October 23, 2019 Sigrid Christiansen

OUR HEROES: SIDDHARTH AND A SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION FOUND IN THE INFORMAL SUPPLY CHAIN

The world needs an army of new leaders to solve the challenges we and our planet are facing. We want to celebrate our heroes who lead the way and inspire us to building a better tomorrow. We hope they inspire you too!
Reach out to our heroes – they deserve it!

Siddharth Hande is one of the brave innovators from our LAUNCH Circular program. His company Kabadiwalla Connect provides smart waste collection and solutions for cities in the developing world through an app to systematize waste sorting powered by the informal sector.
This is an outstanding example of how sustainability is both social, environmental and economical.

We asked him a few questions. Read along

When and how did you get the idea?
When I was in college, I was very fascinated about the issue about waste and I used to organise a lot of local beach-clean-ups. And it was during this time that I realised that we were just moving plastic from one place to another. We were not really going to the root of the problem. So I got quite fascinated with the informal sector. In 2014 I won a small grant from The World Economic Forum to map the informal sector. But I didn’t want to focus on the waste pickers. I’d rather focus on who the waste pickers sold to which are small shops scrap shops in the city.  We found this very fascinating decentralised supply chain.

So it was then that we realised there was an opportunity in integrating all of these stakeholders and it could be something the municipality would really benefit from because they would have to use less money and it could really benefit the most marginalised upstream stakeholders in the informal supply chain. 

What obstacles are you facing at the moment?
Finding a scalable business model is absolutely key, and something we’ve been working hard on.

What is the next important step for the project?
We are really aligning ourselves to become a Producer Responsible Organisation (PRO) in which brands mandate us to make sure that their packaging plastic is handled responsibly. 

How do keep your energy in challenged times?
For us it’s always nice to understand, that at the end of the day we have a very social mission and we want to improve the lives of the most marginalized stakeholders in the informal supply chain. There’s a world bank study that estimates about one percent of the global population makes their primary source of income through scavenging.
Something that keeps that energy up is  if we get this right, it means we long-term are able to improve the lives of the stakeholders of the supply chain. 

What could help you to succeed with your project?
Collaboration. We need brands, management companies and policymakers to look at this private decentralised supply chain as a huge opportunity for developing circular economy in the cities of the developing world. We need people to buy in to this idea. I think the idea of collaboration is absolute key.

How would you like to inspire others?
For me I think the idea of social enterprise has been something really, really exiting. I believe young people can find a true calling in the social enterprise space being able to make money and doing some good.

Learn more about Siddharth and Kabadiwallah Connect:

Reach out to Siddharth Hande, if you have any questions to him or his company:
https://www.kabadiwallaconnect.in

GET IN TOUCH.

Let us help you drive transformational change!