Entrepreneur: Prashant Lingam
Business Name: Bamboo House India
Welcome to Entrepreneurs of India #startupstories episode 82
Prashant used to be aggressive in his approach when he was in school. But now years later, he is calm and composed, and is a successful social entrepreneur. He’s making difference in the country with his brainchild, Bamboo House India- a startup that focuses on sustainable bamboo based livelihoods and low cost prefabricated bamboo shelter solutions.
The alarming levels of global warming persuaded Prashant to think about an alternative to the widely used materials such as steel, wood, iron and plastic. That’s how he co-founded Bamboo House India along with Aruna Kappagantula in a drive to provide eco-friendly livelihood opportunities.
He is also at the helm of Recycled India- a company that works towards addressing the burning issue of urban scrap and waste – mainly unused tyres and plastic waste.
Prashant talks about his incredible journey and the challenges in his domain.
1) How did you get your idea for this business?
I was not at all a good student in my school and was very aggressive in my approach towards everything in life and slowly i figured out that working under someone and taking orders is not my cup of tea, then after my college my friend offered me my first break and I jumped into it.
2) Why is “now” a good time for this idea to exist?
Economy is growing, purchasing power is increasing, social media is connecting the whole world, innovation is encouraged, social pressures are getting diluted, failure is no more a crime. entrepreneurship is gaining acceptance and popularity, help and funds are available than ever before.
3) What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?
I come from a very typical middle class family and a working class family, till date there has been no one into entrepreneurship, though my father was ok with me getting into it, my mother and other family members were not in favor and my relatives started making fun of me.
4) What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
Not delegating work, doing everything on my own WAS A big mistake i was doing, I learnt late that I am getting burnt out of doing works which can be easily delegated.
5) What is your biggest obstacle in the next 12 months and how will you overcome it?
Simplifying our business operations is becoming an obstacle.
Will be Trying out various permutations and combinations to see which one fits.
6) What habits contribute to your success?
Waking up early in the morning as early as 4 o clock, keeping things simple
Exercise , patience and perseverance , common sense, being humble and little street smartness. Risk taking. focusing on my core product , innovation.
7) If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently?
I would have been more organized, plan properly and raise funds and get more organised.
8) What is your favourite inspirational quote?
“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only option left”
9) Where do you find inspiration?
A poor old man in my colony (he is a daily wage laborer) , even at the age of 70 he is ready by 5 in the morning with his tools for his daily work without any complaints and a big smile.
10) What is your favourite book?
I read comics, Tintin and Tinkle, my favorite books.
11) What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Give it a try, even if you fail you won’t regret with the kind of experience and exposure entrepreneurship will leave you with. Failure is always better than regret at a later stage of life, that you never gave a try to your idea.
The core of entrepreneurship lies in finding sensible solution to the problems that affect a larger community. When you solve a problem you become a successful entrepreneur. Because the ability to tackle the customer pain points helps you stand out from the rest.
Prashant, as a social entrepreneur, looked to solve the burning environmental issues through his startup. He faced many roadblocks and failures in his way, but he kept his courage intact. His relentless hard work has now made him a change maker in the society.
Thank you Prashant for sharing your inspiring startup story. You can follow Bamboo House India on Instagram here.