“Waste management problem is a serious issue that demands pressing solutions as soon as possible,” says Saugat Tiwari the young Social Entrepreneur, an Engineering student, and also the Founder of Timro Khadiwala.
To know more about Saugat Tiwari’s Entrepreneurship and his Entrepreneurial journey, read the conversation that Team Blincventures had with him.
1. Tell me about your journey to starting this venture? What stage are you in?
In Nepal, you can see an abundance of waste everywhere. I am a second-year civil engineering student and waste management is a subject that is included in our course. With Timro Kawadiwala, I wanted to link what I was studying to solve the ever-increasing problem of waste management. Timro Kawadiwala is an idea that is currently in its implementation phase.
2. What products or services are generated through Timro Kawadiwala?
We are currently collecting the waste as well as recycling and upcycling them. We are upcycling bicycles, its chain, tires, wine bottles, beer bottles, jars, old and used jeans and are selling them. From wine bottles, we make hanging lights and twinkle lights, from used and old jeans, we make laptop bags, daily usage bags. Similarly, we make chairs using tires and tables using bicycles.
3. What is your current staff strength?
Currently, there are two of us working in Timro Kawadiwala- myself and Sweta Dulwa, who is the operations head.
4. How did you raise funds to start this venture?
I started this venture with my pocket money, currently, we are self-funding the venture by reinvesting the revenue generated from sales of upcycled products.
5. What are the challenges of running this business?
One of the initial challenges came from a lack of management skills since I came from a non-business background and had no idea how to run a business.
Another challenge that we’re currently facing is in pricing and costing of the products. Since our products are produced with recycled materials, there are certain costs associated with collecting, recycling and upgrading waste materials, due to which our products tend to be higher than those available in the market. Because our products are priced a bit higher and are produced from recycled materials, people often prefer not to use these products although they are sustainable. So, one of our existing challenges is to change customer’s perceptions of our products.
6. How are you planning to overcome the challenges?
We will try to overcome our challenges by scaling up. We will increase our team members and investments and produce on a large scale to drive down costs.
7. Who are your target customers? How many customers or clients do you have?
Currently, our target customers are youths because I believe that youth are more aware of the change that we are trying to bring in the society. Our target customers also include cafes, restaurants and the hospitality industry at large. We have around 2 to 4 customers every week.
9. What is your business model for self-sufficiency or profit-making?
Firstly, we collect waste, then use the reverse vending machine to upcycle the materials we have collected or materials that cannot be upcycled are recycled. Recycled and upcycled products are then sold in the market through which we generate revenue and operate the business.
10. What are the key needs of your company?
Our current major need is marketing-we need to make people aware of our business as well as our idea so as to sell our products. We are reaching out to our customers primarily through our Facebook page, which is not sufficient. So, yes brand awareness and marketing are our key needs.
11. What is the future plan with your idea?
We are planning to upscale and get an office space for ourselves as we’re using our personal space. Our plan is to make new and innovative products every week. We are also planning to collaborate with other organizations to move into large-scale production. We are currently based in Chitwan and plan to expand our business to other cities too.
12. How do you measure the impact of your business?
I believe we can measure the impact of my business by witnessing a change in people’s attitudes towards upcycling, recycling and the use of sustainable products. Many people send us materials that they previously threw away like tires, wine bottles, and bicycles. This has helped to reduce waste in the city to some extent, and so, I believe that is how we can measure the impact.
13. Do you consider yourself a social entrepreneur?
Yes, definitely because the social entrepreneur is someone who works towards solving social issues and in return earns a profit. My business is also based on this model. I work to solve waste management problems in the society and in return, I earn some profit which I invest back into the business.
14. Is there any other information you’d like to share?
Waste has become a major issue in the present context. We have to come together to manage this problem and although my effort may not have a huge impact initially, every big change starts with a small step.
For more information about Timro Kawadiwala, contact Saugat Tiwari at firstname.lastname@example.org.