According to studies, the e-waste management market in India is worth around half a billion dollars and growing at the rate of 25 per cent. This indicates exciting times for the reverse logistics industry.
Reverse logistics company Pvt. Ltd is one of the key players in India’s reverse logistics industry. The company, through its organised reverse supply chain channel refurbishes, repairs, recycles damaged goods and discontinued models and sells it at discounted prices through its retail arm, GreenDust. Mr. Hitendra Chaturvedi is the Founder and M.D of GreenDust.
As an entrepreneur, Mr. Hitendra realised the need and potential of reverse logistics in India and started RLC squarely aimed at addressing the pain points of retailers and original equipment manufacturers, when managing returns. With his vision, industry experience, technological prowess, he envisions RLC as the pioneering world leader in end-to-end reverse logistics. He is an IIT graduate with an MS and MBA from the US.
Mr. Hitendra spoke to The Hindu Opportunities on reverse supply chain, e-waste management and career opportunities in this domain.
What exactly is reverse supply chain management?
In simple terms, all activities after a product POS (point of sale) are categorised as reverse supply chain and effective management of that process is called reverse supply chain management.
How is e-waste management related to reverse supply chain management?
E-waste (or electronic waste) management is one of the last legs of reverse supply chain management where a returned electronic item is not economically repairable and has to be disposed of without negative impact on the environment. Such items constitute PCBs, integrated circuits, CRT, wires, metal, chemicals - products that can have a very harmful impact on the environment if not treated properly before disposition. Proper e-waste management involves dismantling and shredding of such components (in a controlled environment), separating metals, plastics, etc. and then using technology to turn them into their basic elements to be re-used.
What are the job roles available in this domain?
Technical roles in reverse supply chain management are varied - from software development specific to reverse supply chain, electronic commerce technology development and repairing defective products. Non-technical roles in this field include sales and marketing, logistics, transportation, warehousing, inventory management, social marketing, finance and accounting and call centre and customer care.
What are the academic qualifications required to assume these roles?
Bachelor’s degree in Industrial, Mechanical, Electrical or Computer Engineering, Master’s degree in Supply Chain Management, Operations Management or Waste Management, Diploma in Environmental Studies or Repair, or CA, MCA, MBA, or Ph.D.
What kind of remuneration can a fresh graduate expect?
It is in line with industry standards plus a feeling thatthey are building something new, something ‘cool’ something they care about and are passionate about – saving the environment for our future generations.
Despite increased awareness about the need to manage waste effectively, there are not many institutes offering courses to impart relevant skills. What is the reason behind this?
Reverse supply chain is a new field in India, while in western countries this is a well-established discipline. Since it is so new and domain expertise is lacking, it becomes difficult for institutes to offer in-depth courses. Once we become aware of the environmental impact of our actions (starting with the younger generation) discipline like reverse supply chain and e-waste that are crucial for not only companies to sustain bottom line, but also to our country, will gain strength. I would like more ‘influencers’ and celebrities to take this cause and become role models in this fight.
What is your advice to students looking forward to a career in this field?
If you are passionate about our environment through a professionally satisfying and a well paid career, then this is the area for you. If you want to wake up in the morning and feel good about yourself and are proud about the impact you are making on environment, then this is the field for you. Yes, there is hard work – every pioneer has to do hard work, but let us be one among the few rather than one among the many.
Nitya Sai Soumya