Wonder Grass (Low-cost housing) soaring temperatures and streams running dry in Nagpur do not deter Vaibhav and Nachiket Kaley from expecting their business to yield a rich harvest. The Kaley brothers are betting on a master plan, where bamboo becomes the cure for all ills in India’s housing sector.
Two years ago, Vaibhav, 33, an interior designer, along with his brother Nachiket, 28, an IT professional, decided to follow in the footsteps of their father, Vinoo Kaley, known as the ‘bamboo man’ and set up Wonder Grass, to provide low-cost housing options using bamboo as the main construction material. The walls of the houses are sometimes plastered with cow dung and mud to give a cemented look. The structures, the brothers claim, can withstand mild earthquakes and cyclones and are good options for coastal areas. “The time has come for bamboo. The market is opening up for sustainable living solutions,” says Vaibhav, director, Wonder Grass.
With a marketing office in Bangalore and assembly line operations in Nagpur and Belgaum, the firm is looking at scaling up operations and will soon have 100 artisans working for them. To retain manpower, the Kaleys set aside 20 per cent of equity in a trust that will share profits with the workforce.
A low cost of Rs 400-450 per sq. ft, as against Rs 650 per sq. ft for a low-cost brick-mortar dwelling can be a driving factor for the bamboo houses.
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