Connecting the Dots - by Swarnendu Sarkar CEO, Oceans Republic
Updated: May 22
2011- Startup Mantra
After graduating from a Tech School in India, I was reluctant to work with established businesses. Although having offers from MNCs I have always preferred working with startups.
“Startup” was first coined in a Forbes magazine many decades earlier but in 2011 when I started working in India, it was still called small firms.
2015 - Knowledge is Power
In 2015, I quit my job in India and wanted to have my startup, but felt I had not met the right people or had the right business idea. I also realized knowledge is power, and I needed deep knowledge and understanding of a business before I could do anything of my own.
2017 - Business School Days
In 2017, I was in the Azman Hashim Business School (UTM), in Malaysia. I was there to find a new meaning for my life ahead. MBA is a holistic study that thoroughly awakened my inner entrepreneur. For 18 months we had debates and presentations on numerous business case studies which imbibed within me the idea of how a business should be ethical and also a profit maker at the same time solving critical issues in our society.
I used to visit retails like IKEA, Mr. DIY, DAISO JAPAN & many others in Malaysia, Singapore & Indonesia. So many aesthetic commodities for the household in those stores mostly made with plastic, wood, or other materials made me think someday I will be dealing with green products which would be sustainable and biodegradable.
2019 - The Decision
In April 2019, I graduated and came to Vietnam where I met Xuan, who is my wife and also a business partner.
I started my career's second innings here with a role of a Business Development Manager at an eco-startup. After a few months of working there, I felt they had lost their vision of being an eco-business to become something else. I took the risk of quitting that job and doing something of my own that I will never regret.
2020 - Birth of Oceans Republic
Oceans Republic was born with a clear set of values and an easy business model for supplying eco-friendly products to businesses replacing single-use plastic products. Bamboo and coconut were the two materials we could think of which are both eco-friendly and easily available and can be manufactured for various utilitarian products.
We emphasize sustainability, from what we are manufacturing, to how we distribute our products, to educating our customers on sustainable practices. We believe that our products are not just good for the environment but will also help us thrive in today’s competitive economy where consumers have become more environmentally conscious.
2022 - Bamboo: Road to Sustainability
Started with just bamboo straws and cutleries and we have now over 200 products for businesses like HORECA, Furniture, Home décor & Packaging and we have a lot more products to come! The journey to the road of sustainability has just begun.