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Siddharth Munot: Envisioning a seamless flow in Indian Bamboo Ecosystemtem

Innovative leaders are essential for transforming the world because they can see new opportunities and solutions that others might not have considered. These leaders are inventive, and imaginative, and frequently challenge the current status quo to effect change for the better.

We need leaders who can recognize and confront the difficult challenges we currently face if we are to better the world. Innovative, possibly untried solutions are needed for these problems. Such leaders are able to approach these issues from new angles and frequently identify solutions that others may have missed.

Siddharth Munot is one such business leader and entrepreneur who is known for his exemplary business acumen and perseverance to add substantial value to human lives with his entrepreneurial spirit. He began his entrepreneurial journey by establishing a textile-based youth fashion business – Bewakoof.com, an online shopping platform, which was later joined by his wife, Divya Munot.

Divya comes from a family of business people, and she has been exposed to business ethics, strategies, and scaling approaches since childhood, watching her parents conduct successful business operations. Siddharth, on the other hand, is a 1st gen self-made entrepreneur with a decade of experience in a successful start-up journey in the youth fashion industry via Bewakoof.com. Via this venture, they tried to include sustainable business practices that could reduce the negative impact on the environment.

The longing for creating a positive impact on the planet’s well-being propelled the couple to search for a more coherent business model that could provide better results without exploitation of the natural resources and Bamboostan came into existence.

In the year 2020, Bamboostan (Machau Bamboo Products Pvt. Ltd.) was established with the objective of establishing a comprehensive bamboo ecosystem, to promote the development of bamboo in India. The primary goal of the company is to facilitate the expansion of the emerging bamboo industry by establishing a well structured supply chain.

Bamboostan’s headquarters are located in Guwahati, Assam, where they are actively working towards constructing a farm-to-brand bamboo ecosystem. Their ultimate aim is to offer cost-effective and premium bamboo products, while simultaneously generating value for farmers, factories, and brands involved in the process.

Bamboostan offers a diverse range of products, including raw materials, intermediate goods, and finished products. Their product line encompasses biomass for paper pulp, bioplastics, pellets, and charcoal, which serve as inputs for various finished goods like tissues, cosmetics, papers, BBQ products, and filtration items.

Moreover, the brand supplies industrial products such as splits and slats, which can be utilized in the production of incense sticks, toothpicks, candy sticks, razors, toothbrushes, combs, furniture, interior designs, cookware, and more. They have also recently started another range of products which is focused on replacing teak wood in the furniture, interior, and building industry.

Collaborating with esteemed brands like Century Ply, Cycle Agarbatti, Star Paper Mills Ltd., Z Black, Bilt Graphic Paper and Product Ltd., KR Pulp, and Krishna Incense Sticks, etc., Bamboostan upholds a set of core values that include transparency, clear communication, unwavering commitment to quality, and no false promises.

This ethical framework instills confidence in stakeholders and facilitates their engagement with the company. To expand the market and raise awareness, Bamboostan sources a wide array of bamboo products from around the world and introduces them to Indian consumers. They keep a close eye on global trends and import products that are highly sought after in other markets.

Bamboo cultivation entered the picture after Divya’s grandfather proposed it as a viable choice because it is a hardy crop and profitable for beginning farmers. The couple found the concept appealing and conducted extensive research on bamboo cultivation techniques, which really impressed them.

“We were elated to come across the idea of Bamboo cultivation as it perfectly aligns with our zeal to create an impact on the ground level while establishing a profitable business in the country. Bamboo cultivation has a huge untapped potential and we became adamant about starting an aggressive farming practice here,” asserted Siddharth.

Hence, they started Bamboo cultivation in Jan 2020 in Nasik on 11 acres of land after performing in-depth industry research for over a year. But soon, after interacting with the local farmers they realized that even after the cultivation is successful what would be the scope of consumption? This bothered Siddharth and Divya and they both decided to explore the utilization of Bamboo Crop. And they realized that industrial consumption is the best-fitted way to utilize large-scale Bamboo production.

After yet another epiphany, they realized that North East India is the place with the highest Bamboo production rate that could help them fulfill their endeavors with this model. As the region’s northeastern climate is ideal for growing bamboo, they decided to shift from Mumbai to Guwahati to establish a manufacturing facility in Guwahati, Assam, where they could conduct research on the consumption of bamboo and the creation of cutting-edge items throughout the course of the following four years (the bamboo plant’s gestation time). And they eventually landed in Guwahati, Assam on 1st June 2020.

After two months into their journey in establishing a manufacturing plant, Siddharth and Divya concluded that the Bamboo crop is not reciprocating to their aspired products and leading to huge waste generation. It is challenging for any manufacturing unit to survive without having an organized base; and with bamboo, it was seen to be lacking.

This prompted them to investigate the underlying causes of the situation, and they discovered that although Assam has an excess of the crop, there is a crucial need to include the STANDARDISED RAW MATERIAL (SRM) concept: the need to include standardized raw material to succeed in the success of a manufacturing facility.

“We came to the conclusion that we needed to ensure a particular SRM process to utilize Bamboo crops. Therefore, we designed our 18–20-inch splits that we produce primarily to help the active stick manufacturers in the Bamboo consumption industry for the crop in a lucrative form. The results we received were remarkable,” revealed Siddharth.

Now, when the raw material for the consumption of Bamboo was being taken care of, they realized that there is a need to facilitate the sectoral growth to allow more businesses to come into play in the industry. And, now the supply chain comes under the spotlight where they will primarily produce the Bamboo crop and supply it in the market.

But now, the market fluctuations were yet another challenge to address due to the variation of industries. The sector dealing with natural products has always been highly unorganized and the couple faced the same issues. But the focus on revolutionizing the Bamboo crop kept them chasing the need to overcome the continuous chain of challenges.

“In order to set up a value chain, we have to be an ecosystem builder to ensure the best possible results with Bamboo cultivation. This crop has huge potential of altering the negative impacts of deforestation on the environment and by utilizing it in its fullest form we can reduce the dependency on other precious forest-items that are exploited for the utilization in various major industries. Hence, our motives are to establish and chase sustainability goals and take active participation in saving the planet,” said Siddharth.

So far, the couple successfully transitioned through four business models keeping the focus on sustainability and environmental conservation, processing 24000 MT of bamboo till March 2023, the future endeavors for the organization is to emphasize making Bamboo crop as a strong wood material on a large scale. They are also planning to propose it as an extremely strong alternative building material for the next five years that promises the crop’s high utility. For this, they have been urging governments, populations and corporate leaders to come together to contribute to this thought cause of helping the planet and reducing the negative human impact on the environment.

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