Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Furniture from currency notes?


Business Standard reported an interesting innovative initiative in the Recycled Goods Category, in its article “Now Furniture gains currency”.

After many attempts to recycle waste currency notes into eco-friendly manner, an Indore-based company, Rajratan Technique and Technology, has been able to develop innovative methods to use soiled notes for making furniture and doors. Sheets, 32 sq feet in size, of the recycled material would be made and will be very similar to the plywood sheets being used in the industry. The timeline drawn for the development is the end of this financial year, as promised by the company.
The concept is not old for the company, and the industry. Rajratan is part of a wider network of recycling specialists and has been working as dealer for its associate company – DRIPL (Deluxe Recycling India Pvt. Ltd.)

DRIPL had launched its flagship product – ECOLINK, a few years back.
According to its website,
"DRIPL is India's first recycled chipboard manufacturing plant, and its product - ECOLINK – is an internationally accepted recycled material which promises ecological, economic, aesthetic and practical values. ECOLINK is a chipboard made by recycling production waste and used empty cartons of Tetra Pak India Pvt. Ltd, an environmentally - conscious company."
Ecolink can be used in all kinds of furniture – Accessories, Construction and Building, Retail and Kitchen Systems.

DRIPL started this concept after working with Hindustan Packaging and Tetra Pak India Pvt. Ltd. for almost 11 years and the recycled Tetra Pack waste would have been the trigger for ECOLINK. Though DRIPL is located in Bombay, it has its dealers across the country. It just happened that one of its dealers leveraged this opportunity to work towards more applications of the recycled waste!

Recycling and disposal of soiled currency notes is one of the important postulates in the monetary planner for Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Every year, notes need to be destroyed and new ones need to be printed by RBI.
According to the Annual Report of RBI for 2005, under its “Clean Notes Policy

During 2004-05, a total of 11, 752 million pieces of soiled banknotes were processed and disposed off. Of these, Rs.100 denomination banknotes constituted the largest share, followed by Rs.10 and Rs.50 denominations. Mechanisation of verification, processing, sorting and disposal of soiled banknotes through on-line shredding has been a thrust area in currency management. But so far, no manufacturer has evinced commercial interest in such projects, which is why the RBI has been making bricks out of soiled notes for land-filling.

Therefore, there is a huge business opportunity in this line. In an attempt to tap this opportunity, Rajratan has made a positive move in this direction.

The concept is wonderful, and with an aggressive campaign, it can work wonders for the company. But though the orientation is correct, there are some areas that need immediate attention by the Marketers.

First of all, the Marketing efforts are not visible for the company. I could see press releases of as early as 2001, on the website, which implies that the company is almost 4-5 years old. It is quite a surprise then, that since then, there have been only 2 press releases by the firm.
Either it is a B2B initiative, with an established supply chain, and loyal dealers, that DRIPL does not feel the need to advertise, or the market is not good enough.
Recycled applications are in demand, and would be in vogue in a year or two. So, the latter does not hold true.

Also, the website has not been done up properly. Such a unique concept needs to be marketed accordingly, but unfortunately, the “visibility” element has been missing. No advertisements, no online interactive website. Just mere online Presence is not sustainable for DRIPL, if a commercial aspect is what the company is looking for. In India, chances of “Societal Marketing” failing are very less, unless the concept per se, is faltered.

The company needs to work on its branding, utilizing the latent demand in the country. It needs to tie up with RBI and pitch more in PR campaigns. It can work with co-branding initiatives with the major companies in “the Home Furnishings”. A Green India would be a match winner on any day – show it and get the money :-) You never know, you might get some non-soiled currencies also!
Innovative thinking and a good breakthrough nonetheless. Congratulations Rajratan and best wishes for the Currency Collection!

1 comment:

shitij said...

I agree ...its a great opportunity but as usual with all the new ideas ...initially people will be skeptical to join it and the moment it will start picking up or showing promise ...........suddenly all will start pumping money in the very field.

My vote goes to the one who makes the first start .....thats where the challenge is ..and there lies the opportunity.