After graduating from the National University of Singapore (NUS) with a degree in psychology, Ms Serene Pan was at the crossroads regarding her future career. Deciding against a stable office job, Serene instead founded Envocycle, which recycles waste plastics and metals.
Serene was inspired to start Envocycle after noticing the excessive amount of waste generated in our daily lives. Rather than allowing the waste to gointo landfills or incinerators, Serene believes that the refuse could be salvaged and put to better use. As a result, Envocycle makes it a point to source for and buy plastic and metal scraps from countries around the world before processing them into pellets or fibres, which can be used to make new products.
Envocycle’s environmentally friendly mission is a result of Serene’s own passion for making a positive contribution to society and the environment. By recycling waste products, Envocycle aims to spread awareness about pollution, as well as to minimize any negative effects of human activity on the environment.
Furthermore, Envocycle’s impact on society may go beyond a greener environment. Serene hopes that Envocycle’s operations will help to provide more job prospects for the less fortunate overseas, and hopefully improve their circumstances by rewarding their hard work.
The product of Serene’s own efforts, Envocycle did not have an easy start in the industry. Serene’s initial inexperience in managing a business made it difficult for her to establish reliable contacts, which resulted in some unfortunate financial mishaps.
Serene recalled that during the early stages, funding for Envocycle was so little that she lived on a monthly allowance of only five hundred dollars. The meagre stipend and intensive nature of the work also meant she had few creature comforts and leisure activities. Another key challenge for Serene is to manage the different overseas operations, which requires long working hours due to time zone differences.
However, Serene has since learnt from her early mistakes, and is now running a business with multiple regional contacts and operations in China, USA, and the UK. She also outlines her future plans to provide education for the less privileged by building and funding schools to further help Envocycle make a positive impact on society.