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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

Euro Car Parts and Seeba founders join forces to fly the flag for e-waste


Date: 11-Jan-2017

Sukhpal Ahluwalia, founder of Euro Car Parts and Badri Baldawa, founder of Seeba Group of Companies, have jointly and equally invested in EcoCentric Management Private Limited (EcoCentric), one of India’s fastest growing companies providing e-waste management solutions. Both Sukhpal and Badri will sit on the board of the company.
 
The Asian entrepreneurs have invested an undisclosed sum into the business as part of seed growth capital. These funds will be used to ‘scale up’ the business and expand EcoCentric’s operations both in India and internationally. Sukhpal and Badri continue to seek further opportunities to invest in India at seed funding stage.
 
EcoCentric provides corporates and individuals with a customised end-to-end solution for e-waste management, asset recovery, data security and destruction and reverse logistics. The company was founded in January 2011 to bridge the gap between informal and formal recycling of e-waste material.
 
E-waste is the waste generated from old and obsolete electronic and electrical equipment. The presence of heavy metals and chemicals make e-waste potentially hazardous and it is one of the fasted growing streams of hazardous waste globally.
 
Karan Thakkar, Founder and Managing Director of Ecocentric, comments: “India is the fifth-largest producer of e-waste globally, generating 2 million tonnes annually, of which only 5% is forwarded for formal recycling and 95% to the ‘informal sector’ which does not have the technical knowhow of recycling and resource recovery. As a result, manual recycling causes harm to the environment and the people involved in the trade.”
 
This has opened up a business opportunity for formal, professional recycling. Ecocentric has state-of-the-art recycling facilities with the capability of processing e-waste for metal recovery and hazardous waste treatment. With this current round of funding, the company will be able to increase its capacity from 2,500 metric tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 10,000 mtpa, while installing further collection facilities across India.
 
Karan continues: “It is estimated that the value of electronic equipment manufactured will reach approximately $35bn by 2020 and the recoveries from e-waste alone will be $4bn by the same year. With the experience, expertise and reach that Mr Baldawa and Mr Ahluwalia bring on board, the Ecocentric team is very confident of playing a leadership role in the Indian e-waste recycling sector.”
 
Sukhpal Ahluwalia is perhaps best known as the founder and driving force behind Euro Car Parts, which he founded over 30 years ago. The company achieved substantial year-on-year growth levels before being sold to NASDAQ-listed Fortune 500 company LKQ Corporation in 2011. Sukhpal has stayed on board as Executive Chairman of LKQ’s UK businesses and has more recently become executive director of the USA board. Sukhpal remains involved in many charitable and social activities, including an education charity in India and has formerly been Asian Businessman of the Year.
 
Sukhpal says: “My heart and passion resides in India. Having had great success as a business man in the UK and Europe, it is my duty and vocation to invest in and develop a practical legacy in India, helping to transform lives and convert aspirations into reality.  With extensive connections in India and globally, myself and my good friend and peer Badri are well placed to help Ecocentric with its aim of creating and spreading awareness about ethical, safe and compliant e-waste management at a personal and professional level.” 
 
Badri Baldawa founded Seeba Exporters from a small home office in 1986, turning into the global business it is today. His business philosophies – Creativity, Quality, Punctuality, Integrity and Professionalism – continue to drive the business as a leading supplier of high-quality stainless steel kitchenware and homeware products. Besides being associated with various trade organizations including the Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC), Indian Council of Small Industries (ICSI) and the Indian Merchants Association (IMA), Badri has also been the President of the All India Stainless Steel Industries Association (AISSIA).
 
Badri comments: “I am fully committed to supporting young entrepreneurs in their start-up journeys and this is no exception. Ecocentric has had a great start, already helping many Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to plan and execute their Extended Producer Responsibility. With our combined investment and hands on business experience, Sukhpal and I will help to guide the team to develop this company’s full potential.”

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