Mumbai-based Go Green is one of the few nurseries in the country to provide 8 to 12 feet developed plants, ready to be planted.
Go Green is an eight years old firm, founded and headed by Mr. Bharat Soni, along with a team of horticulturists, botanist and landscape designers. The farm is located in Panvel, Maharashtra. It is involved in the field of horticulture, landscaping and garden management, including conservation and preservation of natural habitats and converting barren lands to productive landmarks.
The nursery is spread over an acre, housing over 1500 varieties of plants. “Though the area is small, we are proud to have the largest collection of plants, especially medicinal plants, in the whole of Maharashtra. We also stock 8 – 12 feet developed plants, as well as indigenous plants.
Go Green is one of the few nurseries in the country to provide 8 to 12 feet developed plants, ready to be planted. Also termed as mother plants, grown up trees, specimen plants or established plants, this section caters to the instant needs of those who have been searching for the tall order to grace their landscapes,” says Mr. Soni.
He further says, “Unlike other nurseries, the idea is to go beyond plants. Hence, we are also responsible for developing ‘green concepts’,” adding, “Although we source plants from other growers, our forte, as mentioned before is in green concepts, which revolve around ideas that blend with nature.”
Mr. Soni explains Green Concepts as sectional areas created within the nursery. Through the assemblage of the right plants, we have categorized concepts into sections, such as balcony gardening, terrace gardening, kitchen garden, hanging garden, ayurveda arcade. We have the largest collection of medicinal plants in Maharashtra – more than 300 varieties. Moreover, unlike other nurseries, each plant is labeled with its botanical and local name, including family, types, requirement of water, sunlight, etc,” he maintains.
He elaborates, “We have developed the concept of having everything in gardening under one roof. We also actively promote the environment in our own little way by making sure that the inputs like the manure, etc is organic and no chemical fertilizers are used.” The company sells plants based on the seasons. “So, as of now the interesting collection at Go Green includes poinsettia, anthurium, orchids and euphorbia,” he adds. The nursery also has a special plant care section, which is dedicated for detecting plant diseases, and curing them.
Go Green is mainly into landscaping, apart from garden maintenance contract, farm management, land development, garden consultancy and tree transplantation. The firm offers doorstep service for landscaping and garden consultancy, garden maintenance contract, farm management and tree transplantation at Mumbai, Panvel, Karjat, Alibaug, Murud, Revas, Mandva, Mangaon, Mahad, Khandala, Lonavala, Panchgini, Pune, Vada and Manor. When asked what was the minimum area required for landscaping, Mr. Soni says, “The area could be anywhere starting from 500 sq. ft.”
[hidepost] According to Mr. Soni 30 per cent of the company’s business comes from retail while 70 per cent from services such as landscaping. “Our chares for services depends on the size of the land, job to be undertaken and the time span,” he adds. Some of the prominent clients of the firm are Birla, Bharat Heavy Electronics, ISPAT, RCF, Le Royal Meridian, JW Marriott, Film City, Sahar Airport, Reliance – Patalganga and few private farms informs Mr. Soni.
Activities in Nursery
Mr. Soni maintains, “The Go Green nursery is very popular in the surrounding schools and colleges, as we organize educational trips to our nursery quite regularly for these institutes. This is because of the systematic arrangement of the plants and the labeling. Our people help the visitors by guiding them through the nursery.” He adds, “We also regularly conduct seminars on gardening. In addition to the seminars, we also organize exhibitions and events at the nursery. The events include: Spring In Autumn, Back To 1500 BC, Bonswood, Nature’s Expressions, Ayrved se Ayushman. The recently concluded one is ‘Hanging Gardens of Babylon’. Soon to follow will be Bougainvillae Mela.”
The nursery also supplies bonsais and cactus. “We have a dedicated section for bonsais and cactus. In fact, BONSWOOD was an exhibition dedicated to bonsai and wood creations, only,” says Mr. Soni. When asked about his opinion about cactus not being recommended by Vastu, Mr. Soni is quick to reply, “Nothing in nature is bad. So, I feel the suggestion avoiding cactus, as per Vastu is a hoax,” adding, “Bonsais that we have are tamarind – 25 years old.; baobarb – 15 years old; pipal – 12 years old and many more.”
Speaking about the speciality of the nursery compared to other nurseries and landscaping companies in Mumbai, Mr. Soni says, “Go Green is a garden mall, where you get everything under one roof.” The firm has 23 permanent employees, besides the local project workers on site. The company has clocked a turnover of Rs.50 lakhs in the last financial year.”
He says, “With more awareness being created, there is a definite shift from concretization to developing more of green areas. There is a huge potential for nurseries in west India.”
Go Green is not into export as yet. When asked whether high cost of prime real estate work out profitable for the nursery business especially for the average nurserymen in west India, Mr. Soni says, “Being with nature naturally brings in money.” Mr. Soni suggests plants like stevia, jatropha, vanilla, ashwagandha, safed musli, amla, and aloevera to be grown for commercial agriculture/horticulture by farmers.”
Talking about the firm’s future plans Mr. Soni says, “There are 4 roads that lead out of Mumbai. We have already covered one – Bombay-Goa road. Our near future plan is to cover the other 3 routes – Bombay-Pune, Bombay-Nasik and Bombay-Ahmedabad.” He adds, “We also intend to market organic fruits and vegetables under the Go Green brand.”
Mr. Soni is from the field of advertising and marketing and owns an agency. “I have been very active in the print and electronic media. Go Green is an offshoot of a vision that came up in the nineties.
The vision was to promote greenery, and in a way also provide employment opportunities to the locals, in the vicinity of Panvel-Pen,” he avers.