Published: 05th December 2019
This Centurion University duo's brand new designer pens are made from just paper
The machine made from scratch by the duo Prem Shanker Pandey and MD Ahmad Raza is portable and not too heavy, it can easily be placed on top of a table
We have all heard about biodegradable pencils, but biodegradable pens? Now, that's new! Prem Shanker Pandey and MD Ahmad Raza, students of Centurion University, have successfully created pens made from paper. "Paper pencils are abundantly available in the market, which is why we wanted to do something different," says Prem. Their teachers at Centurion became their sounding board and helped them throughout their journey to make their idea of paper pens a reality. They aptly call their start-up Likhan.
Prem Shanker Pandey and MD Ahmad Raza | (Pic: Likhan)
So, how did they go about creating this innovative product? They first manufactured a machine the size of a printer that could make these pens. Though the first prototype had a problem with the conveyor system, they eventually nailed it. "I must admit that, at many times, we would wonder why we even took up something like this," laughs Prem. But it all seems to have paid off now as this portable machine can manufacture 200 pens in an hour. The business was booming. Thanks to the university and its many visitors, the company started getting orders even before it could be registered. Till date, they have sold 25,000 pens and have gone international too - with sales in Germany, Australia and Dubai. "We are not really thinking of selling the machine as we have patented it. However, we might lease them out to those who are really seeking a job," mulls Prem, who was born in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, but was at Centurion University to pursue a Diploma in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering. Their start-up, which makes pens mostly from newspapers, is based out of the university.
The machine made by the duo | (Pic: Likhan)
As students, Prem describes himself and his co-founder as average, but they were motivated to be inventors and job creators. Their first idea, water bubble - an eco-friendly alternative to plastic - did not work out. But they did not give up. "The paper pen is 95 per cent biodegradable not 100 per cent because we are still using refills inside the pen. We are in the process of figuring out how we can make the whole product biodegradable," explains the 22-year-old. They are currently looking to stabilise their company and are also looking for investments.
- India's waste paper import rose by 133 per cent in 2018
- It was 1.5 million tonnes in 2017 and it grew to 3.5 million tonnes in 2018
- Over 50 per cent of the paper produced from the recovered paper is produced in Western India
(Credit: Union Ministry of Commerce)