How A Kerala Duo Turned Leaves into a Rs 2 Lakh/Month Venture: Papla's Journey
Devakumar and Saranya's return from the UAE to Kerala brought not just a change in pace but the birth of Papla - a green venture that's transforming the tableware market one leaf at a time
Kasaragod, Kerala: Devakumar Narayanan and his wife Saranya, once living the corporate life in UAE, returned to India with an entrepreneurial dream. Today, their eco-friendly business, "", crafts tableware and grow bags from arecanut leaf sheaths and has a monthly turnover of Rs 2 lakh.
The Birth of Papla
In their quest for a business idea, the duo chose to tap into the potential of arecanut leaf sheaths. Known as Paala locally, these sheaths are plentiful in Kasaragod and are an environment-friendly replacement for plastics and paper. Hence, the brand name "Papla" emerged, symbolising less use of paper and plastic.
Diverse and Sustainable Products
Papla, launched in 2018, offers a variety of tableware products. These include plates, bowls, and spoons of different sizes and shapes, with customisations available on request. Apart from tableware, the brand's innovative offerings include packaging for handmade soaps, hats, badges, hand-fans, grow bags, and even eco-friendly wedding invites.
Notably, their tableware, priced between Rs 1.50 to Rs 10, is a hit among customers. Their unique grow bags, selling for Rs 40, are crafted for temporarily housing plants or saplings, reflecting the sheath's biodegradable essence.
Keeping sustainability at their core, Papla has revolutionised wedding invites by printing them on leaf sheaths using UV technology. This not only gives an aesthetic touch but also offers a greener alternative to traditional plastic tags used in various events.
The entrepreneurial couple's commitment goes beyond just their business. They actively support approximately 20 local units struggling with the marketing of products made from arecanut leaf sheaths. Saranya mentions, “We provide these units with training, assistance, and a platform to sell their products."
Papla, which currently exports on a modest scale, has big plans for the future. The duo is keen on exploring more natural materials like banana fibers and coconut shells. They also aim to tap into a broader international market.
Devakumar and Saranya's journey from the UAE to Kerala and their subsequent success with Papla is a testament to the fact that passion, combined with a sustainable vision, can lead to remarkable achievements.