Prateek started his entrepreneurial journey from a university dorm room with friends. Prateek has been pivotal in laying the vision, execution strategy and continuously leading innovation, for all the associated organizations, to meet their growth targets. He is a disruptive thinker, who has co-founded a Telecom Software Product company, Teramatrix Technologies, catering to clients in India, Bhutan, Africa – Ghana. He also cofounded Codespace, which works on end-to-end Systems and Solutions to help address performance conflicts and to optimize processes.
Inspired to develop a Marketable Product in Social Domain, he is currently steering ZeroWaste to be the pioneer in Electronic Waste Management. ZeroWaste wants to be the “Simplest way to dispose of electronics waste”, and is advocating E-Clean India. In a very short span of time, ZeroWaste has grown from a pilot project to a company of 15 people with its services available in multiple cities.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
ZeroWaste is a reverse commerce (re-commerce) platform connecting sellers of used un-used and overused electronics with refurbishes and authorized recyclers. We provide an online platform where consumers can self-evaluate their products by answering few questions about it, and receives an instant quote for the same. On acceptance, the customer can schedule a free home pick up and get Instant Cash at his/her place.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
While visiting Ghana for a Telecom project (TeraMatrix.in, previously co-founded), we first came to know about e-waste. Ghana is almost a Graveyard of Electronics. Soon we discovered that in India, there was a missing link between consumers of electronics and recyclers. We found that consumer does not have access to a convenient means to connect to recyclers; the unauthorized sector of second-hand electronics not only provides bad services but also does not comply with environmental norms.
What is your life mantra?
I go by the words derived from the poem of J.B. Rittenhouse’s work that comes down to “Life gives you what you ask for. Just be sure you ask enough.”
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Convincing teammates and their families :). Thus, Building team of the right set of people has always been a challenge.
How did you overcome those challenges?
Open work culture and mix of both experience & young energy has helped us to attract talent. Thus, I have personally worked on HR & Office culture. We have been regular in experimenting with the working hours (like 7:30 am to 4:30 pm) and heavy healthy breakfast in office is one of many stays.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
Around INR 1 Crore, from friends and families.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
At ZeroWaste, we live like a closed family. While the goal and challenges unite us, yet we have a flexible work life culture that ensures employee’s needs and requirements fully met. We have retained almost 100% of teammates who matter for ZeroWaste.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Patience, Presence of Mind, Clear Vision
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
Google Analytics for website user tracking, vTiger CRM for customer support, Redmine for software development & bug tracking.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Ability to Delegate with a clear end results in mind.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
Losing track of time while working on a solution.
Answer in less than 50 words
- One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Not talking to your customer
- One most important lesson that you have learned till now:
Identifying the right set of skills in right people.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
Establishing ZeroWaste as a preferred re-commerce platform by expanding the service offering pan-India
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I probably will be in the same domain but I will listen to my gut feeling more than I did now.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
I prefer to be on the road (driving) or at a place where I can find solitude.
- Sunday evening at a Cafe Coffee Day with my books.
- Roadtrip to Sambhar Salt Lake (near Jaipur).
- Sunrise or Sunset at Nahargarh Fort (Jaipur).
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
If something is important enough, you should try, even if the probable outcome is a failure. – Elon Musk.