Rahul Nainani, a part of the generation who would have to deal with environmental issues, took it upon himself to do something about it. He identified the urgent need for his company ‘ReCircle’ while researching data about waste management in India. He observed that India was importing waste from the world to run its recycling industries, even though garbage was being generated in our own cities. It became evident that the problem lay with the supply chain or the recovery of waste.
This led to the birth of RaddiConnect, their company that operated as an Uber model for raddiwalas (Scrap collectors). As it grew and expanded to integrate more stakeholders, they evolved to become ReCircle in 2021. This is a social enterprise with a firm resolve to impact India’s social, environmental, and economic infrastructure through repurposing waste.
Nainani’s business was called names in its infancy and had been second guessed by outsiders because of being a novel concept. His background in finance was a far throw from the unorganised sector of waste management and he had risked the safety of a conventional job due to which his professional path was questioned. However, success changes perceptions. “After delivering tangible impact, it is heartening to see the naysayers become some of our most ardent supporters.”
If it’s not the first thing you think about after waking up and the last thing before sleeping, it’s certainly not your passion. The only way of doing so is by doing what you love. The entrepreneurial journey is fraught with thorns so it is of utmost importance to put in the work and hours.
He believes that the youth of our country has the ability to think outside the box, take risks and focus on long-term gratification. It needs to realise that resources are never going to be ‘enough’ to run a business, this hindrance is part of the game. One needs to learn to make the most out of what one has.
Rahul’s business builds an ethical and traceable reverse supply chain for plastics, where they track trash material from the source of collection to its final processing place. They have put in tremendous effort to enable businesses to take ownership of the waste they produce. They also provide fair wages and dignity of labour to waste collectors respectfully referred to as ‘Safai-Saathis.’
He advices aspiring entrepreneurs to only embark upon this journey if they have identified a problem to solve, and are ready with a unique solution.