“I was done building the next better iPhone – I wanted to solve real problems, and in India – where I grew up and where the real problems are,” Mani Vajipey the founder of Banyan Nation Recycling had said to me in my first conversation with him. Mani and his co-founder Raj Madangopal decided to quit their high-ranking technology jobs in the US and moved back to their native Hyderabad in 2013 to develop innovative solutions to the waste problem in India. They spent a year surveying and understanding the market before starting Banyan Nation in early 2014. Today, they have a material recovery facility in Hyderabad that produces about twenty tons of high quality plastic recyclables per month and works to integrate, formalize, and legitimize hundreds of informal sector waste aggregators (known locally as “kabadiwalas”). IIX is working to help Mani and his team realize their vision to be one of the largest responsible and sustainable plastics recyclers in India.

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