Pet and food waste, a pandemic-proof online venture

Giving a 180º degree turn to your professional life and daring to undertake will never be easy; However, Marilú Pulido, at 48 years old, decided to fully embark on the adventure of environmentally sustainable entrepreneurship through biotechnology and convert fecal waste from animals into fertilizer for the garden.

In 2017, Marilú saw a great business opportunity, she did not know what to do with the poop of her 5 pets and had a limited and inadequate offer of solutions, so she got to work by approaching the Institute of Biotechnology of the Tecnológico de Monterrey to have scientific support and incubate your project.

Thus he discovered that, according to INEGI, in Mexico 57 out of 100 households have a pet, dogs represent approximately 85% of that total, with almost 19 million; while the remaining 15% is occupied by cats, with 3 million. Adding in the high percentage of stray animals, up to 986,000 tons of fecal waste can be generated each day, which can result in health problems due to airborne infectious particles.

In this way two brands were born; The first is FosaPet, which consists of containers to deposit pet feces and turn them into fertilizer for gardens, and catalysts that control odors, lower gas emissions, and prevent harmful fauna. The second is Urban Leaf, which processes fruit, vegetable, grass or napkin waste through home composters and catalysts.

The contingency paid online sales

With FosaPet and Urban Leaf, it began selling in physical stores, but the COVID-19 pandemic left it without customers. It was there that she discovered her great commercial ally in Mercado Libre, joining the official store of the State of Mexico to start her online business.

“I started with Mercado Libre at the end of September 2017, but at my age I am not very skilled with technology so I did not take much interest in it, however, at the beginning of March of this year, the government of the State of Mexico made an agreement with Mercado Libre to promote the micro-entrepreneur and I migrated to its official store. At that moment I began to position myself and, from February to June, I had a 575% growth in sales through this medium”, mentions Marilú.

Today, 80% of its sales are through Mercado Libre, they increased by 340% and went from earning 9,000 pesos on average at the beginning of the year, to a peak of 62,000 pesos in June. Currently, Marilú works with her husband and her daughter, but she has also been able to generate indirect employment.

Marilú attributes the success and growth of her product to various factors, the first being her presence on the Mercado Libre platform, where she assures that she has received strong traffic. She also values the shopping experience that she offers her buyers, such as 24-hour deliveries, secure payments, and months without interest through Mercado Pago; in addition to the easy and friendly platform that allows you to have optimal and direct communication with the user. And finally, she highlights the credits granted by the e-commerce that allowed her to supply her supplies when they ran out.

The flourishing future of Fosapet

For Marilú, the next steps are to enter their products in the Mercado Libre distribution centers to be able to speed up their deliveries even more and to be able to focus on raising awareness of the need to address environmental issues, solve them through sustainable technology and achieve investment for research.

Currently, it has representation throughout the Mexican Republic, 7 distributors, and 90% of sales in the electronic field. The next step for FosaPet is positioning in different markets. “We are knocking on doors in other countries like Chile, Colombia, Peru, and the United States, and I think the platform will help us a lot to move the product to these countries,” she concluded.

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By Lee Chun Hei