Ever thought of what happens to the flowers and leaves which we offer at the religious institutions? Or say the fresh flowers used at the weddings or at any other occasions where do they go? Probably very few of us know the proper answer. Those fresh flowers at the end find places in garbage bins, lakes or rivers which eventually rotten after few days. Huge number of lakes and rivers get polluted because of this everyday in our country. According to some of the major surveys conducted across the globe, Ganga is the second most polluted river of the world. And, in the top 10 there is another Indian river Yamuna. Measures have been taken by several government and private bodies over the past few years to clean such rivers. In one such measure a duo from Kanpur co-founded “Help Us Green” in December, 2014. Today, we are sharing their inspiring story.
In 2015, when entire India was busy with the Clean India mission Karan Rastogi and Ankit Agarwal came up with their own idea to be a part of the noble cause. They co-founded a company based in Kanpur which started making several products from the flower waste. They named it Help us Green. It was actually an extension of a university thesis project. Both Karan and Ankit had stable jobs before they started this venture. However, quitting jobs was never easy for them since both of their family members were against their decision. Their willpower to do something on their own was the winner at the end.
The duo started with collecting the flower wastes from the religious shrines for their research. After few months of extensive research on composting the flowers they came up with their first product “Mitti”, a natural vermicompost. The product was an alternative to the chemical fertilizers and was free from all forms of chemicals. According to them, “Mitti protects the soil against alkalinity, salinity and acidity leading to better, healthier yield in your gardens. A must try!”
The overwhelming success of Mitti instilled more hunger within Karan and Ankit. They started to see a larger dream. This time they entered the market of incense sticks and incense stones with their wide range of varieties. The products were 100% natural and were free from charcoal.
There are few more products which Help us Green are presently offering. The company has a product called Havan which can be used in the Yagya. Their 100% natural bathing bars are not only chemical free but also they are beautifully scented.
Help us Green has also come up with a unique technique when it comes to packaging its products. In many cases they use seed papers as their packaging material. After using their product one can plant the wrappers (which actually are seeds of various plants) in a pot and sprouting of a new plant will take place in a few days.
Help us Green presently have its presence in major Indian e-commerce portals like Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal etc and one can easily place orders for their products. However, the founders have concentrated more on tapping the European markets and they believe that the countries there have a fairly good market since they are the early adopters of green revolution. In India, markets for such products will grow but for that the people of the country needs to be aware about the differences between natural and chemical products.
The Kanpur-based startup Help us Green won the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2015-16 held at IIM-C on January 16 this year.