Saurabh Gupta is known more as an adventurer. The founder and CEO of earth5r.com worked earlier as National Head of Employee Engagement and Organization Development at Cafe Coffee Day India. Earth5r is an effort to save environment by collaborating science, advocacy and education. Saurabh’s journey as the initiator of this unique business model was tough indeed. Bringing people together for a socially responsible venture that focuses on environment & energy conservation was never easy but he got through it with his firm beliefs and grit.
His keen desire to bring a change led him to found earth5r.com, although there is an interesting story behind the establishment of earth5r.com. Read about it in the interview ahead.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
Earth5R is a collaboration of Science, Advocacy, Education and Action to bring about much needed changes for the planet. Earth5R collaborates with communities to promote environmental leadership. We take action through three different activities- 18 minutes inspiring conversation ‘EarthTalk’, Environmental magazine ‘EarthJournal’ and Community Project ‘I’m Earth’.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
There is little bit of personal story behind how Earth5R was started. After bicycling 50,000 km commuting to work during 2 years at Mumbai, cities across Europe and Africa, I covered a distance that was more than the circumference of Earth, and I was pondering about “what next?”, I felt restless to do something about it. I believe change propels through the power of communities. And that’s why I founded Earth5R last November.
What is your life mantra?
I personally believe most people have good heart and good intentions, the fun is in getting them together and building some action.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Most challenging part has been getting people out of their comfort zones and act. People think that by sharing facebook messages, tweeting facts and by forwarding whatsapp messages about environmental damages they are being pro environment. It’s actually counterproductive, because the satisfaction of having done the easy thing prevents them from leaving the couch and acting on the real problem.
How did you overcome those challenges?
Our volunteer team is very diverse, and it includes people as diverse as engineers, scientist, journalists, researchers, artists, entrepreneurs, travelers and students. They are playing various different roles like writing journals, making photo and video documentaries, writing poems, building art and some purely doing the community service. We have a clear mandate that community service is the most basic role for everyone. That’s where they connect with the ground realities and irrespective of their primary role, community work is essential to everyone on the team.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We have few offers from investors, but we have decided not to accept any investments as of now. We will decide upon that in near future.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
Fortunately we don’t have any brain drain. Entire organization is run by volunteers and these people have decided to join Earth5R because they care about the cause. We have kept each and every person motivated through challenging and interesting work.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
- Have a personal story
- Passion and deep interest in your work
- Hard work, ethics and extreme focus
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
- Apple Notes
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Cycling has been the most productive activity for me. It makes me high on adrenaline and makes me super focused. It also inspires me to work hard, achieve and be hell bent on doing something meaningful with life. I can say Earth5R and all of its projects have been conceptualized while sprinting on the streets of Mumbai to work.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
Sometimes I have too many new ideas, and I like to implement them as they come, but that is not very good because in business focus is the key. I have started writing all the ideas in an excel sheet, and build categories and save them for future. I work on new ideas only when the previous ones are fully implemented.
Answer in less than 50 words
One tip to success:
Do what you love, and just do it!
One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
People that surround us wether in family, workplace or society are very important. We should not take any person for granted, no matter what background or position they have in the web of relationship. The success Earth5R has achieved is all because of the people who got connected with us willingly.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
We would like to increase our base up to 50 countries and build impact by community services and technology based solutions to environmental problem
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I would start same what I am doing right now, but at much younger age.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
- Cape Town
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“Action is what separates the do-errs from the dreamers” This is what former World Heavy Weight Boxing champion and Olympic gold medalist Lennox Lewis told me when I met him a couple of years back. Since then I have lived by it, and it has helped me grow.