What got us started?
Winters of 2015, I had a friend visiting my hometown- Kanpur, India. I took him to the Ghats of River Ganges. The day was Makara Sankrānti, an ancient Indian festival marking the end of winter solstice, celebrated by bathing in sacred rivers performing Suryanamaskars. We sat at the Ghats for about an hour witnessing devotees drinking, bottling the water containing carcinogens, many dunk themselves in the highly polluted river; leading us to a conversation reasoning why India’s lifeline the Ganges is succumbing to pollution?
I blamed the tanneries, factories and the sewage. I explained Jakub the complexity of the problem and concluded 'nothing can be done about it'. Amidst the brackish dirty water, we also saw colourful flowers dumped from the nearby temples congealing on the sides of the river, forming a new bank of multicolour petals. We saw the colours degrade.
I felt the need and saw an opportunity.
A little research and we found that the flowers are pumped full with pesticides and insecticides. Once in the Ganges their thick residue dissolves to mix with chemicals and begin a rotting process that kills fish, suppresses the oxygen level, and produces compounds that wreck of toxicity.
Few months later along with Karan, my tuition buddy, i found Helpusgreen, as an idea to repurpose waste from places of worship.
Little did we know what was to follow. Everyone thought we were absolutely crazy, no one had seen anything come out from waste flowers before, no temple was ready to give their waste-flowers to two 25 years old.
Where are we today?
We have moved from Being Fools to Phool. When we started we had little concepts of branding and short on resources.
That was our ‘ephiphany’ moment. Two years later after countless hours in makeshift lab, Phool® became a reality. And the mission to save the Ganges was laid.
Phool® has grown since then and the spirit of adventure that began at the Ganges ghat thrives each day. As the company evolves we face many choices, we always do our best to take care of our people, of our community and the environment