Shifting houses, cleaning up home, getting rid of unwanted belongings – there are many occasions when one needs a scrap dealer. But it’s not always easy to find one. An engineering student in Dehradun has come up with a solution that helps scrap dealers reach their customers when needed.
“It all started about six months ago when I was leaving our hostel for the semester break. I noticed that many students were leaving behind a lot of scrap in their rooms – like newspapers, books, registers, etc.,” says Mohneesh Bhardwaj, the founder of Kabaada.com, a Dehradun-based free door-to-door pick up service for scrap material.
When he saw all this trash, Mohneesh visualised an opportunity – for himself and for those who want to get rid of junk.
“I thought we should do something to utilize this stuff because it was a common problem faced by all hostel students. They had to leave behind the things they didn’t need anymore because they didn’t have any other option. And college authorities would usually sell everything that was left behind,” he says.
On further research, Mohneesh and his friend Ashish Yadav found that similar problems existed all across the city for all kinds of people – they could not find scrap dealers near their localities when they wanted to discard things immediately.
Given the results of their research, Mohneesh and Ashish, both second year students of computer science engineering at Dehradun Institute of Technology, launched Kabaada.com.
“The platform is like Uber to find scrap dealers,” says 20-year-old Mohneesh. As a first step, they divided the city into many territories and collaborated with local scrap dealers in every territory. The plan was to make it easy for customers to contact scrap dealers and also help local dealers get more business.
Users have three ways by which they can communicate their requirement – WhatsApp, phone call or a form on the website.
Once a person conveys that he or she wants to sell scrap, the dealer in that locality is notified and he reaches the given address as soon as possible.
Picture for representation only. Source: Flickr
Unlike other scrap dealers in the city, Kabaada dealers come dressed in a uniform and all of them have electronic weighing machines.
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“We don’t take dealers on-board without enquiring about them first. First we ask them if they have electronic meters and provide them with one if they don’t. This is done to avoid discrepancies and faulty weights,” says Mohneesh.
Additionally, these dealers purchase scrap at standardised rates, which the company claims are higher than the ongoing market rates. “If other dealers in the area are purchasing scrap for Rs. 10, we try and purchase it for about Rs. 11 or 12.” They have 25 scrap dealers with them right now and are also planning to introduce the system of providing printed bills to customers.
Launched on September 15, 2015, the website was an instant hit in Dehradun because of large scale media coverage.
“We were getting more than 70 requests in a day in the initial period and today we have about 8,000 users. So we did not need any marketing as such, because people were themselves telling each other about us and sharing their experiences. Moreover, the users in this case don’t have anything to lose. They are, in fact, getting rid of their trash in return for money,” says Mohneesh, who was inspired by the success of other startups in the county and wanted to start his own company.
Currently, Kabaada.com is a team of three people, including Aashish and another person based in Delhi.
They are now planning to introduce a toll free number for users as well. The team does not have to worry about what happens to the collected scrap and dealers pay a commission of 20% to Kabaada.com. While they are only based in Dehradun right now, Mohneesh has plans to expand to the national capital region (NCR) very soon. The team is also getting requests from around the country.
Kabaada takes everything, right from plastic and e-waste to iron and aluminium goods. The founders are also planning to set up a recycling plant in Dehradun.
“Some families in the city are so impressed by our work that they want us to start collecting clothes as well. So we are trying to find a way to recycle clothes in the future,” says Mohneesh.
While this brilliant initiative gears up to reach other cities, people in Dehradun can click away and encash their scrap the smart way.
You can visit here to for more details or send a WhatsApp message at 9997415973.