No one would have ever thought at the onset of the electronic age that we’d be having so many computers and electronic items one day that disposing them off would be a problem. Electronic waste disposal has a lot of complications along with it. This waste is hazardous to the health as well as environment and data security is the other issue that has to be tackled. In an endeavor to do something for the planet and find a solution to this problem, Nitin Gupta, an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business, started Attero Recycling along with his brother.YourStory.in correspondent, Jubin Mehta, caught up with Nitin to know more about this exciting venture. Excerpts from the conversation:How did Attero come about? When was it started?
Attero Recycling was founded by me and my brother, Rohan Gupta in the year 2008 with an objective of leveraging technology for a clean and green environment. With this objective, we set up India’s first & only integrated, end-to-end electronic waste (e-waste) recycling facility and thus becoming the first e-waste recycler to be registered with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India. Attero is committed to initiate a socially-responsible movement towards electronic waste. The idea for Attero germinated when we started facing tremendous problems in disposing off our old laptop and then we realized that it was not only an environment issue but a viable business opportunity also. Hence, Attero was born.
Apart from the Latin meaning, does the name “Attero” have any other significance?
As such, the word does not hold any other significance. The Latin meaning of ‘Attero’ was the reason we decided to name our company Attero Recycling, because we deal in e-waste recycling.
Tell us about the background of the founders and the team at Attero.
Both I and my brother are the founders of our company- Attero Recycling. I hold the position of the CEO at Attero Recycling. I graduated with an MBA degree from NYU Stern School of business and hold a B.Tech degree in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. Rohan Gupta is the COO at Attero Recycling. He was the co-founder and COO at Cinesprite Entertainment Pvt. Ltd (a leader in online movie entertainment in India). He has previously worked at blue chip companies like SAP. He graduated with a B.E degree in Chemical engineering from NIT Jaipur. We have a dedicated team of nine members who look after different heads such as supply chain solutions, research and development, administration, security, marketing, sourcing, green solutions etc.How does the whole process of e-waste recycling work?
Attero provides complete e-waste management solutions with:
- Pan India, secure collection of the e-waste
- Transportation of waste from different collection centres to our plant in Roorkee
- Segregation of the different components of the waste
- Dismantling of the waste
- Recycling : 97-98% of the waste is recycled
The pure metals produced like copper, iron, aluminum, etc. are sold back into the market. During this whole process, we ensure that data security is taken care of and all recycling is done in most environmentally friendly manner.
How big is the e-waste market?
The e-waste market in India is growing at a fast pace. The 2008 Greenpeace report said that India generated 3,80,000 tonnes of e-waste in 2007 and 2008 and the quantity would grow by 15% annually. Also, in 2010 India generated close to half a million tonne of e-waste and it is growing at a rate of 20-25%.
Attero has a 100,000 sq ft.factory in Roorkee, how much waste does it recycle on any given day?
Attero recycles about 10 - 15 tonnes of e-waste in a day.
Tell us something about the zero-dumping technology.
Attero ensures that all e-waste is recycled with highest environmental standards and that no e-waste is ever dumped.
Do you have any competition in this field?
No, we are the only end to end electronic waste recycling company in the country.
What are the challenges you face in this sector?
The biggest hurdle that we face is the lack of awareness amongst the masses regarding the method of disposing off e-waste. Many a times e-waste is carelessly dumped in the open or it is sold off to the scrap dealers. Most scrap dealers resort to crude and highly unsafe methods for recycling e-waste resulting in severe health and environmental hazards. So, it is very important to educate people about the right methods to dispose off their e-waste.
Secondly, corporates need to adopt the international practices which they follow worldwide. They should not have different policies in developed and developing countries. They also need to understand that selling of e-waste is not the core focus of a corporate. They should be more concerned about corporate responsibility, brand image and security.
What is your revenue model? How much revenue do you generate?
We generate revenue by refurbishing used electronics and by recycling them.
Tell us about your success stories with clients.
We today work with hundreds of companies each of which is a success story for us, because we were able to make these companies aware about the hazards related to e waste. In particular companies like Google, TTSL, ING, Wipro, HCL etc have really come forward for this cause.
What are your expansion plans? Where do you see Attero in a few years down the road?
We aim to become the largest, most efficient and environmentally sound e-waste recycling company in the world
Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers at YourStory.in?
I would like to request and advise all the readers that - buy only those electrical appliances that are needed and from the companies that have a take back policy. Also, give all your obsolete electrical items to authorized recyclers who process your e-waste in zero dumping technology and insist on requisite documentation or certification from the vendor who manages your e-waste. It is your own surroundings and your own planet. Please care for it and take appropriate measures to preserve it.
Jubin Mehta | YourStory.in