EnviGreen Biotech India Private Limited, a company known for its environment-friendly ‘EG’ carry bags, will open 10 more franchises in India soon said the company’s founder Managing Director Ashwath Hegde on Friday.
He told DH on the sidelines of ‘Shraddha 2019’ that the company, with its manufacturing plant in Bengaluru, was supplying eco-friendly carry bags to clients across India and abroad. ‘Shraddha 2019’ was an education conclave for post-graduate students organised by the Ramakrishna Mutt.
“EG bags are used in 17 different countries. The company will open 10 franchises and manufacturing plants in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Maharastra and Gujarat.
Hailing from a village called Balanja near Belthangadi in Dakshina Kannada district, Hegde comes from a humble background. A freak accident forced him to drop out of college.
Despite financial constraints, Ashwath dared to become an entrepreneur and lost his Rs 42 lakh investment at the age of 22. He then harboured suicidal thoughts. But the support of elders spurred him on and he invested in manufacturing areca plates.
He recollects borrowing Rs 15,000 from his mother in order to run the industry. After tasting modest success in areca leaf plate making, Ashwath launched EnviGreen Biotech India in 2012.
EnviGreen today boasts of an annual turnover of Rs 25 to 30 crore. The annual production capacity of the company is 300 metric tonnes. Ashwath Hegde is one among 30 successful businessmen listed by Forbes India in 2017.
After elaborate research, the company came up with eco-friendly alternatives to plastic bags.
Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) too has approved his product, he reveals with pride. The company has applied for a US patent for the product. The tagline of EnviGreen is ‘A tribute to Mother Earth’. As the product is made from biodegradable substances, it is a gift to nature.
Inspiration behind eco-friendly bags
Ashwath Hegde reveals drawing inspiration for his eco-friendly bags from a fisherwoman. When Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) imposed a ban on plastics in 2012, he ventured into selling Eco-friendly cloth bags. He provided cloth bags to fish vendors and on one such occasion, a fisherwoman bluntly asked him how she could make a profit by packing Mackerel worth Rs 20 in a cloth bag worth Rs 25.
“It was then I realised that there was a need for an invention that was affordable and biodegradable,” he said.
The ban on plastic carry bags was enforced in 19 states in India. But implementation is poor because of the limited supply of cloth bags. People should carry cloth bags to reduce dependency on plastic carry bags, he added.