Our founder Megha recently met Kavita Shukla, founder and CEO of Fenugreen at a conference where both of them were invited to speak about their entrepreneurial journeys. Kavita’s for-profit venture with a social mission immediately struck a chord with Megha, who believes that businesses can be both profitable as well as socially responsible. Seeing Megha’s excitement about Fenugreen, I decided to dig in and see what Kavita’s business model was all about.

Kavita invented a special sheet of paper called “FreshPaper’’ as a part of her middle school science project. Little did she know that this simple innovation could one day have a chance to revolutionize the global food system!

FreshPaper is a five square inch of paper infused with organic spices, which helps keep fruits and vegetables fresh two to four times longer than it was previously possible. At theTEDxManhattan talk Kavita informed the audience that a quarter of the world’s food supply is lost to spoilage and 1.6 billion people across the globe live without access to refrigeration. Her special sheet of paper- FreshPaper can help curb this problem. All one needs to do is put this paper on the fruits and veggies, and this organically infused paper will prevent fungal and bacterial growth on them, increasing the life of the perishable produce.

Fenugreen’s FreshPaper is now available at Whole Foods, Wegman’s and Big Y in the US. It can be ordered online in 35 countries (including developing countries) around the world. Fenugreen uses disabled workforce at its production center, has started educational programs at DC area as well as donates one FreshPaper packet to foodbanks for each packet purchased.

The challenge faced by companies across the globe is – how to create sustainable business models that are profitable as well as environmentally friendly and socially beneficial…how to maintain the social mission of the company when investors ask for increased returns. Kavita’s Fenugreen and Megha’s MSD which works with emerging and impact brands are both shining examples of how brands can maintain the balance.

Garima Thakker, MSD Intern