In the last few decades, waste management has emerged as one of the greatest problems of and for human civilization. As the needs of people is increasing, their consumption of resources is increasing alongside, generating huge amounts of garbage, sometimes extremely difficult to dispose.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. A very successful example of this is Hritesh Lohiya and Priti Lohiya, the founders of Priti International. The couple recycles and redesigns trash like car parts, old plastic drums, and truck cabins and wonderfully turn them into trendy handicrafts. The duo is now the largest exporter of waste handicraft products in India.
Success starts where failure ends
The road to success hasn’t been smooth at all for the Jodhpur couple. Hritesh had tried his hands on various businesses including a chemical factory, a stone-cutting factory, a washing powder factory, and a few others. Unfortunately, none of them yielded results for him.
After suffering major losses in his previous businesses, Hritesh had no money left to invest into any other project. Devastated, the couple decided to sell Priti’s jewellery to get money for survival and to invest in another business. The remnants of his old factories, like empty drums and tin cans, was all they had. Initially, Hritesh tried to sell these leftovers, but no one would buy them. It was then that the idea of making handicrafts struck them.
It all started with an empty tin box that they remodeled into a stool. Surprisingly, the product became a hit. Following that, they got an order from Denmark for 100 stools, and even before they knew, their business had kicked off.
Procuring raw materials
Hritesh started scouting for raw materials at garbage dumps all over the country.
“Initially, it was difficult because nobody knew how to use these items or if it can be used. Gradually, they started to put things aside for us and that helped us a lot,” said Hritesh in a show on History TV.
After they find the materials, they start thinking of ways in which the items can be restored and recycled. Hritesh takes special interest in designing ideas and loves his work. They take pride in assuring their customers for quality handmade products.
Reach around the globe
Priti International now has customers in 36 countries including China, US, Australia, and many European countries. They are the only company to export handicrafts to China.
“We have recently started a retail showroom in Ningbo, China for selling our products in retail. This is just a test showroom, but the response has been heartwarming. Now we are planning to open 12 more showrooms across China exclusively, for our products,” he tells.
As of 2016, Priti International’s turnover was around $8 million (around Rs 50 crore) and Hritesh plans to double their turnover before 2020. He believes that the only way to success is through hard work and strongly avoids negativity. No wonder even after all the failures he has seen in his life, he still has managed to conquer all of it to reach the top.
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