Taking their cue from nature, they started producing Paper honeycombs as a greener and structurally safer alternative to Thermocole, foam, and many other kinds of packaging materials. Praveen told us more about Honeycomb and Lsquare Eco-products capabilities saying “key association within the market to provide end-to-end solutions including but not limited to technical assistance, machinery for conversion of honeycomb to end products, project management solution unlike other manufacturers who are just selling paper honeycomb to those who know how to use it. Our focus is largely on enabling the clients on shifting to this greener material and helping them with change management, training the employees on the shop floor about the new methods of production. At honeycomb, we are dedicated to constant growth and this is achieved only if our clients are able to adapt to and benefit from the continuously evolving product range and improving standards of quality and performance.”
The first samples of Honeycomb took 5 months to roll out, and after one month of the samples production they were already sold out for a little over Rs.5000.00. Their initial capacity was 800 kgs/month, and after eight months of operation that was upgraded to 2tonnes and then to 6tonnes. The current process of automation is set to take the capacity to an estimated 85tonnes per month which is but the tip of the iceberg.
Honeycomb has the potential to replace over 50% of wood being used in exterior packaging and pallets while providing light weight eco-friendly furniture as a viable option in the Indian market. This is a win win situation is there ever was one.
Praveen explains “The business has 4 verticals:
Honeycomb core – supplying ‘paper honeycomb core’ to manufacturers of doors, panels, furniture etc.
Packaging – Eco-friendly packaging
Furniture – Light weight, high-end, eco-friendly furniture
Machinery – Honeycomb Conversion machinery for users of paper honeycomb.”
Praveen believes in playing his cards close to his chest. We asked about future plans and he replied “This would be too early to reveal this in detail. The idea though is to reach out to a nationwide clientele and grow through strategic tie-ups and contracts. We believe growth is achieved through team work and ‘togetherness’ in a way that brings a win-win scenario.”
Praveen found his entrepreneurial vision after being inspired by many separate entities. They are in no particular order – “Dr.Abdul kalam’s book – the ignited minds.”
“The vision of creating jobs in India rather than occupying a seat at an MNC.”
“Finding the right team to begin with.”
Praveen has a different take on most nuances of life. He proclaims “The biggest challenge lies in our head. To be able to see it from various perspectives, to be able to analyze and judge. A little prayer I once heard is a good way to describe what I mean. “God give me the strength to change the things I can, the courage to accept the things I cannot and the wisdom to know the difference”. The bottom-line comes down to knowing the difference. To knowledge. To mindset. If one can control his mind and focus energies in the right fashion rest is just following a process. With this I believe the toughest of times are yet to come as we grow beyond the known and step further into the unknown.”
“I believe we delayed our growth process despite knowing the potential because of external factors like recession and knowing the exact impact of it on a business like ours. Ignoring the market reaction to our product and going by a more generic trend and sentiment in the market I believe was our biggest mistake.”
While friends and family got them through the initial days, a nationalized bank helped them out with a little over 5 lakh of Rupees. Since then he listed their milestones as-
- Incorporation June 2007
- First production samples rolled out November 2007 with most operations being carried out on an outsourcing basis
- First sale – Early December 2007. Sold a trial lot that was delivered in the boot of a friend’s car
- Semi automation achieved in January 2008
- First bit of machinery bought in November 2008
- Unit expanded to a 20000sq ft. space in May 2009..
After their rapid progress, a lot of believers have also sprung up among which is a certain nationalized bank that backed them with a crore rupees.Their green credentials have been boosted by an Indo-Australian chamber of commerce which recognized their work in the area of eco-friendly packaging space in May 2009.
Praveen says he has thought of quitting and adds “Not to a job. But moving to other lines of business played on my mind quite a few times in the first one year of the business since we were the only people to be doing this in the country and a lot of obstacles that came by jolted our belief. This is when the team really played a crucial role in holding it all together.”
From winning a school election to becoming a captain this Green entrepreneur has always believed in leading from the front. Yourstory hopes that he will inspire and create others in his mould whole making a better tomorrow for all of us. Praveen advises other aspiring entrepreneurs saying “Dream dream dream because dreams translate into thoughts and thought translate into action. Begin NOW if you have an idea. Tomorrow may be too late.
An entrepreneur doesn’t live a life that other people live today to live a life that most can’t live tomorrow!”
We thank Praveen for his time and for indulging us with his story of Green Entrepreneurship.