwalla and the pocket the money. But now times have changed and everyone has got busy and you rarely see a raddiwalla around.
Enter circa 2011-12 and a brand new avatar ‘Kuppathotti’ – our new online Raddiwalla. Meaning ‘Trash can’ in Tamil, Kuppathotti is the brainchild of Sujatha and Joseph Jegan. Both MCA grads and working with IT MNC’s left their well paying jobs to follow their dream. They discussed and brainstormed on various ideas but could not single-on on anything. And the idea of Kuppathotti came from their own home. It came from the predicament they were put through while disposing their household junk. Being busy professionals they had no time to call the scrap dealer and the junk accumulated to the level that it became impossible to manage. “At that time, I searched the net for online scrap collectors to dispose our house hold junk but didn’t find any. This seeded the need to launch Kuppathotti,” says Joseph, Founder, Kuppathotti. They currently employ 13 grads who go home-to-home collecting trash. 6 months and 7000 customers later, Joseph is a happy man. He says it is their biggest achievement that they were able to follow their dream.
Here is a QnA with Kuppathotti founding team:
Q – So how did you begin work on Kuppathotti and what kind of customers are you targeting?
A- As the concept of e-waste disposal is entirely new and untouched, I myself went and collected the information from scrap shops in different areas and started this venture. We are covering all kinds of people but our target customers are middle and upper middle class. This is because they are generate more non-degradable waste and are shy to make money out of it.
Q – This is an entirely new concept in India. How are people receiving it?
A - Yes, we are proud to say that this is a unique idea and new business concept. Till now there are no websites available for making a trash collection request in India. We are getting 100 per cent positive feedback & appreciation from our customers since we reach them at their doorstep with prior information in a regular cycle.
Q – How does the whole thing work…from registration on the site to trash pick-up?
A – So you need to come to our site and create you login using a few details. Thereafter you need to select trash or a trash request on the site. There is a checklist you need to fill that mentions the category of waste you want to give out. Every day we have scheduled visits to different area. Our representative calls you to confirm your availability a day prior to the scheduled visit. They visit your place with a weighing machine and the list you filled on the website. Thereafter they pay you on the spot for the trash items which we have received according to the weight.
All trash is dumped and segregated in our godown. Once segregated, it is handed over to proper recyclers. Currently, we visit our customers once in 45 days. We are only in Chennai but plan to spread to other cities too, though that will take some time.
Q – How do you generate revenue from the model?
A - Normally “More Customers More Revenue” but for us more customers from same area/place get us more revenue by saving travel costs. We do not charge our customers as our service is absolutely free but get money from the recyclers who collect the waste from us.
Q – How is Kuppathotti being publicized and marketed?
A - At the beginning, we distributed pamphlets. It reached a guy in PTI news agency. Their article about kuppathotti.com was published in so many websites. Then our concept is published in so many newspapers and magazines. Our “kuppathotti.com” name itself helps us to grow more.
Q – Where do we see Kuppathotti in the next few years? What is your vision?
A - Our Vision is to make clean and eco-friendly environment throughout India within 2015. Also we plan to directly get into recycling metal and plastic waste but that will take some time to ideate and indite.