A sofa made from the discarded portion of an Ambassador car, a table made from a tractor, rugs made of old gunny bags, and so many other handmade products – welcome to the super creative workshop of PRiti International. Started by a Jodhpur-based couple in 2005, it is a company that takes waste material and turns it into something very useful and unique.
“We don’t just want to make things for decorative purposes. We want them to be useful as well,” says Hritesh Lohiya, who founded PRiti International with his wife Priti Lohiya.
The couple came across this idea after several failed ventures, and have been expanding their range of amazing products since then.
“We started many different businesses, but all of them failed. We started a chemical factory, then a stone cutting factory, and a washing powder business. This was the final one,” says 42-year-old Hritesh.
Today, they have spread their work to three factories with over 400 people designing these products. They manufacture many things like handbags from old gunny bags, military tents and denim pants; furniture from waste tins, drums, as well as waste machine parts; and lamps from bike headlights etc.
“We started a handicrafts business in 2003. We were not getting any orders, and it had become very difficult for us to sustain. That was the time when we found some waste tin boxes in the factory. They were chemical boxes and drums. We turned them into chairs and tables. Fortunately, one customer visited our factory that time and liked those items a lot. This was how we entered into the recycling business,” says Hritesh.
They are now exporting to more than 40 countries including China, US and Australia every month, and the company has a current turnover of $8 million. They usually get their raw material from scrap dealers, but as the business is growing, they have also started attending auctions organized by Indian Railways and Army to purchase waste material. The item is first brought to the factory where the couple brainstorms on how to use it in the best possible manner. Once the design is ready, the final product is manufactured by the factory workers. Currently, they are only exporting their products, and they also participate in several exhibitions worldwide where they get several orders.