Noida-based D2C-first company EcoSoul sells eco-friendly home essentials. And it doesn’t use paper to make them…
In just three years since its inception, sustainable home essentials brand EcoSoul Home has sold 967,000 products in over five countries to almost a lakh customers. In the process, the company has contributed to reducing 1,327,528 pounds of plastic, and 1,327,528 carbon emissions. It’s all thanks to the unique business idea of co-workers turned co-founders Rahul Singh and Arvind Ganesan who found a way to make functional products from tree-based materials. Here’s how they turned a sustainable idea into a sustainable business.
While creating sustainable product categories at Wayfair in New York, Singh and Ganesan discovered the big demand for eco-friendly products. They came up with an unusual idea of making products by upcycling plant waste instead of paper, the most common alternative to single-use plastic, an environmental menace.
So, they quit their comfortable and well-paying jobs to start EcoSoul Home Inc., which to them was more than a business—it was a way to contribute towards a greener world.
“With an initial investment of Rs 4 crore in August 2020, we took our first step. For the initial 14 months, when we were proving the product-market fit, we did not raise any external funding. Instead, we used personal savings to fuel our vision,” Singh shared, adding that friends and family who shared in their belief too helped raise funds. Singh even sold his home in the US to fund the venture. The sacrifices paid off and they soon started selling products in countries outside the US.
Today, the company sells over 100 eco-friendly products including home essentials like palm leaf plates, sugarcane fibre bowls and bamboo serving trays in several countries. All products are certified compostable, plastic- and toxin-free and attractively priced at Rs125 – Rs3000.
The response the entrepreneurs received exceeded their expectations. “In just three years, our revenue grew to Rs 600 crore worldwide, demonstrating the market’s enthusiastic reaction to our eco-friendly bamboo, sugar bagasse, and palm leaf products,” Singh shared.
In addition to customer acceptance, the company managed to secure external funding in 2021. Then again, in April 2023, EcoSoul raised $10 million in series A led by Accel Partners and Singh Capital Partners to help launch new products, fund international expansion and improve tech and data capabilities.
Today, EcoSoul is available in nearly 8,000 stores worldwide, particularly in the US, Canada, Mexico, Germany, the UK, the UAE, China, Vietnam and India. Its products are available on major e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Walmart.com, and its website.
In India, EcoSoul pursues an omnichannel approach and is present on all major e-commerce platforms and in 3,000 retail stores. “Looking ahead, we have ambitious plans to expand our retail footprint in India to 10,000 stores by March 2024,” Singh said.
The company has also partnered with multiple B2B customers across the globe.
The Tech Angle
As part of its strategic vision, the company plans to make substantial investments in research and development, focusing on using technology to drive innovation in product development. “From supply chain management to production processes, we are planning to use technology to streamline operations and make informed, sustainable choices at every step,” Singh shared.
In 2024, EcoSoul will focus on expanding its product offerings, entering new categories. “We are set to introduce chemical-free detergents, dishwashing liquids, eco-friendly sanitary pads, and diapers which will focus on a wider range of eco-conscious consumers,” Singh shared adding that significant investments are on the cards to support this expansion and overall growth.
Over the next three years, EcoSoul will invest in establishing diverse factories, manufacturing facilities and strategic partnerships. “A key milestone in our expansion strategy is to vertically integrate our manufacturing division, right from the raw material to the finished product,” Singh added. The company aims to create pulp from agro-based products to further strengthen its eco-friendly sourcing and production.
The company will also focus on its financial sustainability and achieving Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA) profitability early in the upcoming year.