Start-up In Spotlight: How A 21-year Old’s Venture BioReform Is Making the Earth Plastic-free With 100% Eco-friendly Bags

Captain's Tale in Conversation with Mohammed Azhar Mohiuddin, BioReform
Captain's Tale in Conversation with Mohammed Azhar Mohiuddin, BioReform

Teenage, as they say, is a transitioning phase of our lives. We change physically, mentally, emotionally, and at every other aspect where our understanding is involved. One thing common in most teenagers is that they want to be free of parental-pressures.

However, what happens when at such a young age, one decides to become financially independent?

It is one of the most exciting thoughts. Didn’t we all want to earn our own money and spend it to our liking? As far as I remember about myself, I too felt the urge of being financially independent. However, how many go beyond wanting and take the first step?

Today, at Captain’s Tale, I am excited to bring a 21-year old entrepreneur from Hyderabad who went ahead and started his first job hunt at the age of 14. By the time he turned 20, he had already run 3 ventures and established his 4th and most successful business- BioReform. Meet Mohammed Azhar Mohiuddin, a civil engineering student, and Founder of BioReform, who is on the path of making Earth a better place to live.

His start-up BioReform manufactures biodegradable bags, that are not only 100% eco-friendly but also affordable to the common masses and small-scale businesses.

“Our aim is not just to protect people from plastic and shift them to alternatives. Our motive is to make eco-friendly products affordable.”

With this clear motive in mind, Azhar further gave us some shocking facts that made me realize that it’s high time for us to switch to eco-friendly options.

“90% of the filtered bottle contains micro-plastics in it, which are not visible to naked eyes. So, whenever we are consuming water, we are also consuming microplastics.”, told Azhar, which was an eye-opening fact to me.

In one of the most inspirational talks, Azhar opened some of the most fascinating facts about BioRefrom and also his life. Here are some sneak peaks from the full conversation.

YouTube: Captain’s Tale in Conversation with Mohammed Azhar Mohiuddin, BioReform

How did It start?

Speaking about how the idea of BioReform was conceived, Azhar shared that it was in the lockdown phase when he started looking for problems to which he can offer solutions.

“The idea of BioReform was conceived in July 2020. We all were at home, not doing anything and that’s when I thought- let’s start searching for problems first. One of the biggest problems that the world is facing right now is the problem of the plastic problem. That was a very good hit.”

To take the idea to the next level and grow his business, he took the help of business incubators. BioReform was funded by India’s first student-focused incubator- Edventure Park.  Sharing the details further, he mentioned that, “Nearly 500 people applied. Out of 500 people, they short-listed 100 for the interview. Out of those 100, selected only 25-promoted only 10 start-ups.” BioReform with its unique concept was thus able to secure a great beginning with Edventure Park student start-up incubators program.

I can just only imagine the happiness that he would have felt on winning the investment. Undeniably it would have been a proud moment not only for him but also for his parents.

However, Azhar in the initial talks also disclosed that just like any other Indian parent, his parents were also reluctant in him starting a business.

“As we live in India, parents are not very supportive for businesses or entrepreneurship. They are not wrong. I won’t say that parents are wrong on this behalf. Like they just want to have a very secure career. They don’t want you to face a lot of hurdles or things risks. In that aspect, they stop you. Even my parents stopped a lot when I was starting my journey.”

But who could have stopped a 14-year old Azhar, who simply went to the market to seek a job for himself because he wanted to have something of his own?

“Khud ka kuch karuga, I will have a lot of money. Mujhe sabki baten nahi sunna padega.”

This was also one of the learnings in his entrepreneurship journey. In our conversation, Azhar openly accepted that till BioReform, he did the things out of teenage passion only. However, as his experience grew, his mindset also evolved and he started to take things from a business perspective that offers solutions to the existing problems.

Mohammed Azhar Mohiuddin, Founder of BioReform in Conversation with Captain’s Tale

Wading the Challenges:

As BioReform is focused on eco-friendly products, Azhar’s first set of the obstacle was not how to spread awareness; but how to introduce cheaper alternatives in the market. According to his market research, people were already aware of the plastic hazards. However, the major problem was that they did not have any budget-friendly alternatives.

“They had awareness already…Is there any other alternative? Nahi tha.”

Also, whatever alternatives were present in the market were not fully eco-friendly. 

“Businesses are shifting to paper bags. But I think with paper bags, the problem is even worse. You ask why? Paper bags are not eco-friendly. They are cutting trees to manufacture paper. So how can paper=bags be eco-friendly? Here is another problem, rising on a large scale is deforestation. They are also not very affordable. Bade brands to shift Ho Jayenge. But what about the small businesses?”

“So the product, we have come up with is 100% natural, 100% eco-friendly, and 100% bio-degradable and compostable.”

When asked, what more individuals can do to transit to green lifestyles, Azhar pointed three important things:

  • Everybody should start building a rain-water harvesting system.
  • Shift on solar panels- green electricity.
  • Discard plastic bags and shift Bio-degradable bags

The Future roadmap:

The young entrepreneur feels that India should not be dependent on other countries. That’s why his dream destination is Taiwan. From Taiwan he would like to learn more about green technologies and bring them to India. In next 10 years, Azhar still aims to work upon more eco-friendly alternatives.

In addition to bio-degradable bags, the green engineer of India is working on introducing India’s first ever bio-degradable water bottle. The project is in prototyping stage and in coming years, BioRefrom will have additional products in its range of offerings.

Words of Wisdom:

Azhar knows his role as an individual quite well. Also, he understands his responsibility towards nations, planet Earth and the upcoming generation.

“We cannot afford a second world. Why invest billions of dollars on habitating another planet when we can almost use 50% to regrow our planet. We have to start thinking more about our health and environment.”

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