There is no dearth of entrepreneurs in India. Indian entrepreneurs have advanced in almost every field and there is no barrier for them. Amidst the growing threats posed by plastic, there is growing concern about plastic pollution around the world. Not only people but also governments are looking for ways to reduce plastic pollution. Despite this crisis, a father-son duo in Tamil Nadu found an opportunity in a garbage dump and turned it into gold.
Who is this father-son duo?
K Shankar and Senthil Shankar are a father-son duo from Tamil Nadu. K Shankar used to work abroad and after spending three decades outside India, he returned to India with a vision to fight the plastic menace. Sri Renka Polymers was founded in 2008 by K Shankar. The company today is a leader in pet bottle recycling and sustainable textiles and has an annual turnover of Rs.100 crores. Located in Karur, a quiet town known for its home textile industries, the company uses German technology to power its production lines.
K Shankar is an IIT-ian with global experience in various countries and C-level experience with MNCs. He has received the Tamil Nadu Government’s “Best Entrepreneur” award in 2018 and has served as the Chairman of CII, Karur and the Chairman of Native Lead, Karur.
His son Senthil Shankar is the next generation entrepreneur. Senthil Shankar studied Mechanical Engineering at the Vellore Institute of Technology and did the Executive Education Program at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He worked at TCS for three years before joining his father’s business. He is also an angel investor in several startups.
What are they doing?
Sri Renga Polymers uses PET bottles to recycle them and make sustainable textiles from them. They produce dope-dyed colors and special recycled polyester fibers. They reuse discarded bottles of soft drinks, water and cooking oils. Apart from the polymer business, the father and son also run Ecoline, a sustainable fashion clothing brand, where PET bottles are recycled to make sustainable garments such as jackets, blazers, T-shirts and trousers.
Their work received strong recognition in February 2023 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Parliament wearing the company’s blue Sadri jacket. Prime Minister Modi once again wore an Ecoline jacket at the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan. Recently, EcoLlne also presented Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath with a unique mandarin color jacket made from recycled PET bottles. Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change (Independent Charge), Government of Uttar Pradesh Dr. Arun Kumar Saxena presents jacket to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Prime Minister Modi has worn the blue jacket more than once, demonstrating his commitment to a sustainable ecosystem.