Talking with teen entrepreneurs: project Dispodo

Teen entreprenuers are interesting people. Everyone is fascinated when they hear teen entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs. Immediately they think of really big positions like CEOs. But the truth is, everyone’s beginnings may not be the easiest. It takes an immense amount of hard work and research and time. For instance, there’s only a 1 out 10 chance your business may become a success. The odds are not in your favor, right? Yet there are millions of startup owners out there trying to make their mark on this world. They are trying and striving every day to set themselves apart. They are trying to solve problems you face every day.

previously on talking with teen entrepreneurs…….

Previously on talking with teen entrepreneurs, I interviwed Assia Belemkadem. A student who wanted to create more awareness around mental health and also help people who are reaching out to her. Last time I talked to her, she had progressed a lot and even has a team. This time I will be interviewing Pavithra, a 16 year old girl from India who wants to improve the waste management sector.

talking with teen entrepreneurs: Pavithra Vijayakumar

Interview

Introduction

ME: PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF( YOUR NAME, WHERE YOU CAME FROM, WHAT ARE YOUR PASSIONS/INTERESTS, WHAT ARE YOU STUDYING)

Pavithra: My Name is Pavithra Vijayakumar and I am from India. I am in my junior year of high school. Visual art, climate change, reading books are some of my interests. I have been interested in entrepreneurship for some time now and decided to get take some steps towards it. In my opinion, Climate change is a major problem whether people accept it or not.

the problem

Me: that is wonderful! I see that you are very concerned about climate change. I am hoping that is the problem that you would be working on?

Pavithra: Well you’re guess is correct. When thinking about climate change I understood you can’t come up with one solution for this to stop. Only several steps taken can impact the problem positively. There are numerous causes of Climate change one among them is pollution. When I got thinking about pollution I got this question “ People do know about the pollution, climate change and other problem we are facing so why don’t we all tend to take action?.” I concluded that at times it is due to the complexity of the solution. Therefore decided to work on a smaller issue but still give importance to climate change.

Waste sorting - Wikipedia

understanding why

Me: It is a wonderful place to start. NOW THAT YOU’VE STARTED TO REALIZE WHAT THE PROBLEM IS, why do you think this is a problem in the first place?

Pavithra: I worked with two other people and decided waste management was something that needs to be addressed. In the research, we had done we figured out that many people were still unaware about the segregating waste, some were just ignorant and some just found all this very difficult and time-consuming.

Segregating waste can seem easy but trust me it’s not. I had a difficult time at first as well. External factors also affected me. I live in a community where waste is collected altogether. You can’t find any separate bins or anything of that sort. In my house, all the food waste and vegetable scraps would end up in a pit in the garden. I try to avoid plastic as much as
possible, but in certain situations, you can’t avoid it.

the solution

Me: Oof I’ve got to be honest, even I have difficulty segregating waste. I mean it’d be pretty difficult to convince myself to touch garbage again. So thank you for addressing this problem and what is the solution you’re putting forward?

Pavithra: With all the experience we had with waste management and according to what we saw we decided that we needed an idea that could decrease the amount of time and work people put into. Therefore, we thought we could find a way to connect companies that work with waste ( The companies either reduce, reuse, or recycle waste in an eco-friendly manner ) to the people. The solution would be to create an app, Dispodo, in which the public would have access to ping the required company and they would send a person to go pick up the waste. In this way they don’t need to worry about where to throw away the waste and con have the satisfaction ofdoing something meaningful. The app would also content articles and S.O.P about how to segregate waste and some changes we can make in our lifestyle that are both economical and eco-friendly.

Why should I segregate my waste properly? | EMS

trigger mapping

ME: it is a very wonderful solution, and probably never thought of before. But why do you think this will work?

Pavithra: I do think it will work as it’s putting not as much pressure on people as before and the time spent on the very act of segregating will decrease, in turn, they have more time to do other activities. As the app will provide all the information needed, it will make people curious if it will work and awareness among them.

target audience

me: i understand that trigger mapping is important. now who is the target audience?

Pavithra: This idea is mainly for people who care about the environment and those who want to change. This is also aimed at the people who are tech-savvy and young.

me: i think every one immediately needs to install that app once its live. So how will the people benefit from you app?

Pavithra: The solution can benefit people in many ways for example they ( people ) no longer need to send texts and emails to their community management requesting separate bins nor do they need to ask the waste collector in their community to come before 7 because that’s when they are at home.  Because of our app people no longer need to break their heads about if something they are throwing away is degradable or not, therefore time can be saved. On top of that, it’s a great way for setting an example for their children. Also, land pollution can decrease as the reuseable and reducible waste will no longer get mixed with the ones that end up in the landfills.

inspiration for teen entrepreneurs

me: now what inspired you to take up this project?

Pavithra: The one thing that inspired me to create this solution is those people who are taking time and doing waste segregation and other eco-friendly activities. Another thing is nature itself, as my team and I feel nature provides us almost everything we need. The interconnection in the way things work in nature also inspired us.

the future

me: that is really wonderful that your team and you love nature. I think everyone should. moving on, where do you see dispodo in the near future?

Pavithra:

About some 4-5 years from now, I’m able to visualize the solution working and people around the world adopting it. Over time many new extensions and ideas are available in the app. Also, people who want spread awareness can work with schools or even put up dramas and plays. I hope the app and the articles can evolve in such a way that people across age groups can connect with and take action for a better future.

final thoughts on teen entrepreneurs…

For me what a teen entrepreneur means is a person who has a lot of creativity and courage. A person who is strong-minded willing to take risks and do what they believe is needed and important. I think being a teen entrepreneur gives one freedom. I feel it has given me a lot more exposure to what is happening around me and an opportunity to learn how to channelize these experiences and information into ideas. It is not an easy process what we as teen entrepreneurs go through therefore I feel it is required that we stay persistent and motivated. Not all your ideas will work and one should have the ability to accept these circumstances and
to learn from those whose instances and failures.

And that’s the end of the article. It was really fun interviewing Pavithra and educating myself on why people won’t segregate. I hope her and her team’s idea, Dispodo, might be a essential app everyone can’t live without in the near future.

You can find me and pavithra on Linkedin at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shreya-sathish-98a8a9205/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/pavithra-vijayakumar-2903b421a/

If you’d like to collaborate with me and let people know about your idea, reach out to me through gmail at shreyadavinci@gmail.com or Linkedin.

My other articles in the series

http://www.shreyatalks.in/talking-with-teen-entrepreneurs-menta_llystrong/
http://www.shreyatalks.in/talking-with-teen-entrepreneurs-genesis/
http://www.shreyatalks.in/talking-with-teen-entrepreneurs-project-tourisia/

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