Education and Job
Bamboo India: I was born in a middle class family living in Pune, Maharashtra. Just like almost every other guy in the country I chose IT as my career. After completing Master degree in IT from University of Pune, I started working in an IT company and was living a typical IT professional life. However, when I went to Europe as an expat, I observed a very different picture of farmers in the European countries which I felt missing in India. In Germany, my landlord was a farmer and living extravagant life which no farmer in India could even imagine.
During my trip to India, I was introduced with a distressing news about a close family friend, who was farmer, had committed suicide. The news of his death affected me immensely. Since then I truly started to think of how I could bring a change in our farmers’ lives.
Source of the idea
In Europe I realized the reason behind the wealth and success of European farmers was that the European countries successfully integrated farming with their culture. For instance- Barley is a main crop grown by German farmers, that’s why Beer was made popular by Germany and which is also a popular destination for Beer fests in the world. Similarly, France is known for its wine.
I knew India was one of the major Bamboo producers in the world. Further studying about Bamboo industry, I realized that if I could transform Bamboo into products it would serve the dual purpose of helping the farmers and resolving the issue of plastic usage.
Once I had a broader picture of my vision for farmers of my country, I decided to quit my job as the Assistant VP of Barclays Bank. In 2016, I and Ashwini Shinde (my wife) founded Bamboo India by setting up a small manufacturing unit in our farm house in Velhe near Pune. Initially, I had to learn how to make products. After learning it, I later taught the local farmers too. I sold the manufactured products to my friends, family members and relatives. Each of them liked our products. Our products were so good that “word-of-mouth” itself brought many orders to us. Soon the demand of our products started to grow rapidly.
Reward and recognition
Today, Bamboo India has a team of 20 people. We have reduced 10,00,000 Kg plastic waste since we have started. Our efforts have been recognized by United Nations. Our work has been proudly appreciated by PM Narendra Modi, Mr. Ratan Tata, Mr. Nitin Gadkari and many other legendary people. Most importantly, we are empowering our farmers and contributing to the environmental cause.”
-Yogesh Shinde (Founder of Bamboo India)