Shubhendu Sharma is an industrial engineer. The goal of his life has always been to make the maximum number of products, using least amount of time and resources. His first meeting with Akira Miyawaki, who had visited Shubhendu’s office to make a forest in it, left him fascinated by this idea. He joined the team as a volunteer, learnt the methodology and developed a better approach as per Indian soil and atmosphere. He had his own forest made in the backyard of his place. The forests grown through this methodology grow 10 times, are 30 times denser, and are 100 times more biodiverse, than a plantation. Moved by the results of his forest in the backyard, he was left wanting to make many more such projects.
He left his high paying job for this purpose, and founded an end-to-end service providing company, Afforestt . It converts any land into a self-sustainable forest within a couple of years. Miyawaki’s technique has managed to regenerate forests from Thailand to Amazon, and Sharma is on the quest to implement an enhanced model in India.
“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.
Having started on his own, he now has a team of 6 working from Bangalore. Afforestt received its first order from a German furniture-making firm to plant about 10,000 trees. Most of the problems got solved after that, and things started running smoothly. Since then, afforest has served around 43 clients, an planted around 54,000 trees.
Afforestt has created 33 forests across 11 cities of India, and wants to increase their number. Sharma wants to develop a monitored crowd-sourced software, where people will be able to feed their native plantation species in the tool. So, whenever someone wants to plant their own forest, they would know what species to go for! The vision he has for Afforestt can be summed in the following few lines.
“We want to create a scenario where plucking a fruit from a tree in the backyard will be easier than buying it from the market,” Sharma says.
Source: The Better India