A CA dropout and lawyer by profession, Bharat Bansal quit his four-year career in 2020 to co-found Nirmalaya with his wife Surbhi and friend Rajiv.

The Delhi-based social enterprise works with over 300 temples in the city to recycle floral waste into organic incense sticks, cones, and havan cups.

With their startup, they recycle up to 500 tonnes of floral waste annually. Started with their collective savings of Rs 1.25 crore, the trio clocked a revenue of Rs 2.6 crore last year.

Based on his experience, Bharat shares five key takeaways of setting up the business.

Businesses are not built on Excel sheets: “Such sheets are good only on paper. You need to do thorough research on the field, only then can you set up a business,” he says.

Be realistic: “Make your projections in a conservative manner. Analyse your costs, at times, you would be forced to bear many hidden expenses,” he adds.

Networking is paramount: Bharat says: “One should always have good mentors and pioneers of the industry to help them with cost analysis and marketing in the long run.”

Business is more about people management: “Entrepreneurs should focus more on managing people, including yourself, than anything else,” he says.

Understand the three pillars of a sustainable business: Environment, society, and  economics (sales).

“If you focus less on any of them, you won’t be able to survive the business. Everything has to be calculated as per sales, because viability comes from there,” he suggests.