How I continued walking my path
Setting up Green OK Please
After quitting the job life, I then went on to becoming an entrepreneur, a hobby entrepreneur would be a better word because I was really just dabbling in an interest and hoping to dig my career roots in Pune, where I was born and raised and where I had now returned to. In early 2013, a chat with Shweta, my childhood friend and then business partner, led to the founding of Green OK Please, which was to serve as a means of life as well as livelihood.
I’ll admit, at first it was about everything but the environment – initial funding, business registration, website development, web design, suppliers, terms and conditions, the list goes on. Whether Green OK Please was going to do good work as a platform was only going to be seen later. Six months had passed and we finally launched the ecommerce website on the 15th of December, 2014.
Initially, orders were few and points of feedback were many. Eager new buyers called to check up on when their products would reach, wellness enthusiasts called to enquire about various products. While some called to tell us how overjoyed they were with our website, yet others called to complain about the lack of availability of these products in their cities.
2014 was a good year for us but 2015 is going to be way better. Apart from being extremely positive, we also rely on statistics. And the stats show that we’re growing, slow and steady, but growth nonetheless. We’ve learnt so much this past year.
Shweta (co-founder of Green OK Please for the more ignorant of you folk) had a baby. So we had a little baby in a rocking cradle in the office for most part of the year. I watched her go from sleeping baby to sitting-up baby to crawling baby. So much happened in eight to ten months. We participated in markets, we visited corporates, we tried our hand at making our own products, we met a bunch of amazing, inspiring people and while we were at it, we got multiple times smarter. We added many more products to our website, we got on a couple of people on board the team, we started blogging more regularly and we continued to aim high.
Shweta had to move to Australia in November and while I was absolutely mortified by that, we had now begun to work on overseas strategies and we continued to work keeping the faith. The team was indispensible and the most significant support to have at this point. Together, we went on to organize our very own market Eco St in December.
2015 has started off on a great note. We are getting more orders. We have had so much positive feedback and constructive criticism from friends, family and customers. We are also clearer about our goals and how to achieve them. This brings me to the few changes that you can expect from our ecommerce set up over the next few months. While we earlier used to stock a lot of products at our office, we have seen that this has resulted in us being a little hypocritical. Let me explain - we contact our supplier in Delhi, ask them to ship their goods to Pune. Then we pack all the goods together and ship them to you in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore or wherever else. This has a higher environmental impact – transport, packaging and time. And we want to make sure we practice what we preach i.e. leave a lighter footprint on the planet.
Some of you might find it downright annoying that when you order something it turns up in 4 or 5 different shipments but when you think of the reduced fuel consumption and increased efficiency, we’re sure you won’t mind it as much. On the bright side, you can expect timelier updates and kickass-er service from us.
So here’s to a superb new year that’s full of great stuff for you and for us. Keep reading our blog because we’ve got a lot of exciting reads coming your way this year.
It was a conversation with a customer from Bangalore that nudged me forward into this journey of personal change. After almost 25 minutes of queries, feedback and a discussion about this Brahmin gentleman’s vegetarianism and his contempt for meat eaters, he asked me if I was vegan. Considering that I run an environmental business, he had taken the liberty to assume this. I was dumbfounded. And I lied. Let alone vegan, I was not even close to being vegetarian at that time. (I am now)
So, I enjoyed meat and dairy. Did this really make my good work redundant? There had to be other ways to contribute to the betterment of the environment. I refuse to let my being a non-vegetarian shove me into that stereotype. I can honestly say that the past year has been a wonderful journey of learning about the earth and its gifts and discovering a fair bit about myself. In my subsequent posts, I will unravel my journey bit by bit.