Miemaw: Making The Swachh Bharat Dream Come True

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India, with its population of 1.38 billion, generates humongous quantities of waste every day; this waste if left untreated, would create chaos in nature as depicted in the award winning movie—Wall-E. However, there's no need to be apprehensive of the future if one acts appropriately in the present. Helping us take the right step ahead is a Surat based startup, Miemaw. Miemaw is a tech based startup that helps municipal corporations in waste segregation through cost effective strategies.

Startup Name Miemaw
Headquarters Surat
Sector Waste Management (WM)
Co-Founders Sweta Kesur, Kokila Kesur
Founded 2016
Parent Organization Miemaw Technologies Private Limited
Website www.miemaw.com

Miemaw - Introduction
Miemaw - Industry Details
Miemaw - Founders
Miemaw - How It Started
Miemaw - Name, Tagline, And Logo
Miemaw - Business Model And Revenue Model
Miemaw - Startup Challenges
Miemaw - Funding And Investors
Miemaw - Advisers And Mentors
Miemaw - Awards
Miemaw - Future Plans

Miemaw - Introduction

Every year a huge amount of money is spent by municipal authorities for segregating waste. Solid waste segregation machines cost crores of rupees rupees and are still unable to achieve 100% efficiency. Uncouth businesses intend to burn this waste for electricity production using government subsidies. Environmentalists opine this isn't viable, given the Indian atmospheric conditions—they fear toxic emissions from the mass incineration. All in all, the waste segregation and management segment is in disarray and Miemaw wants to set it right.

The vision behind launching Miemaw was to protect the environment by helping municipal corporations collect segregated waste at negligible costs. The Miemaw mobile app can monitor the waste segregation process through a single QR code scan, thus saving municipal corporations vital cash.

Miemaw app is available for the general public as well as the municipal authorities.‌‌ In the Miemaw App for Residents (User Application), users can register themselves and generate a unique QR code that assists the Municipal Corporations to keep track of the user. The app keeps the user updated with the latest activities and initiatives from the authorities through SMS.‌‌

Miemaw App for municipalities (Admin Application) lets them keep a record of the users (who enroll through the 'User Application'). A server setup that is linked to the Admin Application allows authorities to monitor waste management at an area level. Using the Miemaw app, municipal corporations can impose hefty fines using the QR code.

In addition to the app, Miemaw also develops waste management software for municipalities to assist them in collecting segregated waste straight from the source with an impressive 90% success rate.

Miemaw's USPs are:

  • Tracking of waste segregation: Municipal corporations can track each area on a daily basis to identify whether residents of that area segregated their wastes. Residents in turn can monitor their penalty records.
  • Training: Miemaw delivers several awareness campaigns, door-to-door visits, and training courses to individuals on how to segregate waste and understand terminologies such dry and wet waste.
  • Friendly support: One or two members from the Miemaw service department constantly assist the individuals from municipal corporation in collecting waste.

Miemaw is currently operational in Eklera village near Surat, Gujrat(India); the startup has also begun its operations in the main city of Surat recently.

Miemaw moblie app images
Miemaw App

Miemaw - Industry Details

Waste segregation has gained prominence only a few years ago. It received a push through the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan initiative launched by the government of India. By 2025, India's waste management sector is expected to be worth US $13.62 billion with an annual growth rate of 7.17 percent. ‌‌The team at Miemaw wants to be a part of this growth story with the help of Miemaw app. With the app, municipal authorities are guaranteed to work efficiently, securely and effortlessly.

By the end of 2024, we see our Miemaw industry providing services to all the cities and villages of west of India.

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Miemaw - Founders

The mother-daughter duo of Sweta Kesur and Kokila Kesur founded Miemaw tech startup in 2016. They have been working coherently to generate results in the domain of waste segregation.

Sweta Kesur is the founder and CEO of Miemaw. She is an IT graduate from the Institute of Technology, Nirma University in June 2016. Some of her personal achievements are: recognition for creating a brain tumor detection software which is used by Dr. Tanvi from the Civil Hospital of Surat; she presented a research paper in an international conference held in Las Vegas from Dec 17-18, 2014, and won a certificate of honor. Sweta has been felicitated with the Social Entrepreneur of the year 2019 award.‌‌

Kokila Kesur is the co-founder and COO of Miemaw. She is a retired school principal and has an extraordinary 35 years of experience in social entrepreneurship. She is the main inspiration behind this venture. Kokila has played an important role in the promotion of women empowerment and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in the rural areas.

Miemaw currently has a skeleton crew of 9 people and the company is in search of a new set of passionate android developers.

