Two women on a mission to make buildings and homes greener with vertical gardening via their startup GreenDrops
In 2012 summer, Supriya Nikumbh went to Singapore for a family vacation and saw vertical gardens at Singapore’s Changi airport. “It looked awesome and created a green effect across the surrounding area and at the same time saved a lot of space. The overall look enlightened an otherwise bland outlook of the entire building and also made it feel alive,” says Supriya.
After coming back to Pune, Supriya discussed the concept with her long time friend and college mate Bhairavi Shevade. Both completed their BA Fine Arts together in SNDT College of Pune.
The duo started gathering information on the Internet about the overall concept and execution. “A vertical garden is still a relatively new concept in India. It is basically plants installed in panels which are mounted on walls,” adds Bhairavi.
After extensive research on the overall design, plants, irrigation requirements, soil and fertilizers, Supriya and Bhairavi created vertical gardens in their own homes which are apartment flats. The design and the execution were simple yet elegant and everyone who saw it liked the green effect that was created. “Relatives and friends started enquiring about vertical gardens and the word spread. We started creating smaller vertical gardens for friends and families, which gave them a lot of appreciation for the innovative concept,” says Supriya.
They soon started offering unique designs and patterns in green walls. Slowly with time, Supriya and Bhairavi formed Green Drops in July 2013 -- a startup specialized in providing vertical gardens or green walls.
Later with Internet marketing, they started getting more enquiries. They got their first big project with Abhijit Pawar, a print media tycoon’s apartment. With word of mouth reference, they soon got various green wall projects, including in residential and commercial segments.
Benefits of Vertical Gardens include the creation of more oxygen, a reduction in energy consumption and less pollution, temperature regulation and decorative green plants that make the building beautiful. In a short time, both of them created a knowledge base for different plants, soils, and nutrients and also studied panels required to create vertical gardens.
Green Drops has completed its first year and is growing strongly. As of July 2014, Green Drops has executed green wall projects for five builders, three hotels, one mall and numerous residential apartments. “Overall, we have executed about 20 projects so far in the 12 months since our inception and six projects are in the pipeline.
Supriya and Bhairavi have done their BA Fine Arts and are budding entrepreneurs. Supriya loves gardening and takes care of irrigation systems while Bhairavi previously worked as an interior designer for about a decade. She handles the fabrication and horticulture aspects of green walls.
Supriya's husband, Yogesh Nikumbh, an IIM Bangalore alumni and IT professional, is helping Green Drops on sales and marketing aspects.
There are five stages to the overall project execution -- site visit and measurements, green wall designing in AutoCAD, panel fabrication, irrigation systems and plant design. “We also take end-to-end annual maintenance contracts for our green wall installations,” adds Bhairavi.
Green Drops provides vertical gardens, terrace gardens consulting, green partitions, podium gardens and landscaping. “We are also working on creating green ecosystems like kitchen gardens, living room green wall system, green furniture and green arts,” says Supriya
Green Drops now focuses more on possible innovations in vertical garden designs and making it more affordable, which will help the concept get wide spread adoption.
The company is profitable and posted revenue of Rs 30 lakhs in the past 12 months. Bhairavi and Supriya have not just created a viable and profitable business but are also getting immense satisfaction in planting thousands of plants on the walls of residential and commercial buildings and in effect creating pockets of smaller green ecosystems, which is a requirement in the current environmental situation of today's concrete jungles.
Website : GreenDrops