Bangalore, September 2019: Bangalore-based couple – Jyoti Pahadsingh and Arun Balachandran – started greenBUG in 2015 to find an alternative to the use of plastic garbage bags at homes. Back then, the concept of eco-friendly bags was still at a nascent stage and the couple understood the need for a durable, eco-friendly option to dispose of waste. They created upcycled, biodegradable dustbin liners made of newspaper and all-purpose flour. To further the positive impact they could make in society, Jyoti and Arun decided to train underprivileged women in the manufacturing process of the product, thus empowering them to have a better livelihood.
For a handmade cottage industry product like greenBUG, there was an immediate need to train and acquaint women with the manufacturing process of these garbage bags. Access to a wide market was imperative considering the time and effort involved in training and producing the bin liners. greenBUG work with women and provide them with flexibility as well as an additional source of supplemental income. Over four years, greenBUG has trained nearly 400 women to manufacture these products.
In 2017, greenBUG joined Amazon India’s online selling platform through the Amazon Saheli programme which works to support women entrepreneurs by training them to list and sell on the website. Post listing on Amazon, the startup witnessed a threefold increase in the volume of orders and sales. Initially started as a pet project, greenBUG has grown massively, gaining access and servicing nearly all states from across the country.
Amazon Saheli was started as a pioneering programme aimed at empowering and enabling women entrepreneurs across the country to sell their products on the Amazon marketplace. Today, over 100,000 women entrepreneurs are empowered through this programme. In the last one year, over 20,000 women entrepreneurs from across the country joined the programme and will be participating for the first time during the upcoming Amazon Great Indian Festival that starts from September 29, 2019 and ends on October 4, 2019. Ahead of the festive season, customers can purchase some of the most unique products such as the one offered by greenBUG.
“Through Amazon’s Saheli programme, we could gain insights on consumer demand on design, product specifications, shipping and packaging at the right price that creates value for consumers. This, in turn, led to the creation of our pack of 75 bags where we were able to balance the value offering to our customers while ensuring our costs are covered,” said Arun Balachandran. “The success of greenBUG due to the increased brand visibility through the Amazon Saheli storefront has led to a rise in the awareness and purchase of greenBUG bags. This has helped us train and work with and support underprivileged women which we find to be extremely gratifying,” added Jyoti Pahadsingh.
The Amazon Saheli storefront on Amazon.in features unique products produced locally by regional women entrepreneurs from across the country. These majorly comprise of handicrafts, apparel, handbags, and home décor items which are directly sold by women entrepreneurs. Launched in November 2017 with SEWA and Impulse Social Enterprise, Amazon Saheli currently has some of the most unique product offerings by women entrepreneurs. Through the programme, Amazon conducts extensive training and skill development workshops for its partners to help women entrepreneurs understand nuances related to online selling and to help them develop skills and capabilities necessary to grow their business on Amazon. Till today, Amazon Saheli has impacted over 1,00,000 women entrepreneurs in the country selling products across categories like clothing, office products, handbags, jewellery, grocery, home and kitchen accessories.