Roshan Ray, the founder of Seed Paper India was in conversation with Susparsha Gaikwad, Assistant Editor of incubees.com. Roshan is known as the Seeding Man of India for his revolutionary start-up Seed Paper India. His sustainable initiatives have led to a lot of curiosity and wide coverage in various national and international media.
INCUBEES: Tell us about your product or services?
Seed Paper India: What started as a simple seed paper-making company in 2014, has now grown into a diverse enterprise that creates a whole range of products that try to minimize wastage and harm to the environment and cut down the use of plastic. Our niche is customization, where any of our products can be tailor-made while being completely sustainable — and this includes their packaging as well!
INCUBEES: What makes your product/services unique and what competition do you see in India and globally?
Seed Paper India: In Eco-friendly products, we don’t see any competition as competitors but we see them as partners and associates in a common goal of reducing plastic and increasing Recycle products in the industry and market as a whole. For all our products and unique items please check the attachment.
INCUBEES: What are the challenges you see in the market at this point in time?
Seed Paper India: Right now the challenges we see are not from mother Earth but from our own ideologies, fixed temperaments, religious rituals, and age-old practices. We have to change the mindset of people before we can change the perception of buying eco-friendly and recycled products. For example, the supply of Seed Paper flags and seed Rakhis was so unique in the market that it took us nearly 2 years to convince the general public that what we were making was a complete alternative to traditional crackers and plastic flags. Our crackers do not burst or emit pollution but when soon in the ground It becomes a plant. This idea was so unique not only to India but also to the world that people had to actually google and find out if it was for real. As you know now, Google is a cornerstone for every research. So when people do not find any such product online we face a huge challenge by trying to explain how harmful a pollution-emitting cracker was and how beneficial a seed cracker was!
INCUBEES: Tell us about your team and what inspires them?
Seed Paper India: Our team consists of various individuals from different backgrounds right now we have employed 80% of women in the organization So as to give them employment and a regular source of income. The women are employed from neighboring villages and surrounding areas who are unskilled. Continuous innovation in the field of recycled products has kept the team on the toes as every six months we keep changing and creating new products and distributing it to the market. We would like to also inform here that the packaging is done by physically and mentally challenged individuals from an NGO so as to give them an opportunity to contribute to society and also have a regular source of income.
INCUBEES: Where do you see your product/service reaching in the next five-years?
Seed Paper India: We see a huge rise in eco-friendly products post-Corona and in 2021 we have predicted and a 500% increase in all eco-friendly and sustainable products.
INCUBEES: Do you have plans to raise funding to grow your business or allow your business to organically grow?
Seed Paper India: As of now our business is completely organic and we have taken zero funds from outside and we have not applied for any bank loan as of now. We are a debt-free company and we create wealth from waste.
INCUBEES: What are the challenges you face as a startup?
Seed Paper India: We came up with the idea of making clay Ganesha idols infused with seed as an alternative for POP idols. People could not accept the idea of the Ganesha idol turning into a plant. It gets difficult to break their mindset. The same happened when we introduced paper flags with seeds infused in them. People could not consider the idea of a flag being dissolved in water to become a plant.
8. We would also like to point out that we are training eco-entrepreneurs and eco-warriors in the field of sustainability and creating wealth from waste. We have successfully trained and Given workshops for over 1000 environmental engineers in various fields of sustainability. We believe we cannot do it on our own so we are training the future generation to create wealth from waste without destroying mother Earth. We shall continue to inspire and promote sustainable business practices and also promote clean and resourceful income. We are hoping to train more than a hundred thousand eco-entrepreneurs and that is our main goal.