How one tractor-trailer paved the way for what is now Puran Brothers Disposal Inc. 
Lakeram and Taishnauth Puran are the two main directors of the company now, and other family members join them in making up the board of directors
Lakeram and Taishnauth Puran are the two main directors of the company now, and other family members join them in making up the board of directors

IN 1986, Lakenauth Puran got his first tractor-trailer. It cost about $9,000 for the tractor and $8,000 for the trailer back then, and he can still remember how he had to borrow from family and friends to ensure he had enough to make the investment. As he worked diligently in garbage collection with it, he had no idea that the one tractor-trailer would eventually result in a flourishing business that would see exponential growth for decades to come.

Assistant General Manager Kishan Puran in a donation gesture to New Beginning Daycare

It had to be something he was confident about because, at the time, heavy stigma was attached to working in the garbage collection industry. It was viewed with disdain, and perhaps this is the reason it was not a competitive business back then: practically no one wanted to venture into it.

But not Lakenauth Puran. He had faith in the business. As things turned out, many of his family members would later join him in growing what is now Puran Brothers Disposal Inc., a mammoth garbage collection and disposal company that has become a common household name in Guyana.

Originally from Leguan Island, he moved to Pouderoyen, West Bank Demerara, as a child and went to West Demerara Secondary, where he gained a few subjects. Having decided to invest in the tractor-trailer, he worked with the Mayor and City Council for several years before deciding to bring in his own compactor trucks. “Then gradually the business grew till right now I don’t even know how many trucks we have,” Puran told Pepperpot Magazine recently.

Puran Brothers started with one tractor-trailer but now has some 200 trucks and equipment

Puran and his brother Taishnauth Puran are the two main directors of the company now, and other family members join them in making up the board of directors. “Puran Brothers is a big family business, so with the support of my brothers, sons, nephews, we all do it.”

Lakenauth Puran was not sure what career path he wanted to pursue while growing up; all he knew was that he wanted to be a successful businessperson. “I never worked anywhere. I just drove the tractor-trailer in Georgetown,” he shared, reflecting, “Years back, you would get cursed; people would call you names for doing this kind of work. But not today. Right now, garbage collection is a competitive business because everyone wants to do it.”

His persistence back in the day paid off, especially when things became difficult. He particularly remembers when the tractor would break down, and he would become frustrated, pause and fix it, and then go again. This took quite a bit of his energy, he recalled.

Working with the City Council for 35 years posed its own challenges. “We realised we couldn’t depend on them because they weren’t paying us on time, so we had to divert and do other businesses.” Even though still doing some work for the Council now, the company went into construction, party rentals, toilet rentals, document shredding, and a host of other business ventures.

Sea defence construction – rip rap by Puran Brothers

His son, Assistant General Manager Kishan Puran, says they are always looking to see what new ventures the company can undertake. He recalled how his dad and cousin, Kalesh (General Manager of Puran Brothers), brainstormed and came up with the business idea to empty septic tanks. Therefore, from solid waste, they went into liquid waste management, of course, with the Government of Guyana’s assistance to create a facility to aid them in doing so.

“This is something which we are trying to bring to Essequibo right now. We are like 75 percent there to get the facility created so we can start that operation here in Essequibo,” Kishan shared with this publication on the sidelines of a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open his brother Chetandra’s newest Chicken ‘n’ Burger Delight location. (Chetandra is also in charge of the IT Department and Sand Pit and Quarry Operations at Puran Brothers)

 

Family business 

The way a small business can start up and bloom quickly today is nothing compared to what obtained back in the days, Kishan observed, so things were very slow in the beginning until more family members decided to join and help to grow the business to the point it now has some 500 employees with 200 trucks and equipment.

“Puran Brothers is a family business; it’s not a one-man show. This entire family came together and tried to push it to where it is right now,” he shared.
His brother Chetandra and cousins Satesh, Rakesh, Navin, Vikash, and Vishal are among those who also work in strategic positions, along with senior and reliable staff members who have been with the company since its inception.

Puran Brothers has successfully completed numerous construction projects

Kishan has been exploring different business ideas to see where the company can make more investments. “I see Guyana as a place with a lot of opportunities right now. With oil and gas and worldwide recognition, you can invest in any region of the country today.”

Puran Brothers hopes to start operations soon to manage waste oil, medical waste, and any other hazardous waste. The company has pioneered private garbage collection in rural areas, and today, thousands of households and businesses, such as fast food restaurants, hotels, stores and other commercial entities, benefit from its services. It is the only waste management company in Guyana that holds an Operations Permit from the Environmental Protection Agency.

 

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