The core belief of our team is the commitment to make the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan successful. We want to deliver the message to India that, how by taking small steps like segregating waste into dry and wet from our house we can create a huge impact in contribution towards the Clean India mission and development of our country

How Miemaw was Started

Miemaw was a response in 2016 to the failed attempts at collection of segregated waste (dry and wet waste) from the source of waste generation—households and commercial places. Sweta conceived the idea of Miemaw during her two months stay in the USA for a summer internship. Motivated by the highly organized waste management system in the USA, she wanted to start a similar system back home in India.

The seed to all this began in June 2015 when I and my Mom went to the USA for completing my undergraduate summer internship in New York. We stayed in Queens, New York as any other US resident, which made us learn the lifestyle of US residents. Since childhood, my Mom trained me to keep the surroundings very clean. So when we were living in the US, they had certain rules for Waste Management, like the garbage collector would collect segregated waste every 2 days. Meaning we have to throw wet waste into one large size black garbage polythene and dry waste into others. We were inspired by this and decided to follow this practice in India also. This made me think that, if we can follow this practice of segregating waste in the US then why can’t we do this in India - Sweta narrates

After returning to India Sweta got busy with her college schedule but did not discard the this idea. After graduation, Sweta and Kokila Kesur started working on the ideation, designing and prototyping phases. They knew that executing their idea was not possible without external support. So, Sweta started writing applications detailing her plans to the PMO. It took 23 online applications and 56 speed post applications until she received her first response on the 19th July, 2017.

I have started my application in May 2017 and I regularly sent one application online through “Interact with PM” portal and continued till July 2017. Apart from the online application, I sent application (consisting of a letter, project portfolio and short bio of myself in a cover made by me) through India speed post regularly on alternate days of the week. I carried out this speed post-task from May 2017 till Aug 2017

Though she received assurances of her concerns identified and prompt actions being taken, there were no results in reality. This compelled Sweta to take action on her own.

Sweta and Kokila Kesur started their work from Eklera, a village near Surat. The endgame was to make this village clean by educating the residents on how to segregate waste into dry and wet categories. For this target, they carried out several door-to-door visits, wall painting on Eklera gram panchayat office to their idea, movie-screenings, and several awareness campaigns for the same. The incorporation of their waste management software brought tremendous changes; the duo got a great response from the village council, and neighboring villages were inspired from the work done Eklera. Since then, Sweta and Kokila have received several awards from the Government of Gujarat,‌‌Surat Municipal corporation, and the village council. Seeing the results, they have received the go-ahead to implement their venture in the city of Surat. By end of 2019, they aim to provide their services in Surat and its surrounding areas.‌‌

I am really happy to announce that my project got successfully implemented on Eklera Village near Surat and all villagers are more than happy after the implementation of my project.

Their project was recognized and appreciated by the Prime Minister Office of India recently.

Miemaw derives its name from the phrase 'me and mommy'. Sweta adds, "Meemaw is another way of addressing a grandmother".

Miemaw's product revolves around QR code scan and the company has a matching tagline: 'Mie (me) & Mawmie’s (Mommy) Quick Response Code for Waste Segregation'.

Miemaw Logo
Miemaw logo
One of the core values of our company is women empowerment. We all know that the manager of any house is either Grandma, Mother or Daughter. Women are the majority one, when comes to handling waste management of the house. The success behind proper waste segregation from the household is in the quick response of mom’s from every house.
Miemaw Dashborad and Miemaw Mobile App Images
Miemaw Desktop and Mobile Interface

Miemaw - Business Model And Revenue Model

Miemaw charges a one-year subscription plan from the authorities such as the village village council for using its products and services. It also derives margins through commission from municipalities with respect to the penalty amount charged on individuals for not segregating waste.

Our strategy is to compel people for waste segregation and the percentage of success that we receive in completing our task is the growth of our business.

Miemaw - Startup Challenges

Asking people to do something for the environment through waste segregation is easier said than done. There's no dearth of volatile personalities falling on a broad behavior spectrum. Not everyone is eager to spare some time for such initiatives. Naturally, it was a tough task for Miemaw to have people on-board its initiative.

Though everyone was actively participating in our campaigns, at the implementation level there barely any change. It took us around 2.5 years to make people adapt this technique. We overcame this challenge by consistent effort in spreading awareness related to health and hygiene issues arising out of not segregated waste. ‌‌

Initially, the startup relied on an incentive based approach to bring a shift in behavior of the public. The incentive emphasized on providing points to people conforming to waste segregation guidelines which could be redeemed at the local grocery stores. However, the strategy wasn't that successful. Thereon, Miemaw adopted a penalty-based approach which finally worked.

