There comes a time in everyone’s lives when the world’s suffering becomes too much for a person to merely ignore. That is the time when Superheroes start showing up and making a difference. With Indian Superheroes, Vishnu Vardhan (Founder and CEO) has made the first step – and is hoping to create an upheaval with their unique product offering – Plantcil. 

Here’s an exclusive interview, for World Merit, with the man, all of 27 years, who has taken it upon himself, to tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Vishnu, welcome. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a social entrepreneur by passion. I love implementing technology to solve the pressing problems of today, and I firmly believe that an idea can spark a revolution. I run a social enterprise called Indian Superheroes that enables organic farmers to sell their produce directly to consumers and businesses. I also enable city dwellers to learn organic farming, direct from the farmers themselves! I love dogs and kids equally. I love traveling, backpacking and exploring.

3 words that describe you:
Passionate, Tenacious, Humble

We all have a number of passions – beyond making the world better by tackling the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), tell us about your day to day passion:
My passion everyday is to explore new places, cultures, and people. I love taking long drives and eating tribal food. I love writing poems.

As part of Merit360, you will meet and work with global changemakers from EVERY corner of the world. What excites you about working with people from other cultures?
The incredible learning. The exchange of ideas. The joy and happiness associated with meeting new people.

Vishnu Vardhan | Plantcil | Ecofriendly Pencils, Office Supplies and Gifting Options | Farmcil | Sprout | Go Green | Beej | Grow Me | Seed Pencils

What 3 skills would you like to develop during Merit 360?
Interpersonal skills, Oratorial skills, and Zero Waste management skill.

Please outline your thoughts on the SDG you have chosen.
I run a social enterprise called Indian Superheroes – a green startup creating Superheroes out of Indian organic farmers. Starting with just 2 organic farmers, we have now enabled over 840 organic farmers to sell their produce and value added products to customers and businesses directly without middlemen intervention. This has enabled a 84% increase in farmer profits on average. Online store:

At the end of the two weeks in the USA you will have contributed to a project plan that will be presented in the United Nations. These plans are to be implemented in communities around the world. 
Mohammad Yunus for sure is one. My vision has always been to create an ever-lasting impact and change the lives of organic farmers in India forever – to create a second revolution after the Amul revolution in India. What Yunus has done for Bangladesh, I would love to do it for India – working with farmers and microentrepreneurs to create an ecosystem of financial health and freedom of choices.

We have lined up some amazing speakers and experts in the 17 SDG areas. Who would be your dream speaker in the field of your chosen SDG and why?
Farmers in India have always been at the bitter end of the lifecycle where they get substandard returns for their produce – 65-75% of the MRP of an agricultural produce is taken up by the middlemen – agents, commission mandis, wholesalers, distributors, retailers. Connecting farmers to consumers directly is the need of the hour in India. Farmer suicides have been on the rise for a long time, and they have been caught in a vicious cycle of moneylenders for time immemorial, with no escape route. When farmers make value-added products from their agricultural produce, they are in a position to get decent work through all 365 days, and good economic growth – value additions to agriculture produce improves a farmer’s income by over 84% on average.

Why have you decided to apply for Merit360?
I wanted to make a difference, to create a silent, organic revolution in my country. Being part of WorldMerit360 will enable me to meet and brainstorm with innovators and changemakers from across the world, and share information about ideas that are working elsewhere, that can be tweaked and implemented for my home country. In short, being with the best brains and social entrepreneurs from across the world will make me better at leading this revolution back home.

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