Chalgenius Salutes Women Empowerment

Meet this woman entrepreneur from Mizoram trying to save indigenous plant species through her start-up

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Daughter of a retired IFS official, who was her role model, produces oils from aromatic and medicinal plants found in hills in an attempt to explore the untapped rich biodiversity of Mizoram and preserve it. Interesting isn’t. Just spare a few minutes to laud the initiative of this woman entrepreneur…..

The Concept

Lalhlupuii Ralte nickname Mahlui set up her Zo Bio hub in Muallungthu in Mizoram in July 2018. All products are organically farmed by local farmers and sustainably sourced. Keeping in mind the importance of always keeping quality first, all products are processed following the strictest quality procedures. “Ours is a wholesale and retail supplier of various aromatic and medicinal plant products.”
“With a strong focus on promotion of farmer status and conservation and cultivation of the state’s rich biodiversity resources, extensive exploration and research on aromatic and medicinal plants are being conducted,” Mahlui told Chalgenius.

Idea behind the concept

“Since a child I was impressed by my father’s work and used to accompany him during many of his official field visits. He even wrote a book on medicinal plants of Mizoram and after his death in 2001 it was republished. My start-up is an initiative to develop his idea,” she said.

Mizoram – a biodiversity hotspot

Mizoram is one of the few biodiversity hotspots in India and has a wide variety of indigenous bio-resources. These resources are being heavily exploited through illegal wildlife trade. Zo Bio Hub addresses this issue along with conserving the environment and taking up sustainable utilization of resources. Mizoram has a rich resource of medicinal and aromatic plants but these remain unutilised. If awareness is generated on the benefits of these plants then it will be easy to preserve them, she added.

Products

“We use fruit peels of indigenous fruits of the state to make readymade fruit drinks and candies. These are rich in nutrients and are anti-oxidants. Again, peels that are bitter in taste are used as fertilizers. Oils extracted from some plants are useful for treatment of a variety of ailments and help to create a balance between body, mind and soul,” said Mahlui.

Working model

Farmers are encouraged to cultivate different medicinal and aromatic plants without deforestation. These are bought from them and then processed at the Bio Hub. Under the pilot project, Mahlui works with 20 villages. Many indigenous plants which can be farmed and commercialized have been identified. The unidentified potential is vast but countless plant resources that have been used in traditional Mizo medicine for ages still need to be studied further, she added.

Loves to be an entrepreneur

After completing her BA Finance, Mahlui started working in a company but soon realised that her dream was to run her own company. Her first start-up Catalyst Solutions was set up in 2015 and three years later she started Bio Hub. The revenue earned from her first company is used as resource for the second one. “We pride ourselves on our ability to deliver eco-friendly solutions which encourage sustainable development without degradation of the state’s natural resources,” she said.

Plans ahead

Two to three months down the line all products of Bio Hub will be commercialized. Along with this, Mahlui wants to set up a herbal medicinal manufacturing unit.

Get in touch

Zo Bio hub
Lalhlu Puii (Mahlui) Ralte
9615181961
Keywords: chalgenius, start-ups, Mizoram, environment, bio-diversity, conservation, bio-hub
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