Just 10 months after launching his waste recycling plastic business, Muniraju has successfully signed an agreement with Bannerghatta National Park and the Nature & Wildlife Conservation Committee to collect 500 kg of plastic bottles every two months. These plastic bottles, which are left by tourists in the forest reserve present great danger to the wildlife in the park, and are now the fuel for Muniraju’s growing business. The deal will also increase Plastico’s profits by 30% and comes as a huge boost to Muniraju and his employees who have recycled more than 50 tons of plastic bottles to date.
But it was not always this way…
Working for Fedex, Muniraju noticed the huge amount of plastic waste tossed everywhere but in the trash bins. This frustrated him. He researched for a year to find a solution and realized that there was a business opportunity to this problem. But it wasn’t an easy start. Muniraju faced a common challenge that many face wanting to start a business: capital. He was denied funding by multiple private banks due to lack of collateral.
One day, while watching television Muniraju saw the Be! Fund Muppet Movie – a short film about Be! Fund aired on a local cable channel and decided to apply. Since the launch of Muniraju’s recycling business, Plastico, in October 2011, he has made an inspiring impact in his community—recycling five tons of plastic bottles each month and cleaning up his local environment Anekal, Rural Bangalore.
To spread awareness about recycling plastic waste and market his business, Muniraju came up with the slogan “Recycle. Its good business”, printed them on flyers and distributed them in his neighborhood. It soon became a catch phrase and helped him set up partnerships with 10 local bars, 10 restaurants and five hospitals to pick up their plastic waste.
Muniraju’s business isn’t just cleaning up the environment, his business is also making a difference in the lives of people in his community through the eight jobs his business has generated. He currently employs two men as waste collectors—Narasimhappa, who is married and has two working sons, and Narenda, who is unmarried and lives with his parents. Narasimhappa and Narenda each visit 100 households everyday to collect bottles for Muniraju’s business.
Muniraju also employs five women, all of who were previously unemployed—Mamatha, Shivamma, Gundamma, Basamma, and Kamalamma. Each of these women uses their new income to support their families in big and meaningful ways. After all, collectively these women take care of five husbands, three boys studying between 6th and 12th standard, two girls studying in 6th and 8thstandard four working boys, as well as two daughter-in-laws. With this many people to look after, their incomes from Muniraju’s business are invaluable to supporting their children’s education, improving their family’s health and supplementing their family’s other daily requirements, setting their families up to live better, healthier, and more productive lives
You can learn more about this inspiring story, from Muniraju and his team in this short video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5nhlL2McDM . To check out his full business plan, check out his profile here: http://www.befundindia.com/muniraju.html.