Did you know that you could convert a piece of land in your backyard into a beautiful forest within a year? Shubhendu Sharma, an Industrial Engineer (owner of http://www.afforestt.com), is allowing you to bring nature home.
It all started when Sharma volunteered to assist a naturalist, Akira Miyawaki, to cultivate a forest at the Toyota plant where he worked. Miyawaki’s technique has managed to regenerate forests from Thailand to the Amazon, and Sharma thought to replicate the model in India.
Sharma started to experiment with the model and came up with an Indian version after slight modifications using soil amenders. His first tryst with making forests was in his own backyard in Uttarakhand, where he grew a lush green forest within a year’s time. This gave him confidence and he decided to launch it as a full-time initiative. He quit his job and spent almost a year to do research on the methodology.
After much planning, research and enthusiasm, Sharma started Afforestt, an end-to-end service provider for creating natural, wild, maintenance-free, native forests in 2011.
“I realized it can’t be done as a ‘do gooder” activity. If I wanted it to succeed, I had to think it through and come up with a business plan, and a bunch of my friends helped me to set it up,” Sharma says.
Sharma, an Ashoka, TED and INK fellow was clear from the very beginning that Afforestt will be a for-profit organization. He wanted to change the industry and Afforestt was much more than just a business idea for him.
“The idea is to bring back the native forests. They are not only self-sustainable after a couple of years but also are maintenance-free,” Sharma says.