This start-up is all in towards stress-free waste management and disposal to build a sustainable future
Ekobarn is a one-stop solution for all things waste. They aim to make each Indian household a zero-waste household via a plethora of products and services aimed to reduce our footprint on the environment and in turn make the earth a more beautiful, breathable, livable space. As a first step in this journey, they have launched their home composting kits, designed while keeping in mind ease of use, durability and ability to suit urban spaces as the cornerstones of our product. They are also currently developing a bulk composting system around the same tenets.
Most of us are aware of the effects of plastics - how harmful they are and how we can mitigate their usage. What we don’t realize is that the kitchen waste we throw away can be equally polluting - albeit in a different way. So Ekobarn came up with the idea of first educating people on how they can treat their waste at home and then to empower them to do it via simple, low-cost, low maintenance products.
India has a huge waste management problem with landfills expected to run out of space by 2035. While we generate in excess of 1.75 lakh tonne daily, less than 70% is collected. Of the collected waste more than 40% is organic and can be treated but is simply dumped into landfills. There is also an attitude especially among urban dwellers that waste is not their problem even though we are the ones who generate it. Ekobarn aims to reduce organic waste going to landfills by incentivizing people to deal with their kitchen waste inside their homes safely.
They are a team of co-founders coming from a diverse background - engineering, management and architecture. Lalit Vashista, who has more than 35 years of experience in environmental technologies leads the technology development. Vaidehi Naik-Nandola, has masters in urban planning and specializes in sustainable architecture and is the design and product development expert of the company. Sujatha Krishnamurthy is a chemical engineer with more than 12 years of experience in sales and engineering. They founded this company in March 2021, with the goal to make the world a cleaner place and to be a leader in showing how sustainability can go hand in hand with profitability and good economics.
Being a nascent start-up, they faced challenges in educating the population as well as dealing with lockdowns and Covid-19. They overcame these challenges with the help of their partners and personal networks. They also started doing educational workshops that aimed at showing people practically how easy and how less time-consuming it is to compost. The demos and workshops have greatly helped us increase awareness.
Ekobarn is currently a bootstrapped company. With the exception of a grant, they received from the SEED foundation, they are completely self-sufficient in terms of funds that they have put together. Till date they have serviced around 17 clients and have generated about Rs.70,000 as revenue. The plan is to reach a minimum of 1000 clients within the first year of operation, and post break-even they expect to start fundraising.
The uniqueness of Ekobarn rests in one its compost starter, which is their main USP, that eliminates leachate (black smelly liquid) and odour, as well as, the design of their bin, which aims to minimise human intervention by providing necessary aeration.
One of their customers mentioned that, “The EkoBin is simple, hassle free and I have just recently harvested my first batch of compost! The satisfaction from making something useful from waste is very high. I am looking forward to seeing how this boosts my garden. Composting has also made me more aware of the waste I generate and has made segregation a bit more fun!”
Sujatha, one of the founders, has her view on the start-up community in India as it being very vibrant. “It was an absolutely pleasant surprise to see how many people would willingly provide their time and expertise to help us overcome hurdles. We have had people encourage us, advise us and even go out of their way to help us.”
“Edtech, Fintech, SaaS are all extremely promising sectors that are seeing some of the most explosive growth,” are her picks. Her advice for young entrepreneurs and start-ups is, “For anyone with an idea - do not just spend time perfecting the idea. The perfect idea does not exist. Instead get your solution to a working level and do even that by talking to as many people as you can - users, buyers, industry experts, potential customers. The more you understand your client’s thinking and adapt your product accordingly, the more chances of your success. Also do not hesitate to get people’s opinions. People may be able to steal your idea but no one can steal your vision of execution. Talk to as many people as you can and build a robust solution.”
Ekobarn is created with the aim of making people move to a zero-waste lifestyle with minimal effort. Their vision is to help the entire country move towards a sustainable lifestyle not just in the products we consume but also in how we dispose of what we don't consume. Join them in this journey as they bring a plethora of products and services that are aimed to make your life more sustainable without making it more stressful.
You can check out Ekobarn at: ekobarn.com