Startups all over the globe have been given a massive push. India is slowly getting onto the bandwagon and giving impetus to financing and encouraging startups — startups like Zerund Bricks.
Three young engineering graduates from Guwahati, Assam, David Gogoi, Rupam Choudhury, and Mousam Talukdar are using innovation and low cost to create a new construction market in Assam.
Unlike the usual red clay bricks, Zerund bricks are made of cement, fly ash, organic chemicals, and plastic waste and are available at prices 15-20% lower than that of the regular bricks.
“Our main cost of production is cement. 60-70% of the raw materials are waste products alone. The NTPC is offering us fly ash for free as a gesture to support our innovation,” says David Gogoi, one of the founders of Zerund Bricks.
They have designed a 3-process machine that shreds waste plastics into microbeads, which are used in the brick-making mixture. The use of plastic augments the tensile strength of the bricks and also shores up resistance to water absorption, thereby dismantling any possibility of dampness in the constructions.
Tiny honeycombs are shaped inside these lightweight plastic embedded bricks that act as air bubble insulation sheets against extreme heat and cold penetration.
At present, Zerund is operating from a single manufacturing plant at Azara, Guwahati. Interestingly, it was a fully equipped plant at the time they took it on lease and only needed to invest in manpower. They are currently in talks with a few parties across the state over plant procurement.
At a time when they were showed the door at financial institutions during their early days, a couple of senior alumni (businessmen) from the Assam Engineering College showed up with a keen interest in their startup and agreed to invest.
Within seven months from the day of inception, Zerund has sold bricks worth Rs. 32 lakhs. Currently, the demand for their bricks exceeds production.
With clients spread across the states of Northeast India, the Zerund founders’ goal is to grow into India’s largest brick manufacturer in the next 10 years.