“Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.” This age-old paraphrase of William Shakespeare is still quite relatable today.
Here, we have Mujeeb Qadri, a living example who has personified greatness in his own subtle ways. Among the ranks of contemporary e-waste recyclers in India, he has made a special mark of his own. Mujeeb Qadri has been part of the industry for more than 15 years. In fact, he is quite prominent amongst the remarkable figures spearheading the clan of e-waste management sector in multiple parts of India.
So, let’s hear and cheer the life of Mujeeb Qadri, Managing Director of Z-Enviro Industries, which is worth drawing everlasting accolades and applauds.
The Brain behind Z-Enviro
With its pan India presence, Z Enviro has got authorization for collecting e- waste since 2013 from the AP Pollution Control Board under the banner of Z Industries and authorized E-waste dismantler in 2015 as Z Enviro Industries. Being one of the few registered recyclers in Telangana state, Z-Enviro is a living example of Mujeeb’s grit, resilience and the determination for the change. The journey of bringing the Z-Enviro into its current shape is nothing but interesting/ extraordinary.
The Roads Uphill
Mujeeb started his business in 1999, called then as Famous Trading Company (FTC), which was primarily dealing with electronic scrap trade. It was importing used computers from China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and other countries. However, import of e-waste was banned in 2008 by India. He then moved to be one of the many informal collectors of e-waste and sourced largely from the bulk consumers of electronics goods.
Due to recent notifications by Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEFCC) in 2012, FTC transformed itself from e-waste trader to e-waste recycler.
In 2012 they began implementing the E-waste management and handling rules 2011 format within their company and operated for a few months as a franchise for one of the old players, Ramky. Following that they were authorized for collection of e- waste in 2013 by the (unified) Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board under the name Z Industries. Finally, in 2015, they were authorized as e-waste dismantlers under their current name- Z Enviro Industries. Today, with a recycling capacity of 10,000 tonnes annually, the company has a well-established reputation.
Subtle Moves and Subsequent Growths
With only eight registered recyclers in the Telangana, it is clear that many have not made the move to the formal sector. For Mujeeb, however, the main driver to becoming a registered entity was not only to increase his business prospects with large-scale producers/consumers but to also comply with the laws. “Though we can still get business without being registered, we chose to be formalized as we would simply like to comply with the law”, asserts Mujeeb. His move has had positive results- his business has grown by around 50% since he the registration under new policies and his clientele base has increased. He has opened new offices in New Delhi, Bangalore, and Karnataka to source e-waste. However, this journey into the formal sector was not easy and Z Enviro made it.
During the process of obtaining the Consent for establishment (CFE) from the pollution control boards and applying for other registration formalities, they found that e-waste handling equipments were extremely expensive. Therefore, he encouraged his brother, Mohammed Moiz Qadri, to set up another manufacturing unit called Green Enterprises which made all the required equipment in-house. This move was crucial in keeping the costs of setting up a unit down.
The Rainbow of Services
Being in the regulated sector meant catering to large clients who are in turn expected to comply with e-waste rules themselves. Therefore, they provide their clients with complete end life management of electronic equipment and serve as a one-stop cost effective solution. Their gamut of services includes collection, segregation, and destruction of electronic equipment as per the e-waste rules. In addition, as many of the clientele have sensitive information they also carry data destruction (in accordance with Department of Defence standards). Ensuring credibility is also critical. Therefore, on destruction, they also provide a safe destruction certificate and also help them maintain data as required by E-Waste management handling rules 2011. In addition, they provide online traceability of equipment to clients via meticulous documentation during the dismantling/destruction process and even provide live video feedback. They have a firm, zero landfill policy ensuring that all e-waste is recycled.
Mapping the Roads Ahead
Mujeeb believes that lack of consumer awareness is a key deterrent to formalization initiatives and educating them should be the primary focus of producers as well as the government. On his part, he is engaging with various schools and also RWAs to educate them on the hazards of e-waste disposal, the value of the components and encouraging them to dispose of their e-waste responsibly, through authorized collectors only. On the national level too, such plans have been envisioned, though, once again, they are yet to be implemented.