Lucknow engineer turns ‘kabadiwala’ in online avatar with app to sell scrap
Om Prakash Prajapati, a civil engineer quit his job with a construction firm during the lockdown to launch his start up.
Shops dealing in scrap are a common feature in Allunagar area of Faizullahganj in Old City. But one of them bearing a red-green banner — lucknowkabadiwala.com – stands out from the rest.
Owned by a 29-year-old civil engineer Om Prakash Prajapati, it is a start-up.
He had launched it during lockdown, after quitting his job with a construction firm, where he was working as a civil engineer on a salary of ₹30,000 a month.
The USP of this outlet is that it enables smart phone users to sell scrap online in a convenient way and at decent prices.
“Never in my dreams I imagined that my idea of selling scrap online will get so much appreciation from people,” said Prajapati, who is the youngest in a family of five, including his parents and two brothers.
“I first thought of coming up with an online scrap shop mobile application almost a year back when I observed a scrap dealer at a construction site in Varanasi, where I was working as a civil engineer. But that was just a dream and now I am surprised how this dream became a reality,” said Prajapati.
He said the idea eventually took shape during lockdown when he decided to proceed with his start-up. But as it happens in most of the success stories, Prajapati too had to face lot of opposition from people within the family.
“People, especially my relatives laughed at my idea and said who will marry a kabadiwala,” he recollected.
But criticism did not deter him. In July 2020, Prajapati launched his office/cum warehouse and a mobile application ‘kabadiwala’ (scrap dealer).
As the name suggests, kabadiwala is a scrap-dealing mobile application through which smart-phone users can sell scrap online.
He said smartphone users can download the mobile application from Playstore. “Once downloaded, the mobile user can log in to the app that is pre fed with the list of scrap material and their prices. One can select the category of scrap to be sold and book an appointment. On the given time, our boys will go there and collect the scrap after paying the due amount,” he added.
Once collected, the scrap is segregated and handed over to a recycler. “As there are no middlemen involved, we are offering the highest price for the scrap,” he added.
Initially, the response was poor, but it improved gradually. “In eight months, our consumer database increased to around 9,000. On an average, we collect around 5 to 8 tonnes of scrap daily and earn around ₹50,000 to 60,000 monthly. The income often increases during festive seasons like Diwali,” he said.
“They offer good prices. Newspapers at ₹14 a kg, aluminum at ₹80 per kg, battery ₹50-70 per kg and brass at ₹270 per kg and so on. The prices are comparatively higher as compared to what is offered by other scrap dealers. It’s an innovative approach that is also very convenient for people,” said Sudhakar Mishra, a private employee, who is a customer of the start-up