|Category||Entrepreneur (Social Science & Services)|
A SOLE TO SAVE A SOUL
Millions go barefoot in India, simply because they cannot afford to buy a pair of chappals or slippers.W.H.O reveals that 1.5 billion people are infected by diseases that could be prevented by wearing proper footwear. 35 crore pairs of shoes are discarded each year !. 350 million shoes end up in landfills every year and leads to several tons of carbon emission. Now, Think Twice before you discard your expensive branded Reebok, Nike, Puma, Fila or Addidas or any other sports shoes.
Shriyans Bhandari and Ramesh Dhami both being eminent athletes swear that comfy and sturdy shoes are extremely important for a sportsperson. Without a doubt, athletes wear out more than 4 to 5 pairs of expensive branded shoes annually. An interesting simple observation got these two pals to put on their thinking caps and come up with an idea to provide footwear to the needy which is the basic necessity.
Observed that “The Soles of the shoes remain intact while the sides wear out quickly”.
The buddies one morning after their routine practise at Priyadarshini Park in Mumbai were chatting over a cup of coffee and wondered if the Soles could be put to some good use by refurbishing. They met regularly and had several brainstorming sessions. A bit of Sole researching led them to believe that it was no rocket science and it was indeed a feasible and a viable idea.
After a few months of SOLE Researching they concluded that to manufacture a pair of shoes, it takes assembling of up to 65 discrete parts in 360 steps, which generates 30 lbs of emissions; equivalent to leaving a 100-watt bulb burning for a week. There is no dearth of shoe manufacturers in the country and speaking to few could solve the problem. Initially, prototypes made by them proved the concept.
Appropriately christened in 2013 as “Greensole” an eco-friendly enterprise which makes rather stylish and durable slippers with a core team of 10 and temporary workers when needed. Almost after 4 years of hard work, Greensole boasts of providing 50,000 slippers and more than 10,000 to Morbad, Uran, Naroli, Talasari, Mokhada, and villages located mostly in Maharashtra and Gujarat. Associated with RAM Fashion Exports Pvt. Ltd., which can produce more than 14000 pairs every day.
It does look and sound simple but a lot of effort and planning goes into this. Once the shoes reach their manufacturing unit, they are sorted and disassembled at their Navi Mumbai outlet. Then, they cut the SOLEs to the required sizes. The sides of the shoes are used to create rather designer straps which are pretty looking and durable too and the laces are used for packaging.
What can we do?
Everyone has a heart to help and contribute and here is an easy way to be part of this great initiative. A good cause never goes unnoticed and people love to lend a helping hand. All one needs to do is call 8879982045 or drop a mail care@greensole, http://www.greensole.in/.All arrangements will be made to pick up the shoes. One can also buy and donate. Some corporates, through CSR programmes, The Sports Authority of India (SAI), Schools, Colleges, and NGOs are already supporting.
Know the Team
CEO and Founder Shriyans Bhandari is equipped with a Masters in Entrepreneurial Leadership from Babson College and an Alumni of Mayo College and Jai Hind Mumbai. Shriyans is passionate about his vision of bridging the social, economic and environmental gap through Greensole. Ramesh Dhami Director & Co-founder, a professional Marathoner handles donation drives, collection village data, and co-ordinates with NGOs.
Nitesh and Rishi Bhasin Directors and Promoters of Ram Fashions Exports are highly accomplished businessmen with their rich experience in the footwear manufacturing. While Nitesh is a poduct of Rochester and Footwear designing from Leicester, Rishi a Marketing graduate from North Carolina. Their presence has carried immense support to “Greensole”.
Karan Bhasin, COO is backed with a Finance & Logistics and Footwear designing diplomas from Milan. Active member of Council of Leather Exports (CLE).The supply chain operations is handled by VP Dikshit Patil with his BTech and MBA and an ardent photographer whose Greensole videos have gone viral. Refer http://www.greensole.in/Web/team
“Greensole” has received Appreciation letters from President Barack Obama and Sir Ratan Tata and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, Vogue and BBC among others. Shriyans Bhandari, CEO says “They are working towards their mission of providing every needy person with Greensole by 2023”.
A word for the youth
The CEO reiterates “A small initiative is helping thousands today”. There are plenty of ideas to improve anything and everything if only one looks around. Believing, pursuing and working hard with a definite goal and strategy is the mantra for success.