New investment to erase E-waste

Sukhpal Ahluwalia, founder of Euro Car Parts and Badri Baldawa, founder of Seeba Group of Companies, have jointly and equally invested in EcoCentric, one of India’s fastest growing companies providing e-waste management solutions. Both Sukhpal and Badri will sit on the board of the company.

The Asian entrepreneurs have invested an undisclosed sum into the business as part of seed growth capital. These funds will be used to ‘scale up’ the business and expand EcoCentric’s operations both in India and internationally.

EcoCentric provides corporates and individuals with a customised end-to-end solution for e-waste management, asset recovery, data security and destruction and reverse logistics. The company was founded in January 2011 to bridge the gap between informal and formal recycling of e-waste material.

E-waste is the waste generated from old and obsolete electronic and electrical equipment. The presence of heavy metals and chemicals make e-waste potentially hazardous and it is one of the fasted growing streams of hazardous waste globally.

Karan Thakkar, founder and managing director of Ecocentric, said, ‘India is the fifth-largest producer of e-waste globally, generating two million tonnes annually, of which only five per cent is forwarded for formal recycling and 95% to the ‘informal sector’ which does not have the technical knowhow of recycling and resource recovery. As a result, manual recycling causes harm to the environment and the people involved in the trade.”

This has opened up a business opportunity for formal, professional recycling. Ecocentric has state-of-the-art recycling facilities with the capability of processing e-waste for metal recovery and hazardous waste treatment. With this current round of funding, the company will be able to increase its capacity from 2,500 metric tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 10,000 mtpa, while installing further collection facilities across India.

Karan added, ‘It is estimated that the value of electronic equipment manufactured will reach approximately $35bn by 2020 and the recoveries from e-waste alone will be $4bn by the same year. With the experience, expertise and reach that Mr Baldawa and Mr Ahluwalia bring on board, the Ecocentric team is very confident of playing a leadership role in the Indian e-waste recycling sector.’