Nandan Mall: An Inspirational Prime Mover in e-Waste Management

Nandan Mall: An Inspirational Prime Mover in e-Waste Management

Nandan Mall, Founder & CEO

Nandan Mall

Founder & CEO

Day in and day out, Kolkata has been accumulating humungous piles of e-Waste, thus projecting e-Waste management as the gravest need of the hour. The dearth in the players dealing with e-Waste management, inadequate awareness among people, and lenient implementation of laws are the chief reasons why not just Kolkata, but our nation too is in a perilous state. While other countries like Europe and US are experiencing around 40 percent average recycling rates every year, India is still at three-four percent! Yet, on the bright side, there are a few zealous and young entrepreneurs like Nandan Mall (Founder & CEO, Hulladek Recycling) who have not just dreamt about working towards e-Waste management, but made it a beautiful reality.

Hailing from Kolkata, Nandan undertook recycling more as an inspirational job rather than business to create a green and sustainable environment for the future. It was in 2015, he laid the foundation for Hulladek Recycling at Kolkata to develop a system for proper handling & disposal of e-Waste. Since then, his prime goal has been to develop his business into a long-term and sustainable one by escalating partnerships, rather than running it for mere short-term profits.

Nandan has spoken in detail about his entrepreneurial journey and his company with CEO Insights.

Besides strong inclination, what motivated you to plunge into e-Waste recycling?
My journey towards recycling started off during my B.Com days at St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata when I was working on a project to develop an efficient business plan for the future. It was then I came up with the idea of e-Waste management, as there was scarcity of companies dealing with this aspect, while even the ones active were doing it in a haphazard fashion. When my team of four presented our ideas at a national level competition, one of its judges(MD, Oracle India) was clearly impressed and presented us the
opportunityto work with a startup recycler in Bangalore, despite us not winning the competition. While my team mates weren’t ready for this, I plunged in and started working at the company for a decent pay.

It was then I came up with the idea of e-Waste management as there was scarcity of companies dealing with this aspect, while even the ones active were doing it in a haphazard fashion

Post working for a year and a half, I moved-on to explore the e-Waste management ethics of diverse recyclers(12) across nine countries. When I approached them to collaborate with us for setting up a recycling facility in India, Indumetal Recycling, a Spanish company was interested to go ahead but only after proper training. Hence, after 1.5 years of training and playing multiple roles right from sales, procurement to dismantling at Bilbao, I came back to India and established Hulladek in 2015. That’s how it all began!

What were the major challenges that you encountered during your entrepreneurial journey?
The concept of e-Waste management itself was nascent and not many people were aware of it. Hence, it took a lot of effort and consistent persuasion to convince people to foster the idea of e-Waste management, besides creating standards for this industry. We also had to deal with people from informal sectors who were basically into waste collection & disposal.

As the Government itself had less idea about e-Waste management then, we had issues while procuring license and permission to run the business. We also strived to hand over the waste disposal process to certified companies rather than bidders. On the other hand, recruiting people was pretty difficult, as we had to build that trust and brand value for them.

Since my entire family was from a strong business background, raising funds was never a challenge for me, but convincing them was tough. Gradually, they were delighted beholding the high profitability I was making right from the second year of business.

Brief us on the excellence of your brainchild Hulladek Recycling.
Hulladek has always been synonymous with e-Waste management. From just an e-Waste collection centre, we have evolved into a PRO(Producer Responsibility Organization) today that facilitates the requirements of producers, importers and manufacturers, and also assists them in cultivating the responsibility to safely dispose electronic products after their EOL. Out of the 31 PROs in India, we are the only one based out of East India, associated with 24 producers, among which for LG India, we process about 1500 MT of e-Waste every year.

In fact, we are the prime movers of e-Waste management across East India that has not just created a first-of-its-kind network for disposal, but also extreme awareness among the populace. Today, we are authorized and licensed by CPCB for safe collection, transportation, segregation and disposal of e-waste under the e-Waste (Management) Amendment Rules, 2018. Moreover,our dedication, willingness and vision to recycle the entire e-Waste of our country has ignited us towards unveiling innovative e-Waste management practices.

How do you and your team balance both personal & professional lives? Also, how do you people always stay updated?
Being unmarried sort of helps me to achieve this balance! Speaking of my team, we follow strict work timings and never take work back to home. Every day, we not only enlist the tasks that need to be done, but also the time required to accomplish them. This way, we have gained almost double the usual productivity.

Information sharing at Hulladek happens through a dedicated association, besides connections with CPCB, Spanish company and other organizations. We have robust internship programs, wherein most of the interns have become fulltime employees now. I also regularly share my insights at colleges, TEDx shows and mentorship programs.

Key Management:
Nandan Mall, Founder & CEO
Nandan is a third generation entrepreneur who currently spearheads the end-to-end operations of Hulladek Recycling, Eastern India’s first authorized e-Waste management company.

Hobbies: Lawn Bowling, Cricket & Interior Design

Favourite Cuisines: Open to All Types

FavouriteTravel Destinations:
Hill Stations during Winters

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