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ankit agarwal, Phool, Social Entrepreneur, ankit agarwal Biography,
Social Entrepreneur

Ankit Agarwal: Revolutionizing Waste Management with Phool

Ankit Agarwal is the visionary founder of Phool, a social enterprise that has pioneered ‘flowercycling’ technologies to mitigate pollution in the River Ganges by up-cycling the vast quantities of flower temple-waste in India. Every year, over eight million metric tons of pesticide-laden temple flowers are discarded into the Ganges, leading to severe environmental and health issues such as diarrhea, hepatitis, and cholera. At Phool, more than 8.4 tons of temple waste are collected daily in Uttar Pradesh and transformed into charcoal-free incense and Fleather, an animal-free leather alternative recognized as PETA’s Best Innovation in the Vegan World 2020.

Ankit Agarwal

Phool’s operations provide disease-free employment to women who were previously manual scavengers, enabling them to transition from hazardous work in clogged sewers to dignified jobs sorting flower waste and hand-rolling incense sticks. This initiative not only provides sustainable employment opportunities but also revolutionizes India’s approach to managing temple waste. Phool has been lauded for its impact, receiving awards from Fast Company, Forbes, Fortune, and the Stanford Social Review.

Phool.co: Innovating with Temple Waste

Phool.co, co-founded by Ankit Agarwal and Prateek Kumar in 2017, focuses on collecting temple flower waste from rivers in Kanpur and converting it into valuable products such as rose incense cones and Phool vermicompost. Operating under Kanpur Flowercycling Pvt. Ltd, Phool has recycled over 11,060 metric tons of temple waste to date. The company has recently branched into two entities: HelpUsGreen and Phool.

Recognitions and Awards

Ankit Agarwal’s innovative approach and leadership have earned him numerous accolades. He was named a Queen’s Young Leader in 2017 and is an Echoing Green and Acumen Fellow. He is one of the 21 young leaders recognized by the Asia Society for extraordinary skills and has received the prestigious United Nations Young Leader for Sustainable Development Goals Award, the Takeda Young Global Entrepreneur Award, the Unilever Young Entrepreneur Awards, and The GSG Millennial Honor.

Personal Life

Ankit Agarwal was born in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India, where he continues to reside. He completed his schooling at Woodbine Gardenia School, Seth Anandram Jaipuria School, and Dr. Virendra Swarup Education Center in Kanpur. Agarwal pursued higher education at the SC TR’s Pune Institute of Computer Technology, earning a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering (2007-2011), and later obtained a Post Graduate degree in Innovation and Corporate Entrepreneurship from Symbiosis International (Deemed University), Pune (2012-2013).

Through his pioneering work with Phool, Ankit Agarwal is driving systemic change and offering sustainable solutions to long-standing environmental and social issues in India.


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