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Entrepreneur pitches business idea to Ashwini Vaishnaw on tissue paper in flight; lands a meeting

ISN Team
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Entrepreneur pitches business idea to Ashwini Vaishnaw

Imagine being on a plane and finding yourself sitting next to a top government official. What would you do?

For Akshay Satnaliwala, this wasn't just a hypothetical question; it was a golden opportunity. Akshay Satnaliwala, an entrepreneur from West Bengal, seized this rare opportunity aboard a flight from Delhi to Kolkata on February 2.

Finding himself on the same flight as Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Satnaliwala, who runs a solid waste management company, crafted a business proposal on tissue paper. Despite the constraints of flight protocol and high security, he managed to hand his innovative pitch to the minister.



His plan? To use trains to transport waste to places where it could be reused, helping the environment and supporting the Prime Minister's Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.

"Dear sir, I represent M/S Eastern Organic Fertilizer Pvt Ltd which is one of the largest solid waste management companies in the state of West Bengal," Satnaliwala wrote on the tissue paper, switching from blue to black ink as his pen ran out.

He added, “Sir, if you allow, I would like to present how railways can be an integral part in the supply chain of AFR (alternative fuel and raw material) to cement plants and also contribute to our Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.”

Satnaliwala, in a note, appealed to the minister that the company he represents was the first in the country to send plastic waste by a railway rake in July 2022 when 3,500 metric tonnes were sent in a single consignment from the ER's Chitpur railway siding to a cement plant in Rajgangpur.


To Satnaliwala's astonishment, within minutes of landing, he received a call from the Eastern Railway's General Manager's office, leading to a meeting with Milind K Deouskar, the General Manager of Eastern Railway, on February 6.

The meeting, attended by senior officials, focused on the feasibility of transporting solid and other wastes via railways as a cost-effective transportation mode.

During the discussion, Satnaliwala elaborated on the flow of solid waste to various industries across the country, highlighting the environmental benefits and the potential for significant pollution reduction. 

Satnaliwala said that the ER general manager, responding to his business proposals, offered flexible terms for carrying solid and other waste through the railway route as a cheaper mode of transportation.