Madhvi Khaitan Pittie
During visits to her family’s manufacturing unit and other factories, Madhvi Khaitan Pittie often came across large mounds of industrial waste. Even before fully understanding the outcome, she had the vision to transform the waste into something meaningful. Pittie and her sister started WorkshopQ in 2010 in Jaipur and re-established it in Mumbai in 2016.
Inspired by functionality, innovation and fuelled by a deep desire to be green, WorkshopQ, a social enterprise employs local artisans to salvage industrial waste and turn them into purposeful art installations or meticulously designed home décor products.
"Our mission is to reduce waste by employing innovative methods. Upcycle pre-industrial, post-industrial and consumer waste into something that would look right at home on your desk or your coffee table. We endeavour to start conversations around the nexus between aesthetic and environmental sustainability," explains Pittie, who scrupulously designs her products to give them a contemporary look.
Besides home décor products, WorkshopQ has completed over 60 installation projects for brands including Raymonds, Bisleri, Ford, Ashok Leyland, Indian Oil Corporation, GVK, among others. "With a lot of companies adopting the EPR policy (Extended Producer's Responsibility), upscaling their industrial waste enables them to manage the pre-consumer and post-consumer waste and to promote employee engagement and support their recycling goals," adds Pittie.
Through projects such as 'Automatic Ganpati' for Ford, a 13-foot-tall Bumblebee Transformer for Ashok Leyland and a chair installation for a private collector, WorkshopQ has managed to recycle around 4,500 kgs of car, truck and bike spare parts. "These parts would have otherwise ended up in a landfill or remained unused in storage for the next couple of 100 years," she says.
In their eight-year journey, the company has supported over 70 artists. This was possible as individuals and companies are increasingly becoming aware and are adopting sustainability as their business ethos. The enterprise is looking to expand into the e-commerce space with a more direct-to-customer model and a bigger business-to-business segment of smaller products.
WorkshopQ intends to grow its art installation segment and collaborate with the civic bodies of each city. "We want to further market our products correctly, list them at the right places, innovate at every junction, explore new avenues and materials to upcycle and fuse these into public art to make our urban landscape beautiful and sustainable," Pittie says.
A firm believer of success speaks for hard work, Pittie believes, "One must have conviction in their vision. But humility is equally important. I have found that identifying a mistake and correcting it in time has never harmed me or my self-belief."