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Love for environment inspired us to nurture GreenDust: Hitendra Chaturvedi
Hitendra Chaturvedi is the founder and CEO of RLC and GreenDust which is a dedicated reverse logistics company, which combines technology, services, and domain experience into a solution that would allow Indian companies to beat global supply chain benchmarks of efficiency and productivity by outsourcing their entire reverse logistics process.

Before starting RLC, Mr. Chaturvedi was the business unit head for Microsoft’s OEM business in India. A computer engineer from IIT with an MS and MBA from the US, he has over 20 years of experience in software/IT. In an interview with citizen journalist Rajat Bhatia, Mr. Chaturvedi tells how reverse logistics process is helpful for Indian companies.

You certify branded products, which are seconds or are defective, but how do you cater to the situation that another defect might crop up?

We have our own Value Added Centre’s where every product goes through 50 point Quality Inspection process, by which we ensure that we take care of the functional defects, if any. To provide further peace of mind to our customers, all Greendust products come with one year additional warranty.

Was there a demand from OEMs to take this kind of inventory out of their plants and warehouses? Does your business model depend on this initial demand to cut and control storage costs and logistics?

The business model is to provide a complete solution of reverse logistics to OEMs. As value proposition of that solution does include reducing warehouse space, reduce returns processing cost, increasing productivity, increasing recovery from returned products, and complying with e-waste regulations.  So yes, one of the values we create is moving inventory from OEM warehouses so they can use it more efficiently for finished goods rather than for defective items.

What kind of products is GreeDust is dealing with? Do you plan to expand your portfolio?

GreenDust offers products in varied categories like laptops, mobiles, refrigerators, ACs, washing machines, digital cameras, LCDs, LEDs, mixers, irons, cook tops, blenders, heaters, personal care products, health care, and many more product categories. We plan to expand into other categories like medical equipments, apparels etc.

In order for your reverse logistics chain to work efficiently with different clients - does India's weak infrastructure come in the way of performance?

Yes, and No.

Yes, because with improved infrastructure we would be able to reduce transportation costs even further, and make repairs more effective and labor more efficient by not worrying about power failures.

No, because the weak infrastructure forced us to create innovative unique solutions that work well for India and can be easily scaled to emerging markets where infrastructure challenges exist. For example, our local acquisition and local disposition strategy is tailor made for India so we reduce the amount of distance a product has to travel. Our reliance on technology to by-pass weak infrastructure reduces our asset base and makes us more scalable.

Why the name GreenDust if you are only re-cycling returned products after giving them quality certification?

Our DNA is that of Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle and Resell. By bringing them back to life from the verge of being scrapped and bringing them lovingly back to just like new condition and providing them a new home we have decreased the amount of pollutants that would gone into the environment.  We have nurtured over five lakh products and found them new homes – products that would have been scrapped and polluted our environment. It is our love for the environment that inspired us to nurture the brand GreenDust.

Why don't companies such as Dell, Sony and Apple carry out reverse logistics themselves? Does outsourcing make better business sense?

Dell, Sony etc can certainly do their reverse logistics but there is a business reason for companies world-wide to outsource their reverse logistics to expert third party service providers like us. Individual companies do not have enough return volume to justify the cost involved in doing returns management the right way. We at GreenDust aggregate volume across multiple OEMs, retailers, and e-tailers to make it a viable business model.

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