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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Gardening startups thrive as more people grew their own during Covid lockdowns

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What began as a “lockdown pastime” has evolved into a full-fledged obsession for many. As a result, numerous gardening businesses have developed in the last two years to serve this expanding client base. Since 2020, established players have also seen good development. 

Meghna Suri, a native of Mumbai’s Powai, proudly describes herself as a “plant parent.” During the lockdown, she started cultivating herbs and microgreens at home, and her garden quickly blossomed.

Meghna, a marketing expert, found her previously concealed love for plants when basil, mint, and spinach began to bloom on her balcony.

Meghna is not alone herself. She is one of several individuals in Indian cities who become horticulture fanatics during the lockdown, despite the limited space in their dwellings.

Gardening was a hobby reserved for dedicated, long-time plant enthusiasts prior to the epidemic. During the lockdown, however, numerous individuals, including the inexperienced, turned to gardening to pass the time. What began as a “lockdown pastime” has evolved into a full-fledged obsession for many.

People are making a conscious effort to produce their own food on their patio or balcony, in addition to creating a touch of green around them.

This trend has fueled the expansion of existing companies in the home gardening industry while also giving birth to numerous new firms, including Lazy Gardener, Seed2Plant, Bombay Greens, and Gardengram.

A thriving industry “We began during the epidemic, when more individuals took up gardening as a pastime.”

“We’ve grown more than twice as fast since we started,” says Tanvi Agarwal, Co-Founder of Bombay Greens.

Tanvi and her husband Ankur founded Bombay Greens, which sells DIY gardening kits, eco-friendly grow kits, potting mixes, and planters.

According to Siddhant Bhalinge, Founder and CEO of ugaoo.com, a Pune-based home gardening firm, more than 52 startups have debuted in the gardening market in the previous two years.

The home gardening sector is expected to reach $4 billion by 2025, increasing at a CAGR of 50%.

“We have experienced a 125% YoY increase in the previous two years due of the rise of this market,” Siddhant adds. We anticipate that growth will level out at 75-80% over time.”

Ugaoo, launched in 2015, sells around 3,000 plants each day and approximately one lakh plants per month. This year, the business expects to generate Rs 40 crore in revenue.

Indoor plants, seeds, pots, planters, soil, and manure are popular product categories for many gardening firms. Customers are particularly interested in indoor plants such as the money plant, lucky bamboo, air purifier plants, and succulents.

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“Millennials who seek easy-to-maintain or low-maintenance plants make up a big portion of our client base,” says Nandu Singh, Co-founder and CEO of Nurserylive, a Pune-based home gardening firm. According to Nandu, the startup’s packaged offers or plant packs are attracting a lot of attention.

“Our website’s registered users have been growing every year, and we now have four million registered users.”

Plants are also becoming more popular as a present choice among consumers.

Ferns N Petals, located in Delhi, wants a bigger piece of the ‘green gifting’ industry.

“We sell Rs 2 crore to Rs 3 crore worth of plants every month, and these are mostly plants that people buy for gifting,” says Vikaas Gutgutia, Founder and Managing Director of Ferns N Petals.

We also believe that the category of self-use plants will rise dramatically in the next years.” The business is considering opening curated plant boutiques to sell ornamental plants such as bonsais and indoor plants.

Ferns N Petals has 275 stores throughout India and expects to earn between Rs 550 and Rs 600 crore this fiscal year.


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