The Business of Sustainability, Through the Eyes of an Entrepreneur

We all call the Earth our home. However, very few of us realize that it takes more than that to sustain the Earth for years to come. The world’s burgeoning population, the dying resources and effects of years of pollution will soon cast devastating effects across nations. However, small steps like saving every drop of water can definitely count in the long run. What is the point of living without sustainable development today, if our children and theirs will have no home tomorrow?

It is probably with these sentiments that Preethi Sukumaran started an innovative company whose sole purpose is to create natural products that sustain our world. Let’s hear her story, as she talks to Paroma Sen-Basu.

Why is sustainable development an objective of your business?

Krya reflects our deep passion for nature, the environment and the urge to create something meaningful. We want our products to leave a positive impact on the world. I strongly believe that the only development that is possible, or should be attempted now, is sustainable, holistic development that gives back.

Define yourself as a person to us, who or what does Preethi signify?

I see myself as a person who is very passionate and committed to what she does. Since my childhood I was drawn to a greater cause. I yearned to be a part of something good. I am glad to be a part of a set of people who work towards preserving the world, and leaving behind some of the beauty we see around us for our children.

Your first product, a sustainable detergent seems to be a great hit. How did you come up with the process and ingredients?

Thank you for that.  My husband (who co-founded Krya with me) and myself decided to start a venture some years ago that would represent who we were and what we believed in more.

We began exploring ways and means to lead a far more sustainable life. Our kitchen became completely organic, we turned vegan, and explored alternatives to the toxic chemical products we used. 

I started to explore soapberries (Sapindus) for various cleaning applications, after reading about them in Ayurvedic texts. I re-educated myself on natural alternatives like soapberries, and began feeling confident enough to concoct my own formulations. We started to think about creating a sustainable consumer products venture, which would offer a workable set of solutions to switch from toxic chemical products to gentle, holistic natural products.

After sometime we were ready with formulations for many products. Our research indicated that a detergent was a good place to start.

After experimenting with various kinds of soapberry samples and samples from different species available, we zeroed in on our partner, who runs the world’s largest certified organic soapberry farm, in Andhra Pradesh, India. We worked with him to create the Krya detergent experimenting along the way.

Our formulation improvement is an ongoing process.