Former banker Kern Agrawal and his wife Ranjani Prabhakaran are the co-founders and directors of the one-year old company. Kern tells us, “Following my career as a banker, I started working with many small and marginal farmers. During my three-year stint, I realised that one of the big problems they faced was the degradation of the soil. We were looking for different ways to address the issue. And that’s when we figured out that there was a huge potential in using biodegradable waste, which could be composted into manure and given to the farmers to return to the soil.”
“There is of course a cost involved in segregating the waste and moving it from a landfill to the farmer. So, we decided to rely on the creation of biogas, which could provide the necessary cash flow, to get this waste out of the landfill and into the farmer’s hands as manure.”
Talking about the business evolution, he says, “We started by speaking to colleges like Loyola and Stella Maris, who encouraged our idea. Waste management was a big problem for them as well. Our solution, helps in taking care of the waste, and creating a positive impact. We basically work as a link between the waste management and agriculture space. We divert waste going into a landfill, which would result in environmental pollution, and convert it into biogas and compost. An institute like Loyola generates close to 1,000 kg of food waste alone, as they have a hostel. Now, its entire waste is transformed into two cylinders worth of biogas, that can be used in the kitchens. Once the gas is extracted, the residual compost is given to farmers for free of cost. They can then grow organic vegetables and sell them back to the institution at a subsidised rate.”
“I plan to take this model to large institutions, corporates factories, and hotels. The company saw a revenue of Rs 50 lakh last year and we are targeting Rs 2 crore this year. I am looking at a centralised model for waste processing this year. Deals with a few major educational institutions are in the pipeline, as well as a leading hospitality group. Several manufacturing companies have also reached out to us, as even they generate large quantities of food waste,” he signs off.