The venture also struggled in securing its initial funding as the process involved getting permissions from different authorities. But when the village council saw the outcome of Miemaw's work it immediately approved Miemaw's project and provided the necessary funds in 2018. After this, Miemaw received approval from other municipal corporations and gained the required funds.

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Miemaw - Funding And Investors

Miemaw collected an undisclosed amount of seed funding in September 2018.

Date Stage Amount Investor
September 2018 Seed Undisclosed Head of the Village Council

Miemaw - Advisers And Mentors

Miemaw has been recently selected for the prestigious Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Growth Fellowship that will take place in the New York City in Fall 2019. Prior to receiving this prestigious fellowship opportunity, the Miemaw team went through ten‌‌ weeks of training meant for the business growth plans of small scale setups. This Goldman Sachs sponsored program comprises customized training, coaching, and advice. The program invitees will be a part of several sessions with industry leaders and experts.‌‌‌‌

Some of the instructors of this fellowship are:

  1. Edward David: He is a doctoral candidate at the University of Oxford, where he works on the curriculum development for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses fellowship. Since joining Oxford Saïd in 2013, Edward has helped design and manage a range of corporate-sponsored programmes for entrepreneurs and MBA students. These include the Power Shift Forum, Inspiring Women in Leadership and Learning, and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Fellowship. Edward has also worked for state education reform in Washington DC and continues to serve students as a tutor at Trinity College, Oxford. Edward holds qualifications from New York University and the University of Oxford.
  2. Anne Donnellon is Professor Emerita of Management at the Babson College in Wellesley (Massachusetts) where she has served as the Faculty Director for Babson's Fast Track MBA for executives. Currently, Dr. Donnellon is a member of the National Curriculum Design and Site Launch Team for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, serving as Launch Faculty for the Houston, Cleveland, Miami, and Baltimore sites. She teaches leadership, negotiation, and organizational change in the MBA and executive education programs there. She is the author of ‘Team Talk: The Power of Language in Team Dynamics’, published by Harvard Business School Press, and has also developed two books in the Harvard Manage Mentor series: ‘Keeping Teams on Target’ and ‘Leading Teams’. She has published numerous journal articles, book chapters, and teaching cases. Dr. Donnellon has taught in numerous executive education programs in and out of the United States and has been a consultant to reputed organizations. Lately, she has been working with several small entrepreneurial firms and led management development seminars for entrepreneurs through the Small Business Association of New England, the Center for Women and Enterprise, ICIC, the International Fund for Ireland, and Invest Northern Ireland.

Miemaw - Awards

  1. Young Entrepreneur of the year award 2019
  2. Sweta and Kokila, the founders of Miemaw company, have selected to attend prestigious 10,000 Women Growth Fellowship program sponsored by Goldman Sachs. Fellowship will take place in New York City in Fall 2019.
  3. Miemaw received the City Award from Nirav Shah, the Deputy Mayor of Surat, for coming up with an innovative idea for the Swachh Bharat Mission on 8th July 2019.
  4. On 1st June 2019, Miemaw was awarded by Rasmika Ben Patel the Chairperson of Surat Municipal Corporation. She has decided to support the venture as well.
  5. In April 2019, Sweta received the Social Entrepreneur Award from the Head of the village council (Local Govt. of India) for providing Miemaw's services in 2018 to Eklera village.
  6. In July 2017, the concept of Miemaw was appreciated and accepted by the Prime Minister Office(PMO) of India.
  7. Sweta has visited Goldman Sachs NY for business growth planning on sponsored trip by Goldman Sachs

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Miemaw - Future Plans

Miemaw's notable clients include several village councils and municipal corporations. It is currently working to make its services available to every place in and around Surat and help corporations achieve the goal of Clean City and Smart City by the end of 2019. By the end of 2020, Miemaw plans to have two more cities of Gujarat (Ahmedabad and Vadodara) covered.‌‌ In the coming years, Miemaw team wants to establish presence in all the cities of western India. Miemaw is also aiming to introduce the facility of points redemption system that would allow people use points gained from waste segregation efforts in stores like D-Mart and Big Bazaar.

We at Miemaw are on a mission is to protect our environment from landfills or burning the garbage and help municipal corporations collect segregated waste from source at no cost compared to segregating waste through machine. We envision to become the most effective technology solution for collecting dry and wet waste from households and commercial units in the west of India.
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About Chayanika Goswami

Chayanika is an MBA in Finance and a trained Digital Marketer. SEO and content writing are her hobbies turned profession. She is a rover. In her free time, she loves traveling and cracking jokes.
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