I had the privilege of meeting Datuk Vinod Sekhar recently, a Malaysian tycoon and the youngest person to have received a Datukship at age 26. He was also once ranked on Forbes list of richest Malaysians (Vinod Sekhar #28 on Forbes list). What’s more impressive was his latest business venture, which in addition to helping save the environment, will create a new cottage industry that will help rural and underprivileged Malaysians.
The problem? 1.4 billion rubber tyres are discarded every year and the number will only continue to grow, as we put more cars on the road. There are 3 ways to discard these rubber tyres:
a) By burying them underground, which will contaminate the water below.
b) By burning them, except the fire may take 15 years to put out.
c) By piling them into “tyre mountains”, which will be a breeding ground for mosquitos.
Vinod Sekhar’s Green Rubber Global aims to solve this massive problem by recycling the rubber tyres into high-grade, reusable rubber using their patented DeLink technology. For the record, the technology was invented by Vinod’s father, Tan Sri B.C. Sekhar, and who is also known as the Father of Natural Rubber. The technology has so much potential that Green Rubber Global has managed to sign a partnership with Timberland, and attract Hollywood celebrities like Bruce Willis and Mel Gibson to invest in the company.
The construction of Green Rubber Global’s factory is currently underway and it remains to be seen if Vinod Sekhar will succeed in his grand ambition to save the environment with his game-changing de-vulcanization technology. If it does, it would certainly bring back Malaysia’s former glory days as the world’s leading R&D hub for rubber technology.