"The economy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around." - Gaylord Nelson, former governor of Wisconsin and founder of Earth Day. In a world that focuses on economic progress, urbanization, and a better lifestyle, people have deliberately put the environment on the backburner; leading to a polluted and plastic-filled world. None other than humans are to be blamed. To mask the mistakes of the masses, a few responsible business owners are rethinking and re-engineering business ideas that can put a halt to the environmental threat of using plastic and other harmful products. The wise words of Gaylord Nelson, perfectly capture the ethos of Machau's journey.
The co-founders of Machau, Divya Munot & Siddharth Munot who also owned an online clothing retail brand Bewakoof.com were passionate about reducing the plastic waste generated by the brand's 20,000 daily shipments. However, the husband-and-wife duo soon realized that even with their best efforts, they could only reduce, not eliminate, the negative impact of their business on the environment. With global standing on climate change and pollution reaching alarming levels, they wanted to make a positive impact on the environment. After researching sustainable materials, they found bamboo to be the perfect match, and the rest is history. “India is the world's second-largest producer of bamboo, but it is underutilized. We saw this as an opportunity to introduce bamboo and make a difference,” remarks Divya Munot, Director.
Experiments & Evolution
Machau was founded in 2021 with the vision of creating a BAMBOOSTAN (a land of everything bamboo), to develop the bamboo ecosystem across India. The company aims to enable the growth of the nascent bamboo sector by building an organized supply chain.
Initially, the company had a different business model in mind, but they realized the various challenges that existed in the sector. They explored Bamboo farming in Nashik and then moved on to manufacturing but quickly realized that putting up a factory wasn't enough without an organized supply chain. Therefore, they shifted their focus to building the supply chain, which they have been doing for the past year.
Today, Machau's primary focus is on enabling all participants in the value chain, including farmers, factories, corporates, and end-users, by providing market access and technical know-how. The company has a unique vision of creating a bamboo ecosystem in India, empowering all participants in the value chain.
The company has been involved in various projects in the bamboo industry, from bamboo farming to the manufacturing of bamboo sticks, biochar, toothbrushes, and boards. Machau's unique model involves supplying raw materials, providing market access, and sometimes even getting directly involved in the production process to ensure their partners' success.
The ecosystem builder's primary product right now is bamboo as biomass, heavily involved in the paper and pulp industry. Still, the company is constantly exploring new products and services to bring value to its customers. Machau's goal is to build a sustainable and inclusive ecosystem that benefits everyone involved.
The founders shared, “We have invested nearly three years of time and crores of rupees, to conduct extensive research and analysis of the bamboo sector in India. Our efforts were taken even further, as we visited China, a global leader in the bamboo industry, to learn more about the sector. Our comprehensive understanding of the full value chain of the bamboo industry, from farming to value chain building, has allowed us to provide the best possible solutions for all of our customers and partners. Although our journey has had its share of ups and downs, we have gained invaluable hands-on experience by being involved in every aspect of the chain. All these experience enable us to provide our customers and partners with a clear and complete view of the sector.”
In 2023, Machau is excited to announce that they will be partnering with a factory in Assam and will start running it. Their vision for this factory is to serve as a model unit for other manufacturers, who can visit, learn, and seek consultation and guidance to get their factories up and running. Ultimately, they are committed to propelling bamboo products into India and beyond. Building a robust bamboo ecosystem in India can create a positive impact on the environment and contribute to the growth of the economy, and Machau is taking up the task of being an ecosystem builder to achieve this goal. Technology is essential to building a scalable and reliable system with accurate data. The company has already taken steps to incorporate technology into its operations, ensuring that it can continue to grow and meet the needs of the industry.
Machau's goal is to take the bamboo ecosystem to the next level and provide quality products that are sustainable and eco-friendly. They believe that their services will not only benefit their customers but also contribute to a better environment. “We want to take the ecosystem to a global level and make foreign companies like IKEA have made in India bamboo products on its shelf. And we are working towards making that a reality,” the founders highlighted.