The Circular Electronics Business Model has High Potential for the Environment as well as the Economy

With the rising demand for electronic gadgets and smart appliances such as laptops, smartphones, etc. in the wake of rapid digitalization, the electronics sector is experiencing a significant transformation in its linear business model. As the demand increases, it leads to the need for better management of e-waste to adopt sustainable, resource-efficient, and resilient growth of the Indian economy.

As per the statistics and insights of the joint report developed by India Consumer Electronics Market (ICEM) and Accenture titled ‘Pathways to Circular Economy in Indian Electronics Sector’, the Indian electronics market in 2021 was valued at Rs. 5,363.70 billion which is by 2027 expected to become worth of Rs. 12,898.89 billion recording a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.77%.

The circular electronics business model is based on effective resource management and principles of the 4Rs – reuse, repair, recover, and re-manufacture. The report explains the emerging importance of the circular business model in the electronics sector and expects to generate 7 billion dollars worth of revenue by 2035 through targeted interventions in the electronics value chain. The model will encourage e-waste management, multi-brand repair services, defining standards for refurbishment, and providing consumers with a product-as-a-service environment.

This will bring around 1,10,000 employment opportunities in the sector and cut down greenhouse gas emissions by 1.6 million tonnes generated from electronic devices such as laptops and smartphones by 2035.

The industry can make a steep transition towards reducing the production of e-waste resulting in effectively cutting down the pollution levels by recycling which will reduce the abandoned use of natural resources along with the value wastage (1%-3%) in the core electronics sector leading to climate change mitigation and conserving biodiversity losses.

The electronics sector with the help of public-private partnerships, will build a sense of competition to contribute to various functions of a circular-based economy. This circular model will potentially prove to be a boon by supporting advanced strategies and ideas to reshape and realign the Indian electronics sector.  It will help the environment as well as India’s socio-economic benefits while challenging the dominance of the informal sector in the electronics value chain in the coming years.