“People do not compromise with their health if they have a better option available.”
Says Oddy Uniwrap’s CEO Atul Garg. He firmly believes that their company’s product is going to be a catalyst for a revolutionary change in the way we pack food. They have come up with this unique product in the form of Oddy Uniwraps. After learning about the dangerous element present in aluminum foil, Atul came up with this idea of Oddy Uniwraps. Atul, together with a French company, worked towards giving a safer alternative to wrap foods – be it lunch, dinner, snacks or even packed food from the market. The demand for Oddy Uniwraps has increased across various categories.
Here are some excerpts of the interview (done in Hindi, reproduced in English).
Tell us something about your journey of becoming an Entrepreneur.
Despite being from a business family, there was no pressure from my parents at the time of graduation to join my family business. Being the eldest of the 3 brothers, I was quite Independent from the beginning. Watching my father closely, I already had the desire to become a successful businessman.
How and where did you come up with the idea of starting Oddy Uniwraps?
I worked hard in the business of stationary. I couldn’t even take my meals at proper time. My lunch was always packed in aluminum foil. One day, I got to know about ‘metal poisoning’ and it gave me a big shock. I was eating my lunch wrapped in aluminum foil that time and I used to eat the aluminum foil wrapped food twice a day. I researched about it thoroughly and theresults were very dangerous.
What kind of support did you get from your family? Did you face any opposition?
I had full support from my family. They knew that if I have decided to do something, I will do it at any cost. They always believed in me though I gave them a lot of trouble. I used to bring different cooking papers and make different types of Indian cuisine and then compare it with foil paper. There was this one time when the paper was burnt in the oven, the pickle oil was leaked. It was all a mess but my family supported me as they knew that such a product will be beneficial for any family.
Now let’s talk about Oddy Uniwraps.? How are they different from Aluminum Foil paper?
After a lot of R & D and failed attempts, we came up with a wrapping paper for food which is safe to use with any kind of food product. Aluminum foil reacts with food items but this paper is made of organic cellulose. It is leak proof, grease proof and completely safe to use in microwave oven and grill. It is also eco-friendly and can be disposed with organic garbage.
What is that factor in your venture, which makes it different from others in your area?
Our conscience! People have been selling aluminum foil for so many years now. Earlier we could have given them a benefit of doubt considering that maybe they did not know about the harmful effects of aluminum foil, but in today’s time when it is clear how harmful aluminum foil is, people are still selling it. I do not understand how people can sell slow poison. Our product is in demand because of its special quality. We only need to tell people that an alternative of aluminum foil is available in the market.
Aluminum foil is dangerous for health. What are you doing to spread awareness about it?
Aluminum foil is not safe. Many research and media reports are already out in front of the people. We are spreading awareness through our blog and videos.
What kind of response have you received so far? How are people taking it?
We are getting a good response. We just need to tell people that a healthy alternative of aluminum foil is available in the market. Customers are intelligent. They won’t cheat with the health of their family by feeding them slow poison.
What are you doing for the promotion of Oddy Uniwraps?
We are doing a lot in this direction. Online Promotions, getting Distributors, Sampling, Field Activities –we are doing everything a consumer product should do.
What challenges did you face in the early stages?
The biggest challenge was to explain that it is not foil. People referred it as ‘paper foil’. This is just an organic paper! Many shopkeepers were not ready to keep it because the customer did not ask for it. In fact, they don’t even know that there is something like Uniwraps available in the market.
Among these challenges, have you ever felt like you won’t be able to do it? Have you ever been afraid of failing?
Not at all. I had full faith in this product from the very beginning. And when you are doing something which is beneficial for everyone, then the support comes automatically from everywhere. A big news channel reported the harmful effects of aluminum foil for about 5-6 minutes and because of that itself our sales increased rapidly.
How many people were with you when you started Oddy Uniwraps? And how many people work with you today?
We introduced Oddy Uniwraps with just two people. Today, we have a team of around 35 people.
When you choose a member/employee for Oddy Uniwraps, what special thing do you look for in them?
Hunger to grow ethically, because the path to success is as important as the dream we are working on.
Is Oddy Uniwraps working at the international level or is it just limited to India?
Right now we are focusing on the health of India only.
What are your goals for Oddy Uniwraps? What are your targets?
Oddy Uniwraps in every house is our aim right now. Our competition is not with aluminum foil, it is with newspaper, cloth and with all the unsafe things that are still used to wrap food.
How has your life changed after becoming an entrepreneur?
There are some changes going on with age, but not because of being an entrepreneur. I have always been an entrepreneur and have lived this life always.
What is your routine apart from the office? What do you like to do?
I wake up early in the morning and do yoga, squash and swimming with complete dedication. Only a healthy mind and body can help in developing a healthy society. I like going on holidays with my family.
How do you eliminate stress in the office?
Stress happens when you do not enjoy your work.We love what we are doing. So, there is no space for stress.
What will you do if you get a month’s holiday?
I’ll indulge myself in the promotional activities of Oddy Uniwraps. I will work for the cause.
What is that mantra that has given you success? Also tell about your initial mission?
Disciplined approach and taking all people along with you! Business is boring, if you want to succeed, you have to do the same thing again and again without getting tired. The important thing is to not to be selfish and work together with employees and vendors for the benefit of society, only then you will be able to grow.