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Small Businessman Converting A Problem Into An Opportunity

Small Businessman Converting A Problem Into An Opportunity

Pune is known as the knowledge hub, IT city, the smart city of India and the world.  The uncleanliness, unrespectable behaviour, sewage problem, gutter, people spitting on streets and heaps of waste – such problems are increasing in the city.  The Government and the people think that smart city and these problems do not have any connection.    

Most of the people in Pune think that this problem does not concern them, and it is not their responsibility to solve this problem.  People staying in this knowledge hub can be found saying: ‘The administration and the Government should do this; the people are paying tax for this purpose.’  The Government and administration also think in the same way.  Their main work is to collect all waste and dump it in the ‘dumping grounds’ in the nearby places.  If these places complain a lot about the waste dumped there, then electricity generation and manure production schemes are announced.  Crores of rupees budget get announced for these schemes.  Due to lack of will-power, the schemes are not implemented, and the waste still remains in heaps on dumping grounds.  We can see such heaps in many places of Pune.         

This is a nation-wide problem.  The waste disposal problem is harassing everyone.  Even after 70 years of independence, we are still implementing the ‘Swach Bharat Abhiyan‘.  Many people and institutions are working on this in the country.  There is one such person in this smart city, Pune, too.  

Introduction to Manoj Dharap 

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A few years back, the waste problem had become very grave in Pune.  The Government and administration tried to solve this problem with a lot of effort.   There is no need for the Pune population what happened later.  However, Manoj Dharap, a young engineer thought this is the right time to combat this problem, and he decided to make various products for wet waste, and he started working night and day.  He made around 50 small and big products in 11 years from 2007 to 2018.  Today, these products have reached not only in Pune and India but also in the international market.  The story of such a young engineer entrepreneur is very inspirational.         

Manoj Dharap is a typical Puneite.  He studied in the Bhave School.  Then he completed DME from Eklavya College.  He completed mechanical engineering from ‘SMPMS ‘ college.  Instead of taking up a job, he decided to look after his family business.   

Manoj’s father is also an enthusiastic entrepreneur.  In his youth, he had manufactured 100% Indian and for the first time in India ‘overhead projector’ and ‘slice projector’.   Opel brand was very famous at that time.  Shantanurao Kirloskar also had wholeheartedly praised the work of Mr Surendra Dharap and had used his products.        

The then Chief Minister had called a special meeting of the cabinet to understand the products.  

The journey of Manoj to Opel Pro Scro

When Manoj entered this business, due to technological advancements, these products had already started becoming outdated.  Manoj realized that something new had to be done; else survival was going to be difficult.  He then took the distributorship of DLP projector.  However, he was not sure about this experiment.  So, he made a new product called ‘scrolling display’, which is used for advertisements.  This product got a lot of acclaim, but Manoj was not sure whether this product could support him for mass level.        

Manoj then started a new company called ‘Opel IT Services’.  He also kept working on the experiment of manufacturing gas geysers.  He realized that nobody would buy his gas geysers when Chinese gas geysers were available in the market at a low price, and so he stopped the production of gas geysers.  

His IT company he developed software like ‘Visitor Management Software’ (VMS), Office automation, software for financial and credit institutions.  These products were not of daily use, but the big financial investment was required.  VMS software was used in companies like Persistent.  Till 2007 many such products were developed.  It was a great learning experience, but a product that could last long in the market was not being developed.  Manoj was restless due to this.  During this time, the waste problem had become grave in Pune.  He realized that this was a chance to convert this problem into an opportunity.     

Around the year 2007, research and development (R & D) was the focus through the company ‘Opel Pro Scro’.  Series of products were manufactured through this.  This series of products came in the market in 2011-12.  Organic waste shreds, organic waste converter, one-day composts, various types of curing systems were produced.

Opel Pro Scro

From the daily domestic wet waste of 1-2 Kilo up to wet waste of 25 ton was converted to various manures with small and big products through ‘Opel Pro Scro’.  The products ranging from Rs.6000/- to Rs. 25 Lakh became known to people, business people, housing societies, companies and Government. 15-20 Kilo of wet waste accumulates in a housing society of 25-30 apartments.  If the manure is to be produced in a housing society itself with the help of the product of ‘Opel Pro Scro’, it costs Rs. 60,000 for 60 Sq. Ft. area.

The waste is shredded with the help of small and big shreds.  While doing this, straw and culture are added to it.  This produces pre-compost manure.  ‘Opel Pro Scro’ has 50 small and big products on the market.  Out of this, 20% is automatic, 80% are semi-automatic.  The automated products convert the waste to pre-compost in 24 hours.  Otherwise, if done naturally, it would take 15 days. Kitchen waste, non-vegetarian kitchen waste, garden waste, mango seeds, coconut is shredded within no time.  The maintenance cost is relatively less.

This series of products is reaching in the State and in India along with Pune with the help of dealer network.  Societies in Pune like Woodland, Swapnashilp, Guruganeshnagar, United Western; Garware Wallrope, Pravin Masale, ‘COEP’, ISRO, Pune Municipal Corporation and similar institutions and companies are using various products of ‘Opel Pro Scro’.  A Grampanchayat near Hyderabad has also used the products to solve the problem of wet waste, Manoj Dharap was proudly telling it.  

From plastic to powder 

The problem of disposing plastic bottles is troubling everyone.  Manoj Dharap has made a creative product for this too.  The machine of the size of a cupboard can be kept anywhere in a public place.  If a plastic bottle is thrown in it, it gets converted to powder.  There is a place for advertisement on the front side.  This machine has been fitted in Delhi, Thakur College in Mumbai, the Secretariat, it was inaugurated by the respected Chief Minister Devendra Phadnavis.  This machine can also be seen on the Mumbai Railway Station.  The shreds in the bottle collection machine on the railway station are of ‘Opel Pro Scro’.  This plastic is then used to make diesel, roads and gift articles.     

The Swach Bharat Abhiyan has created awareness in the entire nation.  Waste management and related products are going to have a huge demand in future.  The 50 products available in the market have been produced through research in India.  The products for domestic use are available on Amazon for sale.  Research is always ongoing to make products as per demand.  On the other side, a dealer network is being created to sell these products in Pune, in the State and India.  They have received a demand for our product from London.  They can produce 100 small and big machines in our Sinhgad road production unit.  They are in search of a new place to ramp up the production.  We are going to launch new products on the market soon.     

A few years back when Pune was facing a severe problem of waste, Manoj Dharap was striving to find a solution to give Puneites a solution.  He is sincerely trying it for the last 10-12 years.  However, Pune and other cities in India are still facing the same problem.  It will take a lot of years to solve the problem.  This will require considerable effort.  We must take a firm stand and support young engineers like Manoj Dharap, only then the Swach Bharat Abhiyan will become successful.  Else, our future generations will have to implement the same plan.     

In Ganeshotsav, With the help of Pune Municipal Corporation, Rotary Club Yuva, MLA Medha Kulkarni, Councilor Jayant Bhave, Madhuri Sahastrabudhe and others the experiment of converting 135-ton remnants from an offering to a deity into manure was done successfully.  “The Pune Municipal Corporation gave us a temporary space.  Many helped us with this project.  We are planning to do this experiment on a large scale next year for ten days in Ganeshotsav in Pune.”  This machine can be taken to various places in the city, and wet waste can be collected in it.  Manure will be ready the next day.  Any youngster can execute this plan.  This will make him financially independent,” Dharap said.

Prasad Ghare


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