There is a huge market for cellphones in India, what with having the world’s second largest population and all. The country is currently the world’s third largest market for cellphones and is expected to become the second largest by 2017. It also has over a billion mobile subscribers. Obviously, India is a prime market for mobile devices, as evidenced by the sheer number of options available to a customer, from Micromax to Apple.
With so many mobile phones being sold in the country, there are obviously more than a few being discarded across the nation. Most end up with the traditional scrap merchant, the kabadiwala as he is known. That’s being changed though. Two men, Akshat Ghiya and Aamir Jariwala, have set up a company called Karma Recycling. It aims to solve the problem of electronic waste while simultaneously attempting to meet some of the demand for cheap cell phones.
Karma Recycling buys back cellphones and sends them to its facility in New Delhi, the capital of India. Here, the phones undergo a complete data wipe and any repairs necessary. The phones are then refurbished and resold into the market. Karma Recycling also offers its own warranty on the devices. The aim of the company is to keep the price of the devices as low as possible, to make them affordable to the poor of the country.
“Electronics are so common in our lives, but we’re disposing of everything so quickly,” says Karma Recycling co-founder and co-director Akshat Ghiya, “phones are supposed to last five to six years, but we’re switching them every year, it’s all status symbol.”
This statement shows the stark contradiction that can be seen in the country. India is a country where one person has the latest iPhone or Nexus, while the next person sports a Micromax or a Lava phone.
Karma Recycling has tied up with several resellers in the country such as eZone and Sangeetha Mobiles. They have also tied up with online classifieds site Quickr, which is a popular destination for people looking to sell their phones and tablets.
The duo have set some lofty goals and aims for their company and I hope they succeed in their endeavor. The country definitely could do with lesser waste and who can say anything bad about good, cheap phones?Source: Karma Recycling Via: Forbes