While you still wonder at the disappearance of the traditional kabadiwala, start-ups like Pom Pom are finding enough business by joining the profession. Deepak Sethi and Kishore Thakur launched the start-up in November 2015 after being inspired by the opportunities available in the recyclable material market. “We saw that paper was the only thing being recycled. Lot of other things like plastic and steel weren’t recycled,” says Sethi. The services can be accessed on the mobile application, website and telephonically.
With a current team of about 50 people, the company actively recycles plastic, steel and paper for now. With in-house logistics, the average ticket size of Pom Pom ranges anywhere between ₹300-400 for households while is usually around ₹1,000 for corporations. “We do average daily transactions of about 60-70 pick-ups. We saw tonnes of recyclable waste being discarded and ending up in landfills. That’s when we decided to promote waste separation and recycling by paying people for their segregated recyclables,” he adds.
The company’s team comes and picks up the waste from the user’s location. “We then segregate the material and recycle the same. For example, we buy steel for ₹10 and sell it for ₹17. Same goes for paper, it is bought at around ₹11 and sells it at ₹15-22,” he says mentioning the customer base to be schools, embassies etc. The company has an initial investment of ₹1.5 crore by the founders. With total downloads of about 1,500-2,000, the company wishes to expand rapidly in Delhi with its next target being south Delhi.