Eco-warrior Zitin Munshi is helping to simplify sustainability for young entrepreneurs in India

It’s not always easy to bust the usual myths around sustainability – “it’s expensive”, “it’s difficult to implement”, “is it really necessary?” But armed with a Development Economics degree from SOAS, Munshi is well-equipped to speak a language that her clients understand: “We just make the business case for sustainability. It may be more expensive in the short run, but it’s more cost-effective. In the long term, 60 percent of consumers believe that sustainability is an important criterion when making purchases, and younger people actively want to work with responsible companies. ”

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The business case for sustainability

A natural extension of Munshi’s work in Botswana is her #GiveLifeToYourIdea project, in which aspiring entrepreneurs and those whose businesses have been operational for under three years are invited to pitch their ideas via the link in the bio @ nextmileco’s Insta handle. Two winners are picked each month, winning a free hour-long consultation with Munshi, who helps them refine their idea and another hour-long session with Snowcrest Consulting, which provides specialized financial consulting. Think everything from business plans to fundraising to the right time to pitch to investors.

Creating changemakers is important to Munshi because she believes that even a single person’s actions make a difference, and result in a ripple effect. “When an individual acts, even if it’s making a simple change to their lifestyle – thrifting instead of buying new clothes, delaying the journey of plastic to a landfill by reusing an item or going plastic-free and becoming a conscious consumer – it also inspires others around them, ”says Munshi.

And it’s hard not to be inspired by the motley crew of small business owners, entrepreneurs and researchers on Munshi’s podcast who are getting on with doing their bit to save the planet. Across 24 episodes, featured guests include a sustainable beekeeper based in Kashmir, the co-founder of EgoEgoNetwork, which is pioneering the EV charging ecosystem in India; the founder of a sustainable products e-commerce platform Earthist.in; the entrepreneurs behind sustainable events company Nose to Tail as well as the founder of Karunya Musicals, which makes vegan instruments.

So far, Munshi and her team have impacted almost 4,400 people through their work, and 335 entrepreneurs. But she is just getting started. The 32-year-old St Xavier’s alum says she wants to empower “10,000 changemakers by 2030. It sounds like it’s far away, but you need to set goals and work towards them.” In Richard Williams, aka King Richard’s words: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

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