Meet entrepreneurs from small towns creating strong impact: the week so far

This week, SMBStory covered inspiring stories of entrepreneurs who are making sustainable and preventive healthcare products to make this world a better place.
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‘Making the world a better place’: this is what entrepreneurs Ved Krishna and Sagar Patel from Ayodhya and Vadodara are working towards with their missions to bring sustainability and preventive healthcare as part of everyday life.

This week, we covered the stories of such entrepreneurs to understand what their entrepreneurial journey is like and they are achieving success.

Yash Pakka Ltd

The story of Ved Krishna’s roller-coaster life is the perfect example of the saying: ‘when one door closes, another one opens’. Ved had always dreamt of becoming an Air Force pilot. However, destiny had other plans for him. 

Ved is no stranger to business. From early on, he saw his father, KK Jhunjhunwala, build a paper mill from scratch in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. Established in 1981, Yash Pakka started by making wrapping papers out of sugarcane waste. 

KK saw many ups and downs in his life, especially after separating from his joint family. His wife even had to sell her jewellery for KK to start the business. 

“I have seen my parents working as a team. My father is my role model and he always considered my mother as a trustee in his business,” says Ved. 

At one point, Ved’s father was even considering selling off the business. But now more than 40 years later, Yash Pakka Ltd is a Rs 300 crore turnover company and one of India’s largest enterprises making packaging paper, moulded foodservice products, and value-added products made out of sugarcane waste.

Ved stepped into the business in 1999 when he was in his 20s. At that time, the turnover of the company was around Rs 25-30 crore. In 2007, he launched different projects to bring more sustainable products to the packaging industry and eventually started supplying sustainable carry bags to McDonalds, KFC, and Pizza Hut. 

In 2012, Yash Pakka launched CHUK – a 100 percent compostable and biodegradable tableware brand that helps businesses enable their customers to 'eat safe’ and contributing towards a cleaner planet.

Read the full story here

Vasu Healthcare

The COVID-19 pandemic put the spotlight squarely on health. This shift has opened the doors to several opportunities for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical companies. 

While several new companies have emerged in this space thanks to the growth potential, several established players are gung-ho about leveraging this trend. Among them is Vadodara-based Vasu Healthcare.

The company, which manufactures and sells pharmaceutical and personal care products, was founded in 1980 by brothers VB Ukani, HB Patel, and JB Ukani.

In 2019, it decided to launch a nutraceutical vertical, Vasu Nutra, but the journey was not hunky-dory as the pandemic struck the world in 2020.

Sagar Patel, the company’s director and second-generation entrepreneur who joined the business in 2005, says the business is gradually recovering and is on the path to “scale exponentially”.

Vasu Healthcare, which exports its products to 50 countries, noticed a trend in the international market: preventive healthcare products. The company had been selling 200 health and personal care products, including creams, moisturisers, hair oil, syrups, pain-relieving creams, etc.

But the brand lacked a category that focused solely on preventive healthcare. This was the reason behind the launch of Vasu Nutra in 2019.

“The aim of Vasu Nutra is to offer products made of the finest herbs and nutraceutical ingredients,” Sagar says.

The first product launched by the company was Bonton DQ, a combination of calcium and Vitamin D3.The healthcare arm has also launched a herbal supplements range that includes products such as Ashwagandha, Amalaki, Guduchi, Turmeric, and more in capsule form.

All products are 100 percent vegan and free of preservatives, Sagar claims. “We want to sell products which promote overall health and wellbeing while boosting immunity, energy, and stamina.”

Read the full story here

Other top picks of the week:

Fintech companies offering collateral-free loans

Image credits: Shutterstock

Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector, despite providing crucial support to India’s economy, suffers from a credit crunch. This is especially the concern for companies seeking collateral-free loans, which are unsecured debt given by banking or finance institutions. 

According to Ram Kewalramani, Co-founder and Managing Director of CredAble, the MSME segment contributes 40 percent to total exports in India, but it often finds itself in dire straits as far as financing operations are concerned as only 16 percent have access to formal credit.

Several fintech companies are solving this problem by creating lending platforms that offer small-scale entrepreneurs easy and collateral-free loans of up to Rs one crore, helping them scale their business. 

Read the full story here

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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