Meet 5 companies betting on sustainable practices to accelerate growth

Ahead of the World Sustainable Energy Day, SMBStory brings you stories of five companies that have adopted sustainable practices to turbocharge their growth.

Meet 5 companies betting on sustainable practices to accelerate growth

Saturday February 26, 2022,

7 min Read

Sustainability is the need of the hour. Companies that are incorporating stellar sustainability practices are also the ones that are more resilient and growing significantly. 

As we celebrate World Sustainability Day on February 27, SMBStory brings together a list of five companies that are witnessing growth adopting sustainable practices.

The Tribe Concepts

While studying in Bengaluru in 2019, Amritha Gaddam was suffering from a lot of lifestyle-related health problems. Being away from her home — Rajahmundry, a small city in Andhra Pradesh — made it difficult for Amritha to manage her wellbeing.

Her struggles led to the genesis of The Tribe Concepts, a plant-based Ayurvedic skin and hair care brand.

With a no-chemical philosophy and a portfolio with 14 products, the brand in the first nine months made revenues worth Rs 1 crore and followed it up with Rs 1.25 crore in the next three months. In less than three years of inception, the brand is eyeing a turnover of 50 crores by March 2022. At present, the brand has its head office located in Bengaluru. 

Tribe Concepts is marketed over Instagram and the online reviews have played a pivotal role in the brand’s growth. Today, the brand gets over two lakh orders worldwide including the US, UK, Canada, UAE, and more. 

One of the core principles that Tribe Concepts have followed since inception is that it uses 100 percent natural ingredients. Amritha says that right from development to delivery, everything is sustainable.

“Our packaging material too is all natural. We offer our products in tin boxes and glass bottles. Even our taping is through paper tapes. There is no use of plastic,” Amritha explains. 

The industry is dominated by plastics, it is a persistent problem. “When we as a brand claim to be sustainable we wanted to be the one from start to end in our offering,” Amritha asserts. 

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In an exclusive chat with SMBStory, Deepak Aggarwal, Founder, CEO and Managing Director of KAZO says that after completing his graduation, he wanted to do something of his own and not join the family business. This led him to start a small garment export house in 1991. 

Running this business for about 15 years gave Deepak a good understanding of the industry and he soon realised there was a wide gap in the western clothing market in India. 

“There were no affordable, high-street, international fashion wear brands in India,” he adds. 

To address the gap and bring a new dimension to women’s fashion in India, in 2007, Deepak started KAZO by investing approximately Rs 40 lakh of his own. Today, Deepak claims the company clocks a turnover of Rs 100 crore, with more than 170 points of sale across 70 cities in India. 

KAZO serves its customers pan India and the products are manufactured in Noida, Bangladesh as well as Tirupur. About 80 percent of our production is done locally in India, while the other 20 percent is outsourced from fully compliant mills across China and Bangladesh.

At KAZO, the best cotton, recycled polyester and fabrics are used in the making of products. The batteries used for manufacturing are also sustainable. The brand is also particular about working with factories that run on sustainable programmes like zero water discharge, solar energy to name a few.

KAZO is consciously working towards being a more sustainable brand, and is striving to use 80 percent of sustainably sourced materials by the year 2025. The brand embodies environment-friendly values through minimising waste. For instance, last year, the label upcycled by making scrunchies and face masks from leftover fabric. 

KAZO’s manufacturing units have solar panels installed which reduces energy consumption and promotes renewable energy making it extremely beneficial for the environment. The brand promotes equality and stands true to its values by supporting female employment. More than 55 percent of direct and indirect jobs at Kazo are fostered and created for females. 

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The idea of living consciously and sustainably was the inspiration behind Greendigo. Founders Meghna Kishore and Barkha Bhatnagar Das, both belonging to corporate backgrounds realised that the available kidswear in the market contained a lot of synthetic fibres, toxic materials, dyes etc., which can cause health hazards. The two quit their jobs to start a business rooted in organic textiles with an initial investment of Rs 15 lakh. 

The Mumbai-based brand started its operations in August 2019. Today, Greendigo is an organic clothing brand serving kids up to the age of 12 years. It claims to have over 500 customers with 20-22 percent being repeat customers.

The brand has termed its wares as ‘capsule-wardrobe friendly’ (clothes that don’t go out of fashion).

Owning a few good quality garments which can be easily mixed and matched to create multiple looks and outfits is something that Greendigo endeavours to produce through this concept of a capsule-friendly wardrobe.

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Vedanta Capital Group

Though India is expected to continue to be among the major hubs of primary production growth, there is a need to provide sustainable solutions for the dross generated as the byproduct in the processing of aluminium. 

Naivedya Agarwal, Founder of Runaya, says that 1.5 percent dross is generated in the production of aluminium and globally, over 10 lakh tonnes of this hazardous waste is generated annually for which there was no sustainable solution. 

A scion of Vedanta Capital Group, one of India’s largest aluminium producers, Naivedya decided to start a business of his own to seize the opportunities dross generated to recover potential metal and develop new products. 

Founded in 2017 by Naivedya and his brother Annanya Agarwal, Runaya is a manufacturing startup that leverages technology and relationships with global partners to create innovative solutions in the resources sector.  

Runaya leverages technology to create sustainable solutions in the metal resources sector and aims to revolutionise the resources industry by creating innovative solutions, concurrent with the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat and Make In India. The company is based out of Mumbai while its operational sites are at Jharsuguda (Odisha), Bhilwara (Rajasthan), and Silvassa.

In three years, Runaya has grown and now makes Rs 150 crore turnover. The company says it aims to clock Rs 425 crore in FY 2021-22 based on current operations and projects under execution and commissioning.

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Responsible Whatr

Not just industries and households, but five-star hotel chains and restaurants also generate alarming plastic waste mostly in the form of plastic water bottles.

After seeing such large scale plastic consumption, Ankur Chawla undertook a research to find a solution. 

A beverage expert and a veteran of the hospitality industry, with over a decade of experience of working in Taj Hotels and JW Marriott, Ankur realised the biggest problem this sector faced was disposing off plastic waste.  

In an interaction with SMBStory, he says, 

“I wanted to solve the plastic waste problem which I have been witnessing for many years. It was like everyone was seeking a solution but nothing was available. And then I chanced upon some luck”.

Ankur met Bhrigu Seth who was into exotic farming and was supplying greens to modern retail shelves. Both of them realised that they shared a common goal and it didn’t take long for them to draft a plan of action.

After going through the intricacies of the issue at hand, the duo came up with a solution - aluminium. 

Ankur and Bhrigu decided to launch Responsible Whatr, natural spring water beverage packed in an aluminium can to solve the problem of waste plastic water bottles. 

Ankur says, “We do not pump groundwater and instead offer whatever nature provides, which is further purified at our plant. In addition to this, the entire production facility is designed to capture rainwater, which is then used for irrigation. We are offering our customers the best quality water with naturally balanced essential minerals and a pH of ~7.4.” 

The impact on customers and society will only be seen in a few months, Ankur says adding that they believe in the adage 'little drops of water make a mighty ocean'. He says this is their contribution towards the environment to have a plastic-free nation one day through a product that is truly made in India. 

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Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti