Basta is a student run initiative that aims to generate income for rural women while creatively reusing waste materials into waterproof, Eco-friendly and chic bags. Malvika Verma, Akshita Singla and Apoorva Sharma of Lady Shri Ram College (Delhi) shared a common goal of creating financially secure and independent women entrepreneurs. What started as “Project XYZ” in initial days soon renowned to “Basta: Waste to Worth”, an entrepreneurial model created by them. They tried many different things like chocolates, vermicompost, papad, tie and dye dupatta,but finally settled down with handbags and pouches from recycled materials for this initiative.
The trio received mentorship under the UC Berkeley Senior Fellow Manav Subodh, who is also the founder of US-based non-profit 1M1B. The project was then taken forward by Connecting Dreams Foundation (CDF) director Dr Amit Tuteja, and is being supported by the NSS LSR faculty advisor Dr Smita Sahgal. “Basta: Waste to Worth” got UN recognition as well.
Their journey from “Project XYZ” to “Basta” was not easy as it sounds but they kept moving forward with aim of “Making it Big while keeping it Simple”. They’ve faced certain challenges along the way, such as building trust with the rural women because they are often seen as “kids”, inter team fights, not meeting deadlines, rejection from college to setup a stall. They learnt many important lessons along the way:
1) If Plan A doesn’t work then always have Plan B ready to save you from whole lot of trouble and awkwardness.
2)Ideas come and go. One’s own ideas aren’t always the best and the most brilliant.
3) Being optimistic is not enough, we need to take actions and work accordingly.
4) In business it is always important to keep in mind that focus on “What customers want” not on “What is convenient for us”.
They intend to expand their user group base by March 2016 and then consider useful collaborations. Post this, they are planning to start an initiative called “Gift a Schoolbag”, for underprivileged children. Later they intend to target e-platforms.
Deewaneaam salutes team “Basta” for their wonderful initiative.
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