Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey as an entrepreneur.
I belong to a family which is a mixed batch of business, pharmaceuticals, and scientists however I took up commerce since science wasn’t my forte in school. Growing up I always wanted to do something of my own and to learn the ropes I chose to become a part of the family business.
After pursuing my education, I joined the family business and after more than a decade of taking care of that and understanding the business aspect of things I shifted my focus and took my first steps towards my life-long issue of reducing, reusing waste that’s present all around us, all the time.
Growing up travelling became one of my passions and during one of my trips, I noticed that being a tourist place, trash is bound to happen especially when you visit street markets, etc however people in that place were very aware and sensitive about the waste they produced and how they managed to dispose or use it.
That is when it struck me that India is a big and populated country with a huge problem of waste being produced daily but not disposed off properly. I had then decided to do something about it in my home country and that’s how the chain reaction of my pet project started.
I needed to find the right solution to my problems and also that served my business acumen. After researching on what could be done, how it could be done and what all is related and is cyclic to one particular thing I contacted some scientists and after several long discussions, various tests and other tedious yet satisfying processes and procedures we came up with a technology that was later transferred to us and that is how we are able to resolve the plastic waste issue now to a certain degree by being able to recycle the plastic that was filling the landfills every day. As we know that plastic does not decompose easily and will live on earth more than any of us present today it seemed like the best thing to do for Mother Nature. This is in a way my contribution to Earth and Humanity.
When the opportunity presented itself then I wanted to make a product which is ecofriendly, something which did not wear and tear and could be used by us but since it came from waste and it shouldn’t touch our skin directly.
What attracts you towards entrepreneurship instead of a corporate career?
As mentioned earlier I belong to a business family and my upbringing was always done accordingly. I never really thought about a corporate career. Growing up I always wanted to do something of my own and to learn the ropes I chose to become the part of the existing business. During this time, between other qualities, I realised about my leadership skills, decision making ability and most importantly the ability to recognise an opportunity when it presents itself. After more than a decade of learning and growing it, when the idea to make a difference in the way we (humanity) were operating about our plastic waste struck me, I did not want to lose even 1 minute of my time not doing what I could for it to become a reality and change what can be changed.
When the opportunity presented itself then I wanted to make a product which is eco-friendly, something which did not wear and tear and could be used by us but since it came from waste, it shouldn’t touch our skin directly.
Shayna’s products help the clients with easy, economical and speedy construction. Hence came out with the concept of tiles initially and later other products were introduced as well, which helps the society in using green technology to build smarter and greener ways of living.
How do you manage yourself and keep on going despite the challenges? What keeps you going?
If you love what you do that itself is the greatest motivation for you to do something. Then the pressure and the stress are not felt as they are a part of the journey that has to be experienced and enjoyed and suffering is only one’s choice so you have to embrace it. Pressure makes me push my limits and helps me achieve greater heights. It helps me ideate more.
Stress, excitement and nervousness are all part of an entrepreneur’s journey. And at the end of the day when I go home, I shut out of office for a while and have some me time that rejuvenates me for the next day. Sometimes I travel, see and learn new things that refresh me with new energy to do more.
My belief in myself and my dream motivates me to keep going on. The passion and drive to finally be able to do something for our environment keeps us going and reaching out to people. Also, the support of our clients and environmental enthusiast provides the much needed boost that inspires us to strive for more.
How did you come up with the name for your business/startup?
Shayna means Shine and Ecounified is the vision we have as we want to unify and bring a one stop shop solution for all things related to recycling, pollution and environment. We want to make a sustainable and eco-friendly living into an everyday reality for all. We want to generate more ideas and concepts and unify the needs of the environment and just make this reality shine bright.
What difficulties which you have faced or you are facing?
In my journey, the first obstacle we faced was paying a price for the waste that was filling the landfills unnecessarily. Initially, we thought that the waste which no one wants and no one can use will be available at no cost to us and we couldn’t have been more wrong in our assumption. We have to buy and incur a cost for something that economies are trying hard to find a solution for. That is when we realised that everything will come at a price including reducing the problem of unfathomable plastic waste.
We had to create a breakthrough in order to establish a brand name and thrive in a country like India where set mindsets are a huge challenge. People often talk about climate change, saving the environment but they seldom do something especially if money is involved.
Another challenge we faced was that even though we have experience in handling a business, we were clueless about the working and dynamics of the Environment sector as we had no prior background of it or the science that went behind it.
We require huge amounts of investment and also government support in not just the licenses but also with buying the finished product as the environmental changes can be best done if done at large by the Government bodies and by the big Infrastructure and real estate companies.
Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
To be honest, being a physically average fit person I summitted Everest Advance Base Camp in winters 2015(First Indian of that year). Professionally, when I signed my first corporate deal with Loreal 2018.
How many hours a day do you work on average & can you describe/outline your typical day?
I work as and when and what the need of the business is. Being a start-up currently, my work hours are anywhere between 10-12 hours a day.
What advice would you give to someone starting out as an aspiring entrepreneur?
Patience, perseverance, commitment to the end goal and always see and keep the big picture in mind. Obstacles come for everyone whether big or small, young or seasoned entrepreneur. What makes one sustain in the business is one’s patience, persistence and the knack for looking for different possibilities from all sources known and unknown and to wait for the right time till things don’t work out.
Some of their project’s