The reason humans like being around plants and trees is because, a majority (more than 5 million years, according to researchers) of humanity’s existence was lived out as simple hunter-gatherers, understanding the ways of nature, and figuring out how best to live according to its cycles and patterns. A better way to put this reason would be that our brain still thinks we’re in the jungles. We’re evolving as we speak, and generations down the line, maybe humanity’s brains will have evolved to get used to something else.
However urbanites aren’t listening since they can redo their homes to bring in elements of nature, not just livening up their home to be more productive, but also feel at peace, especially so since their brains feel they’re home, finally. The world has become a very complex place and more and more people are choosing to take control and trying to live a more holistic life, in the sense that, amidst all the distractions out there, they want a place where they can disconnect and feel peaceful in their livened up home full of nature’s best elements.
Enter Cinnamon Design.
Today, at Bangalore Insider we spoke to a start-up that is in the business of designing and creating green spaces depending on the contours of your home. Each new home presents a challenge to them, and they’re game. Below are the edited excerpts from our interaction.
Give a brief info about your startup?
At Cinnamon-Design, we design and create gardens. Whether it is a balcony, terrace or a lawn area, we provide end to end solutions by setting up hardscapes (cement boxers, pergola, water body etc.,) and soft scapes (lawn, plants). The environmental conditions are taken into consideration before setting up a garden and plants are suggested accordingly.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
Passion for my line of work, which is gardening. What started as a hobby and has now matured into a business venture. Setting up gardens, ornamental or kitchen gardens in a small area or a large one makes one conscious of the environment we live in and by doing so, we provide a greener, cleaner environment for ourselves and our community.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
Prior to starting my venture, I was with an MNC and worked with them for a period of 18 years. I was in the field of Administration, Corporate Social Responsibility and Event Management.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
We are based out of Bangalore. Bangalore is a great place to start a gardening venture as it has a salubrious climate, the soil is fertile and thus conducive to planting.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
I am conscious about the fact that I have to keep going on irrespective of the odds, get new business and meet my revenue targets. This in turn enables me to run a venture which keeps my employees happy.
Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
Whilst my competitors would be ventures who also set up gardens, I believe that there is no substitute for hard work. I also offer consulting/ design/ set up/customise gardens for my client. My employees are hard working and passionate about their job as well – I believe that a happy employee equals a satisfied customer.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
A work-life balance is tough to get sometimes. However, being on your own also has its own advantages- starting with the fact that you are your own boss! It is difficult when you have some projects running in parallel though and that is when you miss having a business partner. I manage it by scheduling my work so that neither me nor my client are stressed or unhappy.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
No, I have not raised any funding, and am not looking at doing so.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
Technically, the gardening business has been a male domain for a long time in India, so people are sometimes surprised to see a woman handling this type of business. The reality is that once they meet me, they are comfortable interacting and trust me completely to see it through.
What gets you excited about this company?
The fact that every day is bright and new, converting a new relationship to a business, dealing with a failing and getting back on your feet: and remembering that there is always a bright star in the horizon.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
My day begins with calls to my team, to check if they are on schedule with their garden maintenance jobs. I generally have a couple of meetings fixed in a day on average, get back to my workspace and send out proposals/ estimates for the said meetings. I monitor my team once in the morning and once in the afternoon and fix their schedule for the subsequent day/ week. Raise invoices, send mails out, deal with telephone calls and that is how my day generally pans out. When I have a garden set up, I visit the client to ensure that work is being carried out as per the scope.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
Since I am the sole owner, I carry out all the administration/ business related work on my own. My current team is a set of garden experts who are skilled at their jobs and carry out work as scheduled. I sourced my team through a contact I had and initially had two people with me when I started out. The two soon became four and then six as the business grew.
Know a great startup story or want to share your own? Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you. For more updates follow Bangalore Insider on Facebook and Instagram.