In Focus

Turning Waste into Opportunity: The Journey of Scrapify EcoTech

Founder Stories Ft. Azhagu Pandia Raja

Rithika M, Associate - Marketing Communications

Sometimes, the greatest ventures begin as unplanned journeys toward a greater cause. One such venture is the Scrapify EcoTech founded by Mr. Azhagu Pandia Raja, a proud alumnus of Anna University. A software engineer by profession, and an entrepreneur by passion, Azhagu ventured into the sea of entrepreneurship driven by a sense of greater good and purpose.

Deeply steered by technology, Azhagu has served as India’s first Chief Innovation Officer, a position that exists in very few corporations in the world, at the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) in 2021. He has also conceptualised two traceability applications- the GCC Corona Monitoring and Isolation Management System (HQIMS)- during the COVID-19 crisis.

Azhagu, during his days as the Chief Innovation Officer, has also devised India’s first Waste Exchange Portal called ‘India Waste Exchange’ under National Institute of Urban Affairs. The portal was piloted in Chennai as ‘Madras Waste Exchange’ in 2019 which helped Chennai to receive the "Best Megacity for Innovation" award in Swacch Survekshan 2020. His clean tech startup Scrapify has won several national and global recognitions despite being so young. Keep reading to know why.

How does Scrapify standout?

Waste Management is a challenge for city municipalities and governments that are environmentally conscious, all over the world. The United Nations reports that only 9% of all plastic waste ever produced has been recycled, while 12% has been incinerated, and the remaining 79% has been accumulated in landfills or in the natural environment. Realizing the magnitude of this threat, the government of India has taken several initiatives to shift the country from a linear to circular economy.

The government recognised the significance of sustainable growth in the 2022–23 Budget and, in line with a circular economy, formulated Battery Waste Management Rules 2022, Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2022, e-Waste Management Rules 2022. These regulations enable transactions between stakeholders for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) certifications while setting target waste disposal standards for manufacturers, producers, importers, and bulk consumers. This is where Scrapify comes into the picture.

Scrapify is a platform that connects waste buyers and sellers digitally, enabling them to trade their waste with the help of various user-friendly features. This new-gen platform not only helps common people like you and me, but also industries that are looking to fulfil their responsibility for their products in its post-consumer stage i.e., EPR.

Scrapify receives data from the buyers and sellers and map them across the selected region making it easier for people to trade their waste. The market price and selling price is shown on the portal making it effortless for the buyers to choose their best bids. Every urban local body (ULB) has numerous Resource Recovery Centres (RRC) and Micro Composting Centres (MCC), however, they don’t get their due visibility which is crucial for waste management. Scrapify geotags these facilities in their appropriate locations which aids the buyers in locating their nearest sellers and their bids.

Using this portal can’t be any easier as it functions like Flipkart or Amazon but for waste. It has a dashboard with advanced filter options, route optimization, live tracking, waste stock management, and more for its users. Azhagu aims to make Scrapify a one-stop solution for all waste management concerns beyond geographical boundaries. Scrapify enjoys being the only player in this area which gives the startup an added advantage.

They have a 3-member team working relentlessly to achieve their goal of making this nation into a sustainable circular economy. This small crew has reached great heights and we’re proud of them. They are one of the recipients of TANSEED 4.0 grant award from our Hon’ble Chief Minister M.K Stalin. Out of more than 2,500 ideas received from 67 nations, Scrapify has found a place among the Top 75 ideas and innovations towards a sustainable lifestyle which can change the face of the earth and was featured in the NITI Aayog’s ‘Thinking for the Planet: 75 ideas to promote LiFE’ that was published for the World Environment Day 2023 celebration.

Scrapify receiving TANSEED 4.0 grant from our Hon’ble Chief Minister Thiru. M. K. Stalin Going beyond, Scrapify secured first place in the FiTEN International Tamil Entrepreneurs Network's pitch fest organized by FETNA - TAMconomy (Federation of Tamil Sangams in North America). Recently, this power-stacked team also secured the prestigious Nidhi Prayas Prototype Grant. All credits to their inexorable dedication and tenacity.

Scrapify securing first place in FiTENPITCH (Startup) Competition

But how does this startup generate revenue?

Like any SaaS based Startup, Scrapify measures its success by its number of users, which keeps surging by the day. Scrapify extends its services as a SaaS product for bulk customers like corporates and its free for small-scale users like individuals or apartments.

They have a four-level trajectory spanned across the next few years. In level 1, Scrapify will serve as a digital platform that connects B2B and B2C companies.

Level 2 would be providing the platform as a service where they extend services on a subscription model. In this level, Scrapify takes care of its users’ EPR requirement ensuring proper handling of waste resources.

Level 3 is to act as aggregators. In accordance with the recent Extended Production Responsibility (EPR) rules that is being prepared by the centre, at least 20% by weight of the materials used in automobile manufacturing needs to be recycled from 2026-27 onwards. These manufacturers can procure waste resources from Scrapify sellers to meet their EPR Requirements.

Level 4 is building their own infrastructure such as recycling plants, waste energy plants- which involves more of deep tech. In this level, the team would start producing low-carbon waste-based products, thereby positioning themselves as a comprehensive waste management company.

Azhagu and his team is simultaneously working on another vertical called the ‘Eco floater’ which is an indigenous solution to tackle eutrophication and its detrimental effects on the environment and mankind. A majority of the urban lakes have become a threat to the marine ecosystem because of eutrophication caused by excessive chemical infiltration and algal bloom. Eco floater is an autonomous surface vessel that cleans the water surface, alleviate eutrophication and restore living conditions in the ecosystem. The Ultrasonic boom feature in this vessel automatically removes the excess algal growth thereby promoting fish population and controlling disease-causing agents like mosquitoes parallelly.

Sounds interesting? Learn more about Scrapify here.

Startups like Scrapify and founders like Azhagu are seeding the growth of the nation to become one of the strongest innovation hubs. If you enjoyed reading this article, let us know your thoughts.

You can get in touch with Azhagu here.

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