Kiwibank business customer Ecobags provides an alternative to single-use plastic bags and packaging. The business was created in 2005 – 14 years before New Zealand’s ban on plastic bags was introduced.
The husband-and-wife team who founded the business, Jas and Simren Kohli, are on a mission to provide sustainable products, including bags, bin liners, mailers and kitchen essentials, that enable Kiwi to transition away from single-use plastics.
Having created the company years before competitors joined the market, Ecobags still dominates with a 55% market share of the compostable rubbish bag category in New Zealand.
“The biggest challenge to our business since we started has been Covid because of supply chain disruptions. But that taught us how to forecast and change the parameters to manage other unforeseeable issues – like today’s rise in interest rates and inflation,” Director and Co-founder Jas Kohli said.
The couple put their learnings into practise during the current economic volatility and Jas says even in the 2008 recession, their company came out through the other side better off.
“We had recessionary challenges in 2007 and 2008 and we came out stronger because a lot of our competitors didn’t make it. We also have a very varied customer base, so not all our customers are impacted at the same rate,” he said.
Jas offered his top tips on how to survive and thrive during challenging times.