With technology being upgraded every day, gadgets are becoming obsolete at a faster pace than ever before. This means two things. One; people are obsessed with the latest technology, and will buy anything that is newly launched. Two; they will discard their old gadgets, piling up e-waste at a dangerous level.
India has emerged as the fifth largest electronic waste producer in the world. Rohit Bagaria’s recommerce venture Budli aims to find a solution to dispense ewaste. The innovative concept has led to the instant popularity of Budli. In a rendezvous with us, Rohit shared his experiences about business, management and his new venture.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey so far as an e-commerce entrepreneur.
I hold about 15 years of experience in various sectors including manufacturing, international B2B sales, and e-commerce. My entrepreneurial journey started with my passion towards gadgets and technology. The basic idea was to reduce e-waste as well as provide a convenient way to sell and buy used gadgets. Budli, means ‘change’ in Hindi. It is an ecommerce venture that offers users an opportunity to buy and sell pre-owned gadgets at fair deals. It is India’s first re-commerce, or reverse commerce portal for used gadgets.
How satisfying is it to make a career out of your passion?
It is definitely very satisfying to make a business out of something that you love. But, what’s more satisfying is the social and technological impact that we’ve created. Basically, for every product that is sold, we donate a certain amount to a non-profit partner company which works towards the education of underprivileged children. In addition to this, we’re able to reduce e-waste at some level, which is a very satisfying experience.
What are your insights on time management?
When you’re into a start-up, not every two days are similar. There are several ups and downs, and new challenges come up every day. Amidst all of this, you need to manage your time efficiently to achieve your goals. The way I do this is by focusing on my short-term goals, while having a far-vision towards my long-term goals. The key is to get things done and troubleshoot each challenge as it comes by.
How do you manage employees?
I always look for three prominent virtues in a person while I’m hiring my workforce. I think the willingness to learn, integrity, and the ability to work hard are the qualities that make a good employee. Also, I think as an entrepreneur, managing your employees becomes one of your major responsibilities. Being empathetic and approachable is the key. I believe in a balance between work and fun, while constantly encouraging my employees to achieve organizational goals.
What was the biggest challenge in your journey?
In my book, Embrace Change, I’ve written about the challenges that I faced in my journey as an entrepreneur. The initial stages are when you face the most setbacks. I think one of the biggest issues was that the re-commerce sector is highly unorganized. Communicating the value proposition of my concept to investors and other stakeholders was a big challenge. Also, I wanted to incorporate Budli at an appropriate place in terms of response, and logistics. For that, I had to move to Bangalore. Setting up a new business, and creating a new team in an entirely new city was another matter of concern. However, over time, we kept moving and overcame all challenges.
What are the core values that make Budli successful.
At Budli, we don’t believe in just putting up certain quotes on a vision board. We believe in practicing our values every day, and getting better at them with each day. The core values that define Budli are empathy, integrity, transparency, and being socially and environmentally responsible.
Recommerce is still an emerging unorganized industry. Rohit is doing his bit to reduce ewaste through budli, this has been acknowledged by them winning the CNBC Business award.
You can follow Rohit on twitter @rohitb