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EcoTopia- a perfectly eco-friendly world

Ecotopia

3. Good Health and Well-Being 7. Affordable and Clean Energy 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 14. Life Below Water

Overview

Observing the harmful and irreversible effects of plastic & deforestation and the bleak condition of our farmers, Bhate decided that it is time to step up and help improve the situation. EcoTopia was established in the year 2018 with a vision to create economical and sustainable products that will meet the increasing demand for eco-friendly products. They use agrowaste as raw material for the products and help their farmer partners earn from the agro-waste generated in their fields.

Authors

Vandan Gupta

Vandan Gupta

Ayush Pathak

Ayush Pathak

Ashish Ranjan

Ashish Ranjan

Prakhar Agarwal

Prakhar Agarwal

Sushobhan Chandel

Sushobhan Chandel

School

Goa Institute of Management

Goa Institute of Management

Professor

Divya Singhal

Divya Singhal

Innovation

EcoTopia was founded in 2018 with the goal of creating affordable and sustainable products to meet the growing demand for environmentally friendly products. By using Agrowaste as raw material for the products they make, EcoTopia take care of the environment and at the same time also help our farmer partners earn from the agro-waste generated in their fields. Based out of the land of shores - Goa, EcoTopia manufactures and markets Areca Nut Tableware and Agrowaste smokeless charcoal briquettes within Goa and across other states in India.

They use agri waste from trees without deforestation and waste from coconuts to create tableware and smokeless charcoal. There are some features of this tableware mentioned below:

1. 100% environment friendly.

2. Biodegradable.

3. Chemical-free.

4. Microwave safe.

5. No trees are cut for manufacturing.

Bio-Fuel - Charcoal

This charcoal is made from coconut shells and produce less smoke compared to natural coal and reduces landfill that would otherwise would have been taken up by coconut agro waste.

Features:

1. 100% natural.

2. Low carbon emission.

3. No deforestation.

4. Non-Toxic.

5. Low Smoke.

EcoTopia aim to reduce the impact of pollution on our environment by creating and promoting Eco-friendly products which are made from natural, biodegradable and sustainable resources. We do so by providing 100% organic products by making sure no tree is cut in the process.

Customer review:

"Have used the plates and charcoal from Ecotopia...and they were very good. For people who like to live in harmony with Nature. Products of EcoTopia are purely a Gift for them. Even the charcoal from EcoTopia is easy to use, less dusty and leaves eco-friendly residue after use. I would surely recommend EcoTopia to all my Friends and Family."


EcoTopia- a perfectly eco-friendly world

Inspiration

Mayuri Bhate and other founders got the idea for this firm when she started working for her father's company after graduating with a master's degree in offshore structure and working for a few years in corporate. There she actually figured out the problems and solutions of the community. Particularly with regard to several consumable products that are not environmentally friendly yet are unavoidable to use. "It was time to take up and assist alleviate the situation after seeing the damaging and irreversible impacts of plastic and deforestation, as well as the dire state of our farmers", shared Ms. Bhate.

Overall impact

As there are a lot of tourists that are coming to Goa, there is a lot of demand for Sheesha or Hookah. To start, they have a customer base for their coal that is these cafes and bars that serve these. As compared to traditional coal it produces relatively very less to no smoke and reduces the harmful nature of the gases released from burning coal. Once they have established their manufacturing process these can be used by the same cafes in producing Indian traditional slices of bread such as Naan, Tandori Naan etc. which are generally using coal as fuel.

The tableware can also be used by restaurants that would love to express the essence of eco-friendliness in their restaurants and hotels. In Goa, there are a lot of hotels, restaurants and takeaway restaurants that can be made partners to deliver eco-friendly cutlery when providing takeaway orders and even using them for dine-in experiences.

For now, they have 2 revenue models- B2B(70%)- directly through hospitality, lesser margin(10-15%) as volumes are high and competition is higher with the traditional products that are present in the market; B2C(30%)- through supermarkets, higher-margin(20-40%). they have just started and were even hit by pandemic. They are moving ahead strong and continuously looking for new avenues where they can provide eco-friendly products to meet customer demand and satisfaction.



Business benefit

In 2018, when they started Ecotopia since they bolstered eco-friendly products, starting with the Plates which were made from tree shredded leaves instead of cutting or chopping trees. The biggest challenge was the cost of their eco-friendly plates which was around INR 5 per piece because when it comes to disposable, plastic or paper plates cost only fractions of paise. As a result, persuading the price factor was the most difficult task. "So that's why our next product, E-charcoal, exists: we want to have a buyback policy for those plates, and we'll know what our firm will do with the buyback of plates when we figure it out. Then it occurred that they could make E-charcoal from the plates bought back. Aside from the pricing issue, our company, like any other startup, faced an initial investment problem". Since banks do not help because they require three years of experience, there was also a lack of business acumen, as well as a lack of knowledge of how to manufacture actual products because she does not have a business background or management student's understanding of how to study the market and other critical factors. So she learned from experience that when their company launched its first product, they learned about acceptance of market fit and other factors that are necessary for a successful business. However, when we released our second product and subsequent items, we implemented everything.

So the first product at the end of its life cycle, acts as an input for another product and reduces the cost of the product. The margin can be transferred to reduce the cost of the primary product to increase its scale to take advantage of economies of scale. So creating charcoal from tableware was an innovative solution and it is in demand in Goa because of the tourists.

Even for coal, there can be a use case if produced in bulk i.e. thermal power plants if the specifications can be met.


Social and environmental benefit

The company aims to be a sustainable as well as a profitable business in the long run and adapt a self-growing business model. The company uses agro waste like coconut shells to turn them into coal, used as a source of energy in households. Thus the input cost of the company is very nominal for procuring raw materials and easy availability makes it feasible for the owners to continue this business in the long run. The company has also been recognised by government agencies and VCs which can really give them access to more resources that can contribute to the company's vision of expanding in long run. By using Agro Waste as raw material for the products, EcoTopia makes, they take care of the environment and at the same time also help farmer partners earn from the agro-waste generated on their fields.

Interview

Mayuri Bhate, Founder

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Ecotopia

Ecotopia

Panjim, Goa, IN

Business Website: https://www.ecotopia.in

Year Founded: 2018

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

EcoTopia uses agro-waste as raw material for the products they make. The company also help farmer partners earn from the agro-waste generated in their fields. They manufacture and market Areca Nut Tableware and Agrowaste smokeless charcoal briquettes within Goa and across other states in India.