Students can steer in any direction they wish to choose. Back in 2008, the first thought that students had after graduating was of securing a good career with the best possible job, giving a high priority to government jobs. However, there were few who had a different vision, and amongst them was Prateek Goel, with the dream to initiate his own Startup. Prateek Goel established his Startup- Teramatrix Technologies - with a team of 8 people in the year 2009, which was way before startups had started gaining popularity. With the minds of these eight graduates, Teramatrix Technologies has grown to become one of the most successful Startups of the country. However,Prateek Goel could not be stopped with this achievement.He was inspired by the concept of re-commerce and thus was born ZeroWaste- the re-commerce platform to dispose-off electronic waste (e-waste) responsibly.
Brain2brain talk with Prateek Goyal
Strategy of Zerowaste
When we asked him how he started ZeroWaste, he confidently said "ÃÃÃÂ¢
"Like most other startups, we did not have a fixed business model in mind. We had no concrete idea as to where we will go. We started out to solve the problem of e-waste in India and realized there was a highly unorganized channel to discard the e-waste. The channel was dominated by scrap dealers or flea markets who provided services to get rid of e-waste. Somebody would usually come from the local market, gives a poor price for your electronic product and take your product away. This compelled us to think of an alternative and thus we started our journey."
It is thus evident that new Ideas come only when you start thinking about possible solutions to existing problems. These new ideas may lead to the initiation of a startup and gradually grow to become an established company.
Mr. Prateek shares his experience with us-
"At first, we started looking at ways to set a Recycling plant in a formal manner and make this process environment- friendly. This was not easy at all. We started working with supply chains of companies since getting raw material (in this case- e-waste) was our primary requirement to start the industry. We found that this was not a good source of e-waste for us, hence, we decided to start our own collection centers. This involved buying used electronic equipment from individual consumers, companies and then bring it to the recycling plant. All this gave us great insight about how this industry worked. Just like any other startup, we had multiple pivots, we tried out various things, went for offline models, call centers and managed ÃÃÂ inventory models."
"About 15 lakh tons of e-waste is thrown out by people every year, that's why we decided to have an online model so that anybody can get rid of their waste or used product and ZeroWaste is the front runner in re-commerce market at present."
It makes sense to adopt a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.This is what ZeroWaste has done.
Prateek says, "ZeroWaste is a reverse logistics company or you can say a re-commerce company which provides services through which anybody can sell their electronic products within 60 seconds and can get rid of their product within 48 hours."
Wow! That's a nice IDEA. To make it clear Prateek apprised us with an example ..
"Suppose you want to sell a washing machine here, then all ÃÃÂ you need to do is answer a couple of questions regarding the condition, age, brand, size of the product etc. Thereafter you will get instant price quotation which is generated through an algorithm. The algorithm is embedded in the system and gives you assured price at which ZeroWaste will buy your product. Through algorithms, there will be deductions in price due to conditional issues. As soon as you accept the price quoted by us, we have a cycle of 72 hours in which a vendor will come to your home, cross check the condition of your product and pay cash for the electronic you have sold to us."
"If we compare ZeroWaste with websites like OLX and Quikr, these are classified websites which are running on an advertisement platform where you can put an advertisement of your product, ask people to bid on your product and you need to answer their calls and emails."
Prateek further clarified the difference. He said, "If you want people to see your product, look forward to negotiating, see and buy then classifieds sites are an option where almost 15 days of time will be required to get rid of your product. The companies like OLX, Quikr works on a customer to customer platform while ZeroWaste is a customer to business platform. It has maintained its transparency in providing best service. The e-waste industry led by scrap dealers and flea markets is an unorganized industry and never lets you know the true worth of your product. ZeroWaste, however, publishes its prices online, so there are no chances of getting tricked."
Reminiscent of another startup
The spectacles of experience play a very important role in one's life, and Teramatrix Technologies played its part for Prateek.
If you gain practical knowledge in college life, then your future won't be difficult; and yes, Prateek and his team of Teramatrix Technologies started with a telecom project of BSNL in college and then connected with Shyam telecom and other telecommunications. Prateek also said, "With Teramatrix we had exposure of working with huge MNC's in India and abroad. Teramatrix was a telecom and IOT service company; we worked on it in the initial days and found it to be much more interesting. I always had the vision that electronic-waste is an opportunity. India was ready to look at e-waste management companies, which had already started to grow in the US since ÃÃÂ 2010-11. This gave me confidence that this was the right time to start, and so we registered ZeroWaste in 2013.
Subsequent Peddles' for Zerowaste
According to Prateek, India has a large potential market,however with fewer players in the re-commerce market. They are at the peak because of the ongoing mobile revolution. This is the right time to grow. Along with being a business enterprise, ZeroWaste is helping the environment, creating a social impact.
Prateek completed this by saying,
"We are only tapping half percent of the market, while the opportunity is huge as there will be a 20 billion dollar market by 2018; also in the future, we will try to cover the great exposure areas of Southeast Asia and Africa."
"Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you"-this was the vision that led Prateek to start his business with his own money. Of course, he is seeking for funds to expand his business, but without wasting time on fund seeking, he is working hard for his company's growth, and we hope ZeroWaste shall get the funds it needs to grow larger and stronger.ÃÃÂ
Prateek's words for Brainbuxa users
"Brainbuxa is an amazing portal. I would say that all viewers of Brainbuxa, have a startup, what I call Flintstones - create an aura, create something which you want to do, but don't spend too much on getting everything right, start with a minimum viable product and get out in the market; that's the way of business.."
If there's something you want to build, but the tech isn't there yet, just find the closest possible way to make it happen, that's what a startup is like. ZeroWaste has followed this kind of strategy to make things happen. All of us can make it happen, all you need to do is follow your heart.
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