This Indian Australian’s start-up combats e-waste

By Our Reporter
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Indus Global, co-founded by Ananya Sinha and Ann Suen, is inspired during her trips to India when she would see small village business-owners run entire operations from their smartphones

Inspired by her aunts who would travel from India to Dubai to purchase iPhones and avoid excessive taxes Ananya Sinha launched a tech startup to combat e-waste in Australia.

“The average Australian changed their phone every two years, but only 20% is being recycled. All these toxins end up in landfill. It’s bad for the environment and for our health as well,” says Ananya.

“Our goal is to use urban mining to help those who value the devices more in countries like India,” says Ananya, who has named her start-up Indus Global after the river in India.

“The average Australian changed their phone every two years, but only 20% is being recycled. All these toxins end up in landfill. It’s bad for the environment and for our health as well”

“I was also inspired during my trips to India when I would see small village business-owners run entire operations from their smartphones,” says the UNSW Business School student.

“I needed a start-up idea while undertaking entrepreneurship and innovation studies at UCLA for a Study Abroad Program and that’s how I got started on this,” says the entrepreneur of Indian descent.

Ananya and her co-founder Ann Suen are now in the process of building a platform that allows Australians to recycle used smartphones responsibly for a monetary incentive.

All customers have to do to access the recycling program is to fill out a simple e-form on the Indus Global website which generates an automated quote. The customer will get sent a free prepaid package in the mail. Once Indus Global receives the phone, they send customers the money within 24 hours and find the device a new home in a developing country.

Indus Global has also been part of two accelerator programs for the UNSW Founders Program, won the UNSW Founders Start pitch and were able to pitch to the Indian High Commission and receive some funding.

Ananya says one of the biggest challenges she has faced is “imposter syndrome”. “It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you start hearing buzzwords such as Blockchain or AI. I didn’t even know what building a minimum viable product was until the beginning of the year,” she says.

“You just need to trust yourself and go with the flow because that is all you really can do.”


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