Core 10: The Change Makers' Manual


Karan has won a host of prizes for his work with HelpUsGreen, including a United Nations Momentum for Change Award, a Unilever Young Entrepreneur Award, and a Fast Company World Changing Ideas Award. He was also a Forbes 30 Under 30 winner in 2018. With COP27 shining a spotlight on the failure of governments around the world to secure sufficient progress to prevent global warning and avert a crisis climate, eco-friendly entrepreneurs like Karan are providing much- needed leadership and setting an example for others to follow. “Green entrepreneurs are the ones enlightening the people about waste as a new resource and battling climate change in the most effective manner,” said Karan. “Small initiatives like ours can do wonders in the ecosystem. The problem is that we have become Xerox copies, trying to imitate each other to achieve success. If success was that easy to achieve, everyone in the world would be successful. “I believe that the young, eager minds sat in classrooms at places like Warwick Business School are filled with innumerable ideas that can change the way we look at the world. “Teaching those students how to achieve their dreams helps them to create green businesses that address deep-rooted economic, environmental, and social challenges through innovation and community engagement. That is key to building a better world for everyone.”

Karan studied for an MSc in Business Analytics at Warwick Business School

the broken statues of Hindu gods. “I spent days worrying about it and pondering how we could stop people offering flowers into the river. I realised we cannot. Offering flowers to our gods has been a tradition in India for so long and people will preserve those customs, irrespective of the damage they cause. “What we could change was the way people dispose of the flowers and the repercussions that our customs have on society and the environment.” Karan, now 33, launched

HelpUsGreen in 2015 with his friend Ankit Agarwal. Their goal was to collect floral waste from religious ceremonies and recycle it into incense sticks, Holi colour powders, and eco-friendly packaging for flowers to be used in future festivals. Karan’s products have an extraordinary unique selling point: the paper packaging is 100 per cent compostable and infused with tulsi seeds so pilgrims can plant it, water it, and watch it grow. In the last seven years, HelpUsGreen has salvaged 7,400

tonnes of waste and prevented more than 7,300 kilograms of chemical pesticides entering the Ganges. “We call it flower-cycling,” said Karan. “It is the perfect example of a social enterprise that is enabling the ‘circular economy’ – one that is restorative and regenerative by design. “At first, our parents were very hesitant to tell anyone what we were doing. It was only when we won an award for our work that they started to take us seriously.” The company employs more than 100 women from rural communities,

many of whom previously relied on scavenging to feed their families. They are an oppressed community in India, banned from entering people’s homes and their children rejected from mainstream schools. Providing them with meaningful work, payments into proper bank accounts, and medical insurance, is helping them to regain respect after being discarded like the flowers they now recycle. “What began with the aim of purifying water has blossomed into a profitable social business that is protecting labour

rights, empowering women, and reducing both pollution and disease,” said Karan. “We have provided more than 50 rural families with an income that is at least six times greater than what they received before. “In our manufacturing facility, we provide facilities like clean drinking water and sanitary toilets. Tea is served twice a day. Workers also have access to a bus service and retirement benefits. This might sound basic to most people, but for these workers it’s a dream come true.”

Learn more about earning an MSc in Business Analytics at Warwick Business School

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

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