Lucknow: The flowers and garlands offered to gods are usually thrown into rivers or ponds. This pollutes the water bodies and the flowers are also wasted they are not used again.
Kanpur’s Apoorv Misal, Ankit Agrawal and his team started collecting such flowers in 2017 and recycled them and made dhoop and incense stick from them.
They launched a startup using 2 kg of flowers and after two years they are annually collecting 8.50 tonnes of flowers. Dhoops and incense sticks are being made from these flowers and about 80 women have got the job. In just 2 years, the turnover of the startup has crossed 2 crore mark.
Ankit got the idea while he was sitting on banks of Ganga
Apoorv says that startup founder Ankit Agrawal got the idea of starting this enterprise when one day he was sitting on the banks of Ganga river in Kanpur with a friend. He saw the heaps of garlands and flowers lying on the river bank and decided to use these flowers. He first went to a temple and told him about his plan. On the first day, Ankit collected 2 kg of flowers.
Started with 2 kg flowers & Rs 72000 investment
Ankit and his team conducted research on the quality of stale flowers. They found these flowers could be used to make incense sticks. Initially, they used 2 kg of flowers and invested Rs 72000. Now, this startup is annually collecting 8.50 tonnes of flowers and making incense sticks.
IIT students also helped
Apoorva said some M Tech and B Tech students of IIT Kanpur and some professors also helped them in this enterprise. Says Apoorva: ‘We established our research development team. Then we planned to set up a factory. We planned to give employment to women.’
Initially there was a team of just 10 people
Apoorva says: ‘Initially 2-3 women started working with us. There was a small team of 10 people. But today 80 women are working with us. The research team has 15 members. We have an independent marketing and sales team. We have distributors in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. Our products are even exported to other countries, including the USA and Singapore.’
Apoorva says further: ‘Our plan is to visit other cities where flowers are used in huge quantity. In a few months we shall set up our factory in Tirupati. After this we plan to set up our plants in Ayodhya and Dwarkadhish in Gujarat. Many temples and social organisations are helping us.’
(Story by Aditya Tiwari)