How scrap paper helped Delhi’s Poonam Gupta set up a business empire in Scotland
She was recently in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, to participate in the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas convention
Scrap paper counts as junk, but an Indian woman has succeeded in establishing a company worth crores with the paper waste in Scotland.
Poonam Gupta, a native of Delhi, graduated in Economics Honours from Lady Shri Ram college and later pursued MBA. She has created a new market for scrap paper.
She was recently in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, to participate in the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas convention.
Poonam tied the knot with Puneet, who worked in the medical field in Scotland in 2002. Her initial plan was to acquire a job there, which did not materialise.
She then decided to do something new and started researching for the same, during which she realised that tonnes of good quality scrap paper is thrown away everyday in Europe and America.
This is because better quality paper is produced there and using the scrap paper to produce that kind of paper would be an expensive strategy.
Poonam recollected that the idea struck when she could not achieve success anywhere, based on which she focused on reusing the scrap paper. She soon realised that the paper scraps would be of better use in India and walked in that direction.
She contacted an Italian company and started trying to sell what the company considered ‘garbage’, something that occupied space even while being of no use and cost money in dumping.
The first deal that Poonam secured was of Rs 40 lakh, following which her work gradually increased and she registered a company in Scotland named PG Paper in 2004.
She then made efforts to buy scrap paper from some companies in Italy, Finland and the US. She offered the companies money in return for the waste and gained their interest. She got the first job by the Italian company.
Later, her work came to be known in many countries and she tried her hand in other fields as well. Presently, she owns nine companies, and does business in more than 60 countries.
Her company’s network is over Rs 1,000 crore.
When asked about her inspiration for the idea, she said that people in India are usually attached to old things and do not get rid of them easily.
She said that Indians reuse things and do not reject them, which inspired her.
Better quality paper cannot be regenerated from scrap paper in other countries, whereas the paper made from scrap paper in India is of better quality.
Poonam said that these possibilities gave her the opportunity to step in the field and reach the level she is at today.
She added that she has been researching to reuse the fabric scrap.
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