Startup Stories

Vignesh Iyer – Founder, Poucheo

From the creative minds of Vignesh Iyer and Chandni Niranjan, comes Poucheo—a truly vegan, sustainable & 100 per cent cruelty-free brand.

The brainchild of Vignesh and Chandni was never meant to be a business venture; as Iyer says, it was an “accidental venture.” Chandni Niranjan, who belongs to the Jain community, does not use leather products since it is against her religious practices. So, Vignesh Iyer decided to get creative and crafted a bag out of old wallpaper. This bag became not just a hit with Chandni but with their friends and relatives who started asking for something similar. It was something new and fun, therefore, the interest was obvious.

From there, Vignesh and Chandni started to realise the potential and began Poucheo in 2019. The journey was not easy, especially considering what they were planning to do. Paper, as Vignesh pointed out, is “unstitchable, tearable, and not waterproof”. With these challenges in mind, they realised this would become an uphill battle. There was no craftsman with a machine so miraculous that would stitch paper and not tear apart. However, this was not going to stop these entrepreneurs either.

With the help of a friend, they sourced an old sewing machine and with enough experimental tinkering, they made their own machine that could stitch recycled paper without the material falling apart. Having defeated two challenges, the last problem was the whole waterproof aspect. This was solved by a special coating that ensured that even if you take the bag swimming with you, it will stay intact and not do the things paper does when it is submerged in water.

As they overcame every technological issue, the next was obviously growing their business. The initial business came from friends and family network. Slowly but steadily, from the inception in 2019 to now, Poucheo has sold more than 50,000 units. Currently, Poucheo is reaching out to companies who want to turn a new green leaf and are seeking for more environment-friendly options.

Devised from vibrant minds and impeccable foresight, Chandni Niranjan and Vignesh Iyer have started something that will be the new future of fashion. As more and more companies become more aware of their impact on the world and of dwindling resources, Poucheo arrives at the right time. Chandni and Vignesh are riding this wave of conscious retail with their innovative products made out of recycled paper!

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