About the company
Waste Concern Pvt Ltd is one of the country’s fist commercial waste management companies. Established in 1993, it currently has more than 100 branches in Kathmandu.
Chief Executive officer Sulav Moktan says the idea of starting Waste Concern came to his father when he was in Japan.“In, Nepal people usually do not manage waste generated by households. So he saw a great potential in the business of waste management in Nepal,” says Moktan, who along with friend Rajani Shrestha runs the business now.
Why it was Established
The main objective was to manage waste within the house, says Moktan. “We aim to manage waste locally at low cost. As the population increases, so will the waste,” adds Moktan. So their aim was to segregate and manage the waste within a house.
The company wants to make people aware of the fact that they can recycle the waste to make things like compost. It also organises programmes to make the public aware about the downsides of throwing waste in public places. “We have 100 waste collectors in Kathmandu; they collect the waste early in the morning,” explains Moktan.
Moktan says the company was started with a budget of Rs 20 million. The money came from loans and subscription fees. “We can say that we are making profit. If we have a healthy environment we have a huge potential in waste management business,” says Moktan. Moktan and Shrestha participated in the Rockstart Impact programme where they met foreign investors who were interested in the business.
The company’s main strategy is to convert waste into revenue. It focuses on the maximum utilisation of products so that less waste is generated.“Globally, the waste management business has a great scope as it starts from the individual level with low cost, low budget and low technology,” says the CEO.
The Operating Model
The company started its business with 300 households as members, and two to three rickshaws.“Households need to become members, and we provide a card for this. They pay a monthly fee,” says Moktan. The company’s early days were not easy as people were accustomed to disposing waste in open spaces; people didn’t want to pay for waste disposal.
Member households form community centres-- around 60 to 70 households can run one centre. The community centres segregate the waste, and around 60 percent of the waste goes to landfill sites. “We can decrease the waste by segregating waste. Around 20 to 30 percent of waste need not be dumped. We can make compost,” says Moktan.
Waste Concern also provides employment to the people. Even the youth are participating in waste segregation as a part time job. “The young generation needs to be mobilised to raise awareness among the people. We organise awareness programme sat every community and school so that children also learn about waste management,” says Moktan.
Investors from the Netherlands were highly impressed by the business model. The company is socially, environmentally and financially viable. Three investors from the Netherlands have shown their interest in the business. “Participation in Rockstart Impact was highly beneficial for us. In addition to receiving investment, we have built up our capacity. We were able to recognise our weaknesses and worked on them,” says Moktan.
After Rockstart, the company realised that it had to re-designits staff structure, customer service, public relation and business relation approaches. “We learnt to be professional, and we came to know that little changes also help achieve great results in business,” he says.
More than 60 percent of the waste collection is done by private companies in the Kathmandu Valley. Moktan says the municipality collects waste from main roads only. “It shows that the private sector is more active in waste collection. It has generated employment opportunities as well. It has helped to create a healthy environment.”
“We are starting a new company, Waste Management Group. We need to coordinate with foreign investors for new technology, and we need investment for developing Infrastructure like a sorting centre,” he says. The company is also starting an eco-friendly school campaign to mobilise the youth.
FAQ's Rock Start Impact
What is Rockstart?
Rockstart is a business accelerator programme for companies that want to grow. It’s a platform for local companies that don’t have expertise and investment. The main objective of this programme is to fill the gap between local companies and international Investors.
What is the duration of this programme?
The duration for this programme is 100 days.
What do you need to participate in Rockstart as a company?
You need to be innovative and must be able to have a positive social impact. The company should be 2-3 years old and it should have customers that are beyond early adopters. Rockstart especially focuses on those companies that are in the sectors of health, agriculture and energy. However companies working in other sectors can also apply.
When is the deadline for application? And how long will it take to start the programme?
The deadline is November 1. After that, 40 companies will be selected for the initial interview within two weeks then 20 companies will be selected. After a series of interviews, we select the 10 best companies. And the accelerator programme starts from December 1.
If I have applied for the programme last year, can I apply again?
Yes, those companies who applied last year and who weren’t selected can also apply this time.
How much investment will the company get after being selected for the programme?
It depends upon the company itself, its potential and needs. If investors are satisfied with your business proposal then they can investment as much money as they want. Last year’s participants have raised around 1 million euros.