‘Recycle your waste’ is the motto of Poonam Bir Kasturi, who founded Daily Dump in the year 2006. The company has grown from strength to strength since. SupportBiz presents an exclusive chat with Poonam, in which she talks about Daily Dump and her journey as an entrepreneur.
How long has Daily Dump been in operation?
Daily Dump was launched in April 2006. So, we have been in operation for six years now.
How did you come up with the idea of starting Daily Dump?
I am a trained Industrial Designer from the National Institute of Design (NID). Before I started Daily Dump, I was dealing with the designing and marketing of industrial products, and the huge problem of waste in every city stared me in the face every single day. I realized that the waste produced in homes could be recycled and put to good use in gardens as compost. I came up with the idea of starting Daily Dump to create more awareness about composting, and to create products that would help them do it.
How big is your team, presently?
We have a team of seven people at the moment.
Do you have an exclusive retail outlet for your composting products?
Yes, we do have a retail outlet, which is based out of our office and research centre at Indira Nagar, Bangalore. Apart from this, we also sell our products through tie-ups with other stores and with agents.
Are your products sold outside Bangalore as well?
Yes, our products are available in about 15 cities across India.
Any awards or honours received by Daily Dump so far?
Yes, there have been a few awards and other honours. We were nominated for the INDEX Awards in 2007, an international award for people who strive to improve quality of life. We were also awarded the Green Product of the Year Award b y Anchor Better Interior Excellence Awards in 2007, as well as Indira International Innovation’s Star Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2009. We were shortlisted for the TATA NEN Hottest Start-ups Awards as well as for the Sankalp Social Enterprise and Investment Forum Award in 2009.
What has been your proudest moment as an entrepreneur?
I feel very proud and happy when I look back on the journey of Daily Dump as a business. We have come a long way together. I feel proud of the fact that I was able to take a concept that no one even thought about and was able to market it successfully.
What are the major challenges that you face, as a small-scale entrepreneur?
A business of this kind faces many ups and downs in the course of its day-to-day life, as it is very different from a routine start-up that produces a particular product or provides a certain service. My team and I face several difficulties in making ourselves and our products understood by people and accepted by them. It is a challenge to find good, strong-willed employees who are committed to the cause of eco-friendliness and to keep them motivated enough to cruise through the daily hardships. The biggest challenge that we face, though, I would say is that of being accepted by people and changing their mindsets about composting.
What advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur?
I would say – Do not jump into entrepreneurship just because you want to do something of your own, before you are truly ready for it. Find something that you are passionate about, so that you don’t get tired after doing it after a few years. Find something that is meaningful, that will add more value to the world around you, which touches you deeply from within and satisfies you to the core. Do not be just a manufacturer or a service provider; be an innovator instead.