“Some people see things that are and ask, Why?
Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not?
Some people have to go to work and don’t have time for all that.”
It all started with being bitten by a mosquito. Sounds strange doesn’t it?
Thinking out of the box and tackling the problem at the root, and a little push was all that was needed to start the initiative Green Wave. Nikhil Gampa, Preetham Gampa, and Spurthi Kolipaka, the founders of Green Wave, were keen on using waste management combined with clean technologies to help save the environment and at the same time improve income standards of the people.
Green Wave is an initiative which was started a year ago. The startup reuses the flower waste collected from places of worship to create incense sticks. To ease the process, Green Wave collaborates with NGOs working for women empowerment and uses their established trust with women from low-income groups to provide livelihood to the very same women. Not only is their venture creating employment, but it is also providing a proper disposal technique for flower waste, most of which otherwise ends up being dumped in the water bodies.
When asked what makes Green Wave unique, Preetham Gampa, a degree holder from IIT Kanpur says, “The main issues that organisations working for the environment have is making products that are cost effective and eco-friendly” He adds, “Our business model is very simple”.
“Green Wave reuses and recycles naturally occurring products, and the incense sticks that are produced are later sold after going through packaging and quality check, and the revenue generated goes to the workers and the venture.”
The idea struck one of the co-founders pursuing masters in social entrepreneurship at Tata Institute of Social Sciences or TISS, when he spent a night at a temple while visiting Jhabua, a rural part in Madhya Pradesh. Here, he was infected with malaria. After much research, Green Wave was born.
“Every ritualistic religious man (religion no bar) knows how the flowers offered to the deity are later dumped into some holy river or etc. which can lead to physiological harm to the people living in surroundings, and he/she can thus easily relate to our products.”
A day at Green Wave begins with the women selling incense sticks, early in the morning, at temples and then producing them in the afternoon. The environment is fun and full of learning, with women working while chatting and listening to Marathi music, making the most out of the day.
The venture has changed the lives of not only the women who are able to earn additional income but also the life of the founders. Preetham Gampa’s perspective has changed, with he himself describing the change as follows,
|Before GreenWave||After GreenWave|
Green Wave’s recipe for success is to produce products that attract people. Along with a team of tech graduates and social entrepreneurs, their plan is to expand to products like color dyes, holi colors, paper, fragrances, and most importantly mosquito repellent, all made from flower waste. At present Green Wave is concentrated in a part of Mumbai, their goal is to expand to another metro.
Over a year ago, the founders of Green Wave were all students and “jobless”. Now they not only have their own venture but are also contributing towards the betterment of the society. They are helping people around them and doing something of value. Success is flowing naturally.