Founder: Namratha Yadav
Place: Bengaluru, Karnataka
Bengaluru-based Namratha Yadav (34) always believed that businesses should operate in a manner which is not harmful to the environment. According to her, large corporates are often vocally supportive of green practices but do not implement them. To make a difference, she decided to launch a business that supplies corporates with eco-friendly housekeeping solutions such as liquid dishwash and handwash products.
“I realised that somebody’s need can be another’s business opportunity. This was true for those who wanted to use eco-friendly cleaning products, and the need has been growing,” she says. Namratha says, she realised her dream in 2017 when she invested Rs 4 lakh and launched Chemico, which supplies eco-friendly cleaning solutions to tech parks, hotels and hospitals.
In an interaction with SMBStory, Namratha Yadav, Founder, Chemico, reveals more about the business and the challenges she is facing.
SMBStory: How has Chemico grown in the past year?
Namratha Yadav: Initially, we launched the company to provide complete housekeeping solutions. However, due to financial constraints, we decided to take it slow for a year. Thus, we are only supplying FineKlean Handwash and FineKlean Dishwash to companies.
In the meantime, we started giving out other sample products to clients, and received positive feedback. We also set up stalls at fairs to promote our products. Our morale is high and we are excited for the road ahead.
SMBS: What is the market size of the sector and how are you differentiating from the competition?
NY: The market size is huge, and despite being only a year old, we were able to study the market and make corrections based on the available resources. Our products are unique because customers need to use a small volume of the cleaning solution. This helps save a lot of water.
The products are also chemical-free and eco-friendly. Thus, we are confident of surviving the competition. In the past year, we also managed to complete a few projects to build customer confidence and approached them for bigger projects.
SMBS: What are your challenges in terms of sustaining and growing the business?
NY: Keeping global warming in mind, we are on a mission to save natural resources. Our approach has kindled the interest of our customers, and our fresh ideas have given us the edge to make our presence felt. But to execute the ideas, we need to have the appropriate workforce.
Therefore, the basic challenge is manpower because the choices available in a young workforce have drastically changed in recent years. Generally, it is mostly felt in the manufacturing industry. Additionally, cash flow is tricky to handle, but we maintain a good balance between our expectations and being practical.
SMBS: What is your advice to people who want to set up their business in the same sector?
NY: There is a lot of scope in the field, but resources have to be used efficiently and networks have to be leveraged. I am still learning to run the business but I have learned the importance of timely delivery and payments. This ensures the business runs smoothly. Managing manpower and funds are also critical.
By visiting the MSME DI, businesses can benefit a lot from training and workshops on sales, digital marketing, GST, entrepreneur development programmes, etc, just like we have. The department has also motivated us to participate in national trading events and has reimbursed our travel allowances.
SMBS: What are the future plans for Chemico?
NY: As far as the skill development programmes are concerned, we believe we can contribute to a great extent in the field. We are interested in the preservation of nature and we will do anything possible to reduce plastic and chemicals.
To grow the brand, we expect more employment opportunities for rural women, more training, and real-time skill development programmes, as we believe in realistic training and not in fixed programmes.
(This story is published in partnership with the MSME Ministry to showcase success stories of SMEs)