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Sukriti Verma, Co-Founder at Shift Eco FZ LLC

Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

Sukriti Verma: It all started with a bamboo toothbrush. No really! In April 2020 whilst grocery shopping, my co-founder, Namrata Budhraja came across a bamboo toothbrush. Intrigued, she decided to give it a try and was amazed at how easy and simple a switch to this toothbrush was from a plastic toothbrush. Thus sparked a conversation between Namrata and me. And we wondered why more people are not making such small changes in their daily lifestyles to reduce their negative impact on the environment?

And so, the first thing we decided to do was turn to research. We conducted some qualitative and quantitative research, and the results were very interesting. While 95% of consumers wanted to do better for the planet, only 45% were actually following some eco-friendly practices. The intent to do better was there but the habit change was not following through.

We further investigated why this behaviour change was not happening and there were 4 key barriers that stood out.

  • The first aspect that deterred people was lack of availability, where people didn’t know where to buy these products.

  • There was also a Lack of knowledge / information about green practices, people were weary of green washing.

  • People considered eco-friendly living as very expensive.

  • Overall, consumers perceived this space as daunting and difficult to implement.

And to bridge these gaps, Shift Eco was born. Shift Eco is an aggregated platform for honest and impactful eco-friendly products. We help consumers and organizations go green.

Great Companies: What are the various services provided by Shift Eco FZ LLC?

Sukriti Verma: We have 2 pillars to our business:

  1. B2C Aggregated Platform: We run an online platform with 1500+ meaningful, earth friendly products across 8 categories, carefully vetted in line with our Green Code .We are making eco-friendly products accessible, available and affordable for consumers so sustainable living becomes easy for consumers. Our platform also focuses on building knowledge and information so we can together form a community of conscious consumers. We have built several strategic partnerships with Instashop, Etihad Rewards, FAB rewards to fuel this B2C business.

  2. Shift Eco for Business: This arm of our business helps organisations adopt greener practices. We, along with our strategic partners have various offerings such as eco-friendly corporate gifting, eco-friendly procurement, green audits and employee learning programs. We are the only company that offers holistic services from procurement to training that helps companies to build a conscious organisational culture.

Great Companies: What makes Shift Eco FZ LLC different from hundreds of other similar service providers?

Sukriti Verma: The ethos of our company is to build a conscious community. We build this conscious community by not only giving people access to clean products but also by building knowledge and information about sustainable living. We do so by conducting free of cost events, writing articles and information about sustainable living on our learning platform – Learn with Shift Eco. This not only helps us spread awareness about sustainable living, but also brings authenticity to our platform.

Additionally, our competitive advantage is the fact that we are truly an “eco-friendly” company. Our products are carefully vetted to ensure they are non-toxic for our planet and our families. All our deliveries are next-day deliveries, delivered in eco-friendly, plastic free packaging.

We have built an active community of conscious consumers, suppliers and partners that are fueling this much required change. Being one of the early marketplaces, we have a great supply network locally, and internationally for eco-friendly products. This puts us at an added advantage to successfully deliver large B2B orders that we win.

In just about 2.5 years of our operations, we have grown our eco-shop to 1500+ curated and vetted products, nurtured over 15000+ conscious consumers who have engaged with us through the online store, and our events and cultivated over 85 partnerships of sustainable product suppliers, companies interested to go green and sustainability experts.

We are an ambitious, bootstrapped and 100% female owned company that’s working tirelessly to make eco-friendly living mainstream.

Great Companies: What were the struggles and challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?

Sukriti Verma: To play in the e-commerce space, you need significantly large funds for marketing, and as a young bootstrapped company, it becomes very challenging to be burning a significant chunk on marketing. We must be very cognizant of the same, and we decided to grow through strategic partnerships instead. Today, we are a part of various reward platforms, and quick mile delivery platforms that gives us an added visibility and helps us scale our sales.

We are also in the space of creating behavior change, which is a Herculean task for any small company to take up. However very early on we launched our learning platform to engage with consumers and build conversation around sustainable living. While this part of the business is not directly revenue generating, we take it very seriously, and as a young business with limited resources, it becomes challenging. Given this is a passion for both Namrata and I, we can keep up the momentum to ensure we are able to build and grow a community of conscious consumers.

Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for Shift Eco FZ LLC?

Sukriti Verma: The strategic vision for the business is to become a key player in the sustainability space helping organisations with meeting their ESG agenda through supplying vetted products and building internal awareness. Through further strengthening our supply chain network, and supplier network, we aim to scale the impact further across the GCC, working with leading organisations and individuals and helping them cut their emissions. The business will evolve significantly in the next 3 -5 years, where we will grow by expanding our business vertical. We also plan on growing our consumer vertical by building more strategic partnerships and building awareness about sustainable living and making these products more accessible to consumers.

Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Sukriti Verma: I would say, starting out on your own is not for the faint hearted. And so, it is important to be very passionate and truly believe in your concept in terms of what you decide to do. Everyday throws new challenges, and so it is important to have that faith in what you are building. Entrepreneurship requires perseverance, patience and a never say die attitude. Additionally, it is important to continue to test your concept and build and pivot your business according to what is working and what is not. It is important to be lean in your operational setup, so you have the flexibility to adapt.



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