Called a “Jungali”, How Eco-Warrior Satyam Sundaram left his MBA to build Manipuri Bamboo Artifacts in Bihar

Nestled in the heart of Bihar, a unique startup is taking root. Founded in 2022, Manipuri Bamboo Artifacts isn’t your average business venture. It’s a testament to resilience, sustainability, and the transformative power of bamboo. At the helm stands Satyam Sundaram, a young entrepreneur whose journey began not with silver spoons, but with the unwavering spirit to carve his own path.

Labeled “jungali” (wild one) during his early education due to his rural background, Satyam defied limitations. His determination led him to pursue an MBA, where he stumbled upon a hidden gem – the immense potential of bamboo as a sustainable and versatile material.

Satyam’s journey continued with internships at renowned companies like Britannia and ITC Limited. While these experiences undoubtedly enriched his professional acumen, something deeper stirred within him. Pre-placement offers held little allure compared to the possibilities he envisioned in the untapped bamboo industry of Bihar. The year 2020 became a pivotal turning point. The COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe, leading to a heightened awareness of eco-friendly alternatives.

Satyam, with his finger on the pulse of the market, saw his opportunity. With a modest Rs 15,000 investment, he embarked on a humble venture – showcasing bamboo bottles on a roadside table, gauging public interest in these sustainable treasures. His intuition proved spot on. The public responded with enthusiasm, recognizing the beauty and practicality of bamboo. This initial success ignited a fire within Satyam, and with unwavering support from his mother, Asha Anuragini, he decided to take the leap.

Armed with a Rs 8 lakh financial grant secured under the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) in early 2022, Manipuri Bamboo Artifacts was officially launched in mid-May. What began as a roadside hustle had blossomed into a fledgling company, brimming with potential. The early days were marked by dedication and constant innovation. From those initial 15 bamboo bottles, the product line has flourished.

Today, Manipuri Bamboo Artifacts boasts an impressive array of over 150 eco-friendly creations. Tongue cleaners, toothbrushes, pen stands, neckpieces – the list goes on. Each piece is a testament to the versatility of bamboo, showcasing its ability to transform into everyday objects that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Satyam’s vision doesn’t stop at practicality. He incorporates artistic flair through engraved art pieces and captivating lamp shades. Even the playful dandiya sticks, a staple during the vibrant Navratri festival, get a sustainable makeover with bamboo. Innovation extends to technology – their unique flasks with temperature displays are a testament to Satyam’s commitment to merging tradition with modern sensibilities.

The success story doesn’t end there. In just two years, Manipuri Bamboo Artifacts has carved a niche for itself in the eco-conscious market. They’ve sold a staggering 25,000 products and generated an annual revenue of Rs 25 lakh. Their eco-friendly creations have reached customers across India, from Telangana and Kerala to Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Delhi.

The affordability is another key factor contributing to their success. Products priced between Rs 10 and Rs 40,000 cater to a wide audience, making sustainable choices accessible to all. This resonates with the growing trend of individuals embracing eco-conscious lifestyles. Manipuri Bamboo Artifacts is more than just a business; it’s a symbol of hope and possibility. It’s a testament to the power of perseverance, the boundless potential of bamboo, and the growing consumer demand for sustainable alternatives.

Satyam’s story is an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs, showcasing how resilience and a commitment to sustainability can pave the way for success. As Manipuri Bamboo Artifacts continues to grow, one can only imagine the exciting innovations and eco-friendly creations that await us in the future.

Himanshi
Himanshi

Himanshi is a dedicated content writer. With a keen eye for detail and a flair for storytelling, she strives to bring stories to life through her words.

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