Published: 20th January 2021
This 10-year-old CEO is saving the environment one seed at a time
Rangesh Vel, a 10-year-old entrepreneur talks about his company, Life Seedz that manufactures seed balls
A certain aviation company got a strange call one day. It was from seven-year-old Rangesh Vel who asked them how much it would cost to rent a helicopter for an hour. Strange as it might sound, Rangesh had noble intentions. He wanted to use it to drop seed balls and grow more trees. For those of you who haven't heard about seed balls, they are basically seeds covered with manure and adequate water, enough for it to germinate. Rangesh, who is ten years old now, is the Founder and CEO of Life Seedz, a start-up that manufactures and distributes these seed balls.
So, it all started for Rangesh after Cyclone Vardah wreaked havoc in Chennai in 2016. Hundreds of trees were uprooted. Rangesh was so disturbed by the sight that he wanted to do something about it. This was also the time when he started his entrepreneurial training with the education platform Kidspreneur, so he decided to look for a start-up idea that would also solve the issues caused by Vardah. His parents did a bit of research for him and told him about seed balls. He thought it would be a good idea for a start-up because there were hardly any companies that were dealing with seed balls at the time.
With the help of his trainers at Kidspreneur, Life Seedz was born. If you're wondering why seed balls, Rangesh explains, "No one likes to take the effort of planting a seed and watering it every day. With seed balls, you just need to throw them wherever there is some soil, it already has the manure and water necessary for the seeds to germinate."
For the manufacturing process, Rangesh's father got the scouts in the school that he runs to gather together and provided them with the materials to make the seed balls. In about three hours, the children made 3,000 seed balls. Everyone received different seeds. "We used red sand, different types of seeds and manure. After making it, you have to let it dry for a few hours, till it becomes hard. So basically, you make a ball with the manure and water, poke a hole, put the seed in, cover it with mud and let it dry. When all the other children made the seed balls, it was my first time too," Rangesh describes the experience.
The seed balls were later sold at stalls in a mall and at a college fair. Rangesh even received an order from Singapore for 20,000 tomato seed balls. He also received an order for a wedding return gift. Speaking about his plans for the future, Rangesh says, "I'm learning about AI now. We plan on releasing drones that can be used to identify fertile ground, drop the seed balls faster and grow more trees." Rangesh is currently doing his Master's level in Artificial Intelligence.
He adds, "This company was created for two purposes — to repair the damage caused by Vardah and combat global warming. I wanted to create awareness about saving trees and planting trees. Even though scientists predict that the world is coming to an end, we should do whatever it takes to save the planet." Rangesh's seed balls are available in two packages — eight seed balls for `50 and four seed balls for `25. In the future, they are also planning to manufacture seed papers and seed pencils.