CHENNAI: This is furniture, but it is not made of wood,” says Priyanka Kucheria, marketing head at Indowud NFC, a three-year-old innovative start-up in Chennai. She continues, “We make furniture, but by using the principles of AHIMSA, which are ‘no trees cut, no forest destroyed and no beings harmed’.”
Indowud NFC was established by BL Bengani, who was a plywood entrepreneur. The supplement that the organisation uses instead of wood is agricultural husks which are mixed with natural minerals, and polyvinyl chloride that is highly resistant to decay. It moulds fungal attacks and rotting making it termite-proof and UV resistant.
Indowud NFC was awarded ‘Green pro ecolabel’ by GENICS (GEN’s internationally coordinated eco-labeling system) for creating a sustainable green product like this which is very new in India.
Talking to DT Next about his company and how it all began, Bengani, says, “The world is crawling with global warming and this creates an imbalance in every living being on the earth, so to change this situation I wanted to do something that the earth can benefit from. Therefore, I took it upon myself and researched about indowud and started experimenting with rice husks in Chennai.”
He says, “I was deprived of seeing the wasted agricultural husks at an abundant rate which gave me an idea of producing furniture with those husks. That in turn would also increase the revenue of farmers.”
“The major difference between indowud and wood is that, indowud is easily flexible and this can be moulded into any shape that we want which gives the architects the flexibility to design their imagination into any shape that they wish,” adds Priyanka.
She also says that indowuds are “termite-proof, flame retardant, anti-rodent, waterproof and anti-bacterial”. As there are no harmful ingredients, this makes a recyclable and eco-friendly product.
“Indowud is welcomed by all architects in and out of Chennai, while the normal plywoods allow only to a situated position indowuds can be bent which marks their difference from others,” tells Shabbir Khothari, partner, Indian glass and plywood centre, one of the main dealers of Indowud. He adds, “Indowuds can be used in interior and exterior, and Indowuds is becoming the growing choice of people with the sustainable mentality of saving the earth.”
“Currently we expect entrepreneurs to approach us, and we also request the government of Tamilnadu to discourage the usage of forests and encourage the usage of eco-friendly products,” states BL Bengani.
He also wants more people to opt for eco-friendly products as he believes that the world should sustain itself for many more generations to come and witness its marvel and beauty.
The company currently produces 5000 tonnes of husks annually which adds up to 2 lakh sheets; this saves a lot of trees. “Chennai is highly populated and we get the husks from several rice mills in Chennai,” says Bengani.