‘Punah’ – A Social Enterprise With Earth Friendly Solutions
At Offdhook we believe in uplifting, encouraging and supporting women. Giving women a platform to showcase their amazing work is the idea behind offdhook Women’s Day Special series. One such woman is Nilima Buch who runs a small social enterprise called ‘PUNAH’ in Delhi’s suburb called Dwarka. We believe that her story will motivate you to opt for more eco-friendly products in your everyday life. In conversation with Nilima.
Punah means to do something again which is very apt to the work that you do. What motivated you to begin this sustainable journey?
We started composting our waste in 2014 and slowly discovered the miracles of nature and easy steps to waste management. This prompted me to get deeper into this entire activity and further reduce the waste generated from my house. We started spreading our discoveries and experiences through workshops in schools, hotels, corporate offices and other organizations. Eventually, we felt that there was a dire need of bringing the alternatives to plastic laden products for urban dwellers. That is when ‘Punah” came into existence. It means whatever eco-friendly product you choose will biodegrade in the soil to complete the earth cycle.
You make and sell bio degradable or recyclable alternatives and even the packaging is compostable. How the response has been in India and do you see a huge market for these products? Is the Indian consumer making that shift?
Yes, we make products that are created from natural materials and also make sure that the packaging is compostable. Initially, it was a new concept for consumers in India, thus it took us two years to spread the awareness regarding the same. Lately after the lockdown, it has become easier for people to understand the importance of generating lesser garbage and bio degradable products. The market is now picking up to this Earth friendly trend. People are now composting and these topics are coming in the popular conversations.
Punah’s eco-friendly products specially Bio-Enzymes offer an alternative to chemically treated cleaning agents. It’s a sustainable lifestyle choice so how do you motivate consumers to use your products?
We focus on consumers daily problems. Unless, we do not address their preferences according to their lifestyle, there is no use suggesting any eco friendly product. The advantage of these natural sustainable products, is that, since they are made of natural ingredients, the product will fit into the issues of most of the households.
As a social entrepreneur how challenging has been the journey?
The journey still has its own challenges. We faced issues related to parts of packaging that have no eco friendly alternative. It is a task to balance between the cost and demand related to the products. To convince people that these products require a little adjustment or a mindset change, is a slow process. But, we are very hopeful that more and more people will join us because, ultimately we are all created from this environment. So, going natural is obviously natural.
This Women’s Day what will you #choosetochallenge?
This Women’s day I #choosetochallenge – turning more homes to composting. This is one activity that will give birth to many many pleasant changes by itself.
Richa Sharma Puri