5 Indian entrepreneurs driven by social causes to launch their businesses

SMBStory brings to you five entrepreneurs and their ventures that have made a difference to the lives of many people from the lower strata of society.

5 Indian entrepreneurs driven by social causes to launch their businesses

Wednesday March 11, 2020,

5 min Read

Entrepreneurs are always chasing one goal or the other. From numbers and valuations, to profits and getting finances in place, they are on their toes.

However, the new trend among the businessmen is to take up social causes with a business angle to it. This idea has caught the imagination of many entrepreneurs in India in recent years.

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There are many businessmen who have succeeded in running entrepreneurial ventures that have changed the lives of many people. 

SMBStory lists five such entrepreneurs and their business ventures:

Maithili Appalwar- Avana


Maithili Appalwar, CEO of Avana

That the condition of farmers in India is in a state of despair is no secret. From droughts and other natural calamities to credit gaps, this section of the society is clearly one of the worst affected. Driven by a desire to do her bit in redressing the situation, 23-year-old entrepreneur Maithili Appalwar has made a difference to the lives of thousands of farmers in India.

Through her firm, Avana, she launched Jalasanchay, a water conservation solution, under which an artificial pond is made by digging a large pit in the farmland and covering it with a special polymer that stops percolation of water in other areas.

Maithili claims that after using this solution to conserve water, the farmers’ income has gone up by 98.7 percent. Also, the initiative has helped in saving 322.31 billion litres of water by developing 8,058 artificial ponds across Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. 

Read the full story here.

Ashok J, Srinath Shetty, and Sriram Chitlur-Hosachiguru 


Srinath Setty, Sriram Chitlur, and Ashok J, Co-founders of Hosachiguru

Ashok J and Sriram Chitlur were on the lookout for an opportunity to start a business while remaining connected to nature. In 2008, they decided to start sandalwood cultivation after the government's move to liberalise it. 

After two years of hard work, the trio acquired land and began cultivation of sandalwood in Rayadurg, Andhra Pradesh.

They used Ashok’s ancestral property spread across 30 acres of land. Srinath Shetty joined them soon after.

The idea took off and, within five years, their venture, Hosachiguru, had 18 projects spread across 800 acres of farmland cultivating sandalwood, mahogany, and melia dubia. The company now clocks a turnover of Rs 20 crore annually.  

Through their various projects, Hosachiguru effectively contributes to removing atmospheric carbon. It helps improve soil health by following organic practices. The company also contributes to groundwater recharging and has over 10 different operations that help in doing this. Besides, Hosachiguru has created jobs for over 100 local farmers. The company has also provided accommodation to the family members of these farmers.

Read the full story here.

Nishtha Malik- Beaux


Nishtha Malik, Founder, Beaux

Bereavement affects us all, but everyone has a different way of coping with it. Nishtha Malik's 18th birthday was just two days away when her mother passed away. It was a devastating phase as she saw her mother struggle with lung cancer. 

Her mother’s death left a huge void in her heart and life, but Nishtha moved on. 

In 2019, she returned to India and explored the organic hair care market in the country. She was disheartened when she saw gaps in the industry, especially when it came to wigs and hair extensions. The pain point for Nishtha was that she had seen her mother struggle to find a wig after she lost her hair during the treatment process. 

Nishtha decided to focus on this untapped market and launched her company, Beaux, which means beautiful, in June 2019. Apart from helping cancer patients, she thought that bringing real hair into the industry would also give her customers, especially women, the “beautiful thick hair they deserve.'' 

Read the full story here.

Gaurav Jalan-Packman Packaging

Gaurav Jalan

Gaurav Jalan, Founder of Packman Packaging

In American comic books and movies, Superman, Batman, and Iron Man protect the Earth from fictional threats. Packman, the brainchild of Indian entrepreneur Gaurav Jalan, is on a mission to protect against a real life, everyday threat: plastic packaging. 

At its factory in Greater Noida, Packman Packaging manufactures paper-based corrugated boxes (paperboards with air columns) in various shapes and sizes. These are the familiar, brown cardboard boxes used to package electronics, shoes, food items, clothes, etc. 

The material used to make the packaging comes from recycled paper and biodegradable paper. Today, Packman can manufacture up to one lakh corrugated boxes and rolls each day and ship to over 300 Indian cities.

Read the full story here.

Nishant Malhotra- Founder of WeaverStory.com


Nishant Malhotra, Founder of WeaverStory.com

India has always been known for its handloom industry. It is the second largest creator of employment in the unorganised sector, after agriculture. The sector, which engages 43 lakh people, is suffering from many gaps.

Nishant Malhotra, a banker, says, “In the autumn of 2015, when I visited Benaras, I came across a master weaver who was on the verge of quitting his ancestral profession. In their tiny home in Varanasi town, he and his brothers had forever seen their father bent over the loom, churning out lustrous Banarasi silk sarees. It was a skill he loved. But he was not earning enough. When we saw women crave for authentic handlooms on social media, we realised there was a gap in demand and supply.” 

Nishant decided to help these weavers in reaching out to the end buyers. Instead of joining the fintech business, which usually is an obvious path for bankers and financiers today, Nishant knew what he wanted to do. He founded WeaverStory.com on August 7, 2015, on National Handloom Day. 

WeaverStory, which started by selling five sarees, now has 50-60 handlooms in Benares. It has changed the lives of 75 households by providing them with economic stability and sustainability, and eliminating uncertainty from their lives.

Read the full story here.

(Edited by Javed Gaihlot)