Sujith Nadig is a biotech engineering graduate and the visionary behind Optionables, a start-up based on fintech. He entered into the journey of gardening when he was 15 years old and did not look back after it. His beginnings included repurposing paint buckets for the use of gardening.
Driven by the desire to bring nature closer to urban dwellers, he became the brain behind his venture, BioTech Maali. It is a pioneering venture dedicated to establishing and nurturing terrace gardens. Although primarily based in Bangalore, Sujith Nadig wants to carry his initiative worldwide.
In his conversation with Icy Tales, Sujith Nadig spoke about his gardening journey, his ventures, his mission to make this world a greener place along with some inputs on some sustainable ways to decompose food waste.
Q) Tell us something about your venture, BioTech Maali
Sujith Nadig: We started with an initiative called Let’s Get Greenery Back to Bangalore. I started my gardening journey back in my college days and I have loved plants and animals ever since. I like taking care of stray animals and I have a cat at my place too. Whenever I go on any road, if I see a stray dog, I will feed it.
I also received a lot of support from my family in this regard. Later, I started gardening as we had a lot of pots in our place. So we were constructing our site and one fine day towards the end of construction, it was stolen. Then I had to restart the gardening again and I discovered more about it.
It was at this time that I started to experiment more on fruits in plants. I asked my parents if we could grow fruits on our terrace and they denied it. But I wanted to experiment so I was willing to take the responsibility if anything happened and that’s how the concept came in.
I also noticed that much of the terrace area was left free. Even if you go to your terrace and look from a bird’s eye view, you will see a lot of land unused. So we could convert this barren land into something useful like a terrace garden and that’s how my concept came in.
I like to document things, and this habit has been in me ever since my childhood. We are trying to solve three major problems as of now. One is waste management, and the Second one is of recovery of trees. The third one is bringing back greenery to Bangalore and the same thing to India.
Q) How can we encourage people to grow more trees and save our planet without compromising on development?
Sujith Nadig: Certain developments might need certain changes. My interpretation is something simple; we’ll try our maximum to not deforest but if there is a chance that there is a possibility of development, let us also make some efforts from our end like planting like fruitng trees or having a garden.
0.1% of the positive impact each house can give, can prove to be very significant. Go to your terrace and just imagine that the entire area is filled with your garden. How does it feel? I want to bring that change and inculcation. It’s something that everyone wants to do but we don’t have time.
Some things are inevitable so we should just focus on what we can control and bring a positive change with whatever we can do. I don’t want it to be put the other way around. Nobody should come and tell us that shouldn’t come and tell us that since I have a terrace garden, we will cut down trees.
I would tell it a practical approach because this statement can be put in any way. Opportunists can take this as an opportunity telling that this is a point. So I don’t want to give that opportunity because I need to clarify well before I say something.
Q) What do you have to say about the sustainable ways of decomposing food waste?
Sujith Nadig: When we are having a garden, let me give you two different scenarios. The first scenario is you are generating waste. Each one of us is generating at least 500 grams to 1 kg of waste every day. Let it be food waste, flower waste, and wet waste; we are generating this and we are decomposing it.
Let us say that everyone is decomposing it at their place. But without plans, what are you doing? You have generated it but now you don’t know where you have to throw it. Properly decomposing will solve major problems that all of us face; the first one being waste management.
In my house, I have done a bit on my terrace, where all our flower and vegetable waste goes and gets vermicompost because we have worms. Once the decomposition is done, we put it in the same plants thereby making good use of it. Once we have plants in our house, we can see a lot of positive changes in ourselves. It has taught me patience; sometimes, I go to my terrace at midnight just to get the feel of it. Especially during the rainy seasons, it is more like an addiction.
Q) You are the co-founder of a venture called Optionables, which focuses on the stock market. Tell us something about it
Sujith Nadig: This interest developed during my college days. As soon as I turned 18, I wanted to do something of my own because I didn’t want to ask my dad for money. I was searching for different avenues and it was at that moment when my co-founder Saqib came and introduced me to financial markets. Optionables mainly focuses on financial markets wherein we are traders who trade in derivatives and we also do some workshops for free educational content.
Q) What is something you admire the most about gardening?
Sujith Nadig: It taught me the Never Give Up attitude. It still survives even if we don’t water it for two to three days. Secondly, if some rot is happening and the plant is dying, it still never gives up because if you put it into a different space wherein it is sustainable, it still survives. I don’t call them plants, I call them my babies.
If my babies can do it, then definitely I have a chance. It’s not something I have learned from day one; it’s over some time. It is the experience of what we get, experience, and learn from our surroundings. So that is the thing I have learned from my plant babies.
Q) In the field of plants and gardening, you might have some future goals that you want to achieve. How do you wish to achieve these goals?
Sujith Nadig: I don’t want to restrict myself to Bangalore or any one region. I want my company, Biotech Mali to have a worldwide audience. Nature is something that we all have so we can have a positive impact. If you say you don’t have time, just hire us and tell us what to do, we will be happy to assist.
Everyone can’t become a gardener or everyone can’t afford the time; that is practically impossible. So one thing I believe is that whoever has to do a certain job will do it. It is specific to their interest and specific to their nature as well. My goal is to be a company wherein we take care of the plants, and garden requirements and provide quality service to our customers.
I assume that every customer has to be given individual attention, so we will try our best to make that happen. It can’t happen overnight, but I will try to make sure it will happen over some time. I believe in one concept; we are just a part of nature. If we don’t take care of nature, it doesn’t matter for nature because it knows how to throw us out.
One shake and we are out. We are just minute but if we can take care of it, then definitely it will be more like what nature wanted. In the future, people who invest and grow with us will be working on a sustainable and practical way of bringing greenery back to the world and not just India, because I want it to be a global initiative.
Through BioTech Maali, Sujith Nadig aims to help more people create greenery around them, starting from their homes. He is on a mission to bring the beauty and tranquility of green spaces to urban landscapes.
Check out the whole conversation with Sujith Nadig on our YouTube Channel.