Look Mum! I’m in the papers!
It is so nice to be interviewed by my home town newspaper, after having left it as a teenager. Below the translation from Dutch;
Oud-Hengeloër Rutger de Bruijn (41) has started his own company in India. It revolves around waste and its processing. And that is just the beginning of a series of ventures he wants to start abroad. “Adventure is something you have to seek out, and I want adventure.”
After a long preparation of ten years, during which he built up his network of contacts, Rutger de Bruijn has been the owner/director of his own factory in the Indian state of Karnataka, on the outskirts of Bangalore International Airport, since January of this year. His trucks collect all the waste from the terminals and bring it to the factory. Some of it is recycled into usable materials for new products.
The vast majority is organic waste, which is processed in the biogas plant, producing bio-natural gas as a residual product that can be supplied powering De Bruijn’s factory vehicles, among other uses. A smaller portion is sold as compost. “This way, no waste is left. Zero waste,” as he says. “And we are already making a profit every month.” The majority of the workforce consists of disadvantaged women, solving not only an environmental problem but also a social one. With his company NovusNexus, De Bruijn is hitting multiple birds with one stone. “Almost all of them,” he says.
He was in the country for a few days recently, in Hengelo, the city where he spent his childhood. It felt like coming home. “I had a great childhood in Hengelo. I felt comfortable and secure in this city. It was pleasant to grow up here. Very sheltered,” he says. “Adventure is something you have to seek out, and I want adventure,” he continues. He inherited that from his parents and ancestors, with whom he visited all continents in the world.
In this case, he came over to discuss future investments in the waste management industry in countries all over the world with the German government.
Rutger de Bruijn studied biomedical science and medicine at Leiden University and received an MBA from Nijenrode in Breukelen. Then-CEO of Philips, Roel Pieper, asked him to research the opportunities for a new medicine for type 2 diabetes and whether they should invest in it. But he refused; it wasn’t adventurous enough because he was the top student, his professor allowed him to accompany him on visits to various CEOs in India. He sensed his opportunities. “That’s where I made a clear choice to do something in the waste sector. Waste in India is difficult, and India itself is difficult; it’s not easy to get something off the ground there. I had to take the time for that.”
You can’t change the world by just talking.
The Dutch government engaged his company to represent the Dutch waste sector in India. “It’s about promoting what the Netherlands has to offer.
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