In Conversation With… Paras Saluja, Founder & Director, Shayna EcoUnified India Pvt. Ltd.
Can you please help us know your professional background?
I did my schooling from Delhi Public School, Ghaziabad and further pursued Bachelor of Business Administration from I.T.S College in Ghaziabad. I was always a sports enthusiast. After college, I joined my family business and then after 15 years I shifted my focus and took my first steps towards my life-long issue of reducing, reusing waste that’s present all around us, all the time.
As I grew, I became an avid traveler and during one of my trips, I was in Vietnam where I saw that they were very aware and sensitive about the waste they produced and how they managed to dispose it. That is when it struck me that India is a big and populated country with a huge problem of waste being produced daily but not disposed off properly. I had decided to do something about it in my home country and also found more about the “Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan”
When the idea to make a difference in the way we (humanity) were operating about our plastic waste struck me, I did not want to lose even 1 minute of my time not doing what I could for it to become a reality and change what can be changed.
We would like to know about your venture ‘Shayna EcoUnified India Pvt. Ltd.’.
Shayna EcoUnified is a clean and sustainable unit for plastic waste recycling. We transform (GRADE-PLASTIC) to create a commercially viable product. Our plastic solution is designed to contribute to economies at large and solve customer needs by resolving both environmental and economic problems.
To reduce the chronic effects of plastic waste in India and build plastic free cities and towns with durable and quantitative infrastructure further offering a long-term resolution to unavailability of basic amenities like toilets in rural areas, specifically.
To eliminate waste plastic menace from the ecosystem, we strive to improvise the current established scenario of waste management.
To work towards betterment of society by building social structures like public waste bins, toilets, shelter homes, warehouses, parking areas, pavements, and many other useful structures by using our plastic tiles.
To make our vision a reality the best people who can help us make a difference at a large scale, we aim to target –
- Corporate Businesses
- Hospitality industry
- Municipal corporations
- Housing societies
- Schools and Educational institutions
- Medical institutions
- Private construction companies
What prompted you to venture in the space of producing tiles from recycling plastic waste?
From childhood I have been extremely interested in cleanliness to a degree that it became a bone of contention with my family. The growing pollution has always bothered me, and I always hoped that someone, someday will do something that will solve this problem however I never found that someone. So, when the idea came to me I dived into it head first.
To operate at such a big scale as you do, what is your plastic waste procurement/ sourcing mechanism?
We have collaborated with few NGO’s who particularly deal in plastic waste. Other than that, we have tie-up with scrap dealers who collect and segregate waste plastic according to polymer and color for us.
We also do collection activity time to time with educational institution as well as medical institution for plastic waste.
What is your business/ revenue model? Do you operate B2G, B2B or B2C?
Currently we are more focused towards B2G and B2B model.
India market is very skeptical during this pandemic and realistically speaking Government is the major buyer of our product.
As a company, how are you working to create the awareness of the community for plastic waste handling? What is your biggest challenge?
We had to create a breakthrough in order to establish a brand name and thrive in the country like India where set mindsets are a huge challenge. People often talk about climate change, saving the environment but they seldom do something, especially if money is involved.
Another challenge we faced was that even though we have experience of handling a business, we were clueless about the working and dynamics of Environment sector as we had no prior background of it or the science that went behind it.
We require huge amounts of investment and also government support in not just the licenses but also with buying the finished product as the environmental changes can be best done if done at large by the Government bodies and by the big Infrastructure and real estate companies.
In your view, how do you think that the government, the businesses and the people can come together to work as a single community to address the issue of plastic waste?
The problem of increasing use of plastic and its waste is huge. It cannot be solved with efforts of an individual. It needs a collective and collaborative approach. Major policy changes and strict regulations are required at the government level. Educational institutions, corporate and NGOs should be the ones taking the lead at the ground level.
Do you believe it is better to completely replace the plastic use with other alternatives? Or how do you think we can strike the right balance in the usage of plastic on one hand and proper handling, disposal, and recycling at the other?
Realistically speaking, from where I see we can’t get rid of plastic. It is engraved in daily lives forever. We can get rid of plastic use as an individual but still an entire range of plastic will be there that we end up using unintentionally and apologetically…packaging of food, cosmetics etc. is still being in plastic. It is cheap and durable. Till the time we come up with a similar product there is no way we can replace plastic. We need to rethink, recycle and reuse plastic.
When we see the 360-degree view of the plastic waste management ecosystem, how important a role can technology play throughout the value chain from plastic waste generation to handling to segregation and finally recycling?
Technology plays a vital role in every sector and if we talk and use in waste management sector it will be savior for the country like India where waste management sector is unorganized. It’s the present and the future. We can do wonders if we get and use the technology in best way for segregating and processing the waste.
One word that describes your venture ‘Shayna EcoUnified India Pvt. Ltd.’
*All views are that of the interviewee. UdyamGyan does not promote or endorse any claims.