Remember the poem ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’? Where the Mariner kills the albatross on an impulse! That happened for bad. But Sumant’s impulse is only for good. He quit practising law in Delhi and is focusing on his start-up- KANDVARI KARVANH. On October 13th, it was out into the business-arena through Amazon!

Sumant Bhushan a self-assured professional lawyer at his 29th age is into business. May be you too dream to start your own but your brain is immobilized at some point not knowing the road to steer for, to become an arch-businessman/businesswoman. Sumant didn’t fracture his brain thinking much, he just wanted to be at the place where he enjoyed having his winsome childhood days. Kandvari was the most he missed during the lawyer days in Delhi. This confident lawyer had no second thoughts. He packed up his time-poor Delhi life and aimed for Kandvari, the village in district Kangra of Himachal Pradesh, there he unpacked the ideas of developing the strengths of that village- one of them being the soap nut-Reetha. Which was abandoned in the name of development and modernization, unaware of the snag that came along.

Let us peruse Sumant’s conversation with FART Magazine:

Naming your product…

Re-designed and re-named packet at the right in the image above

Kandvari is where we are based so we wanted to have that and Karavanh was intended to mean a caravan that carried people and goods in the olden days. Caravan symbolises non-destructive trade and our natural detergent is just like that, non-destructive as possible for the environment and people. Rather we work for our product to have a positive impact on both. 

Early December we have redesigned the packing and renamed it just Kandvari since we did get some feedback that it was a tongue twister kind of name so it is simply Kandvari now.

The whittling of this start-up initiative…
Even while I was doing law I was always drawn towards being at Kandvari and working with plants. I have been spending time in Kandvari since I was a 2-year-old. Law runs in my family so I thought I might enjoy doing it but after 2 years of practising law in Delhi, time proved me wrong. I knew I just wanted to be in Kandvari and try to find a market for its natural products because those were my land’s strength. This summer I badly wanted to change “were strengths of Kandvari” to “are strengths of Kandvari”, and there! I met a childhood friend, Kapil, who also worked in a city and had come to visit his parents. He too wanted something to be started here, another friend Uthika too stepped in so we discussed many ideas and shared our thoughts and ended up fixing Reetha for our product!

Business hitherto…

Kandvari Karavanh is currently available only on Amazon. We will approach retailers soon. It has been around 65 days and the response is decent considering we have spent little on advertising and publicising.

Giving life to the natural detergent…
We have a small place in Kandvari as our workshop where we make our product. Balakram ji, Simro ji and Rajjat are the three people in our village who initially I trained but thereafter are doing it all themselves with some oversight. Additionally our pouches are stitched by Manu ji at her home in the village. Of course the exact process is a trade secret but our only two ingredients are Reetha and Citrus fruits.

Corroboration for, KANDVARI KARAVANH is the most bodacious detergent existing…

Reetha is Sapindus Mukorossi, of all the different types of Soap Nuts from the Sapindus family that exist, Sapindus Mukorossi that is native to our region has the best quality of naturally occurring Saponins. So cleansing and preserving the fabric is easy of Kandvari Karavanh.

Happiness that came along…
People in our village say that they can finally see a way of earning while staying in the village. They are so hopeful about the success. We could make the Soap Nut tree owners go euphoric, they never expected the nuts to regain its lost fame and value.
We once put our product in the Dharamshala International Film Festival and there a group of people from the U.K. decided to purchase our product to sell it in the U.K. The person who took it to the U.K. said that they rarely got to see a product which they felt excited to use and share, our’s is one such product, he said.

New Year Aspirations…
We want to greatly expand the market for the natural products of this region and in the next 6 months add a totally natural and amazing dishwashing bar and body scrub in our list of products.

Sumant Bhushan

Sumant’s ultimate aim is to generate non destructive employment in their region and also to make people taste, smell and experience the natural wonders in Kandvari. Have you noticed the glass bottles they packed their detergent in and now in the paper wrap, instead of plastic? That’s how much they care!

There is something natural for us here. We are much in need of young-go-green minds like Sumant, Uthika and Kapil. Let India shine just like the clothes Kandvari Karvanh cleanses to shine. 

 

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