Meet Aardra Chandra Mouli, co-founder of the all-women run Aeka Biochemicals. It is the first all-women run biochemical firm in Kerala. Fresh out of college, Trivandrum-born Aardra got together with her friend Gayathri Thankachi V to chase their passion since childhood, watching Animal Planet and environmental shows.
“I joined hands with one of my friends and we both registered the first fully women-owned biotech and biochemical startup in Kerala”
“The environment has always been a passion for me. And I have always wanted to separately start something of my own, do something different and contribute to the country. I did my bachelors in biotech and biochemical engineering and the idea just brought together these two passions. I joined hands with one of my friends and we both registered the first fully women-owned biotech and biochemical startup in Kerala,” Aardra told SheThePeople.TV.
Founded in 2014, Aeka develops and manufactures products which can be used for environmental remediation or organic farming. Their first range of products came out to promote organic farming in households. Aardra, who did her Masters from Warwick Business School in the UK, tells us that their first product is a plant growth promoter which can be used for chemical-free and safe harvesting of vegetables and fruits grown in your own backyard or plantation.
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Aardra is keen to keep the quality of the product high, which is why she is taking things slow. Also, a great attribute of Aeka is that there are no by-products in the process of creating anything and it is primarily solar-powered. “Because it is environmental solutions which are a very niche area and the fact that our laboratory is completely green and certified green by the Kerala Pollution Control Board,” states Aardra as the reasons for Aeka’s slow growth.
About the fact that it is fully run by women, Aardra says it feels amazing to realise that now women are able to build something like Aeka because “we are challenged at more number of stages of growth than men would normally be challenged”.
Persistence and a belief in your dream are the two qualities every entrepreneur must have – Aardra
“We are asked over and over as to why I chose to be an entrepreneur, so I believe that becoming an entrepreneur as a woman has brought about a significant change in the landscape. Hopefully we would be able to encourage more women to choose this path and help them,” Aardra said.
She about her home state Kerala and revealed that it is the second state in India to have the largest number of female entrepreneurs. “We have a larger number of women who are educated and women have easy access to primary, secondary and tertiary education. Apart from that, we also have powerful women leaders. They may not be as many as men but they are impactful decision-makers who set an example for women every day to be achievers,” said Aardra.
For the young entrepreneur, persistence and a belief in your dream are the two qualities every entrepreneur must have.