In 2018, Devakumar Narayanan and Saranya returned from the UAE to Kerala. Disillusioned with their 9-5 jobs, the couple wanted to pursue something of their own, and return to their roots to do it. Plastic was not top of their mind then.
Their dream was realised in the shape of Papla, their eco-friendly venture that makes tableware and other products out of fallen areca leaves. The idea is to reduce the negative impact that humans have on nature, making use of the abundant availability of the raw material in Kasargod, where the duo stays.
“Arecanut leaf sheaths can be a good alternative for plastic as well as paper. We named it ‘Papla’ by incorporating the idea — less paper and less plastic,” says Saranya.
From plates to bowls and spoons, Papla offers a variety of tableware in sizes ranging from 4 inches to 10 inches. The items are also customisable on request. They cost anywhere between Rs 1.50 and Rs 10, and are the venture’s best sellers. Other items include handmade soaps, badges, hats, hand-fans, grow bags, and wedding invites.
With this, the founders are earning a monthly turnover of Rs 2 lakh.