- When a worthy mission is smartly executed, people wake up
- When people wake up, social change follows
- When social change follows, society progresses
- When societies progress, the people thrive
- When people thrive, the planet flourishes
Preeta Sinha, a woman entrepreneur, and immigrant from India is the founder of One Green Planet, an extensive conscious lifestyle brand. Through paving the way with her website, she also created the Food Monster App (featured in Fast Company), the largest plant-based recipe app in the market today, and One Green Planet Greatest, a brand new cookbook filled with 75 plant-based recipes. Her day-to-day involves everything from handling editorial vision to spearheading partnerships and overall operations for the company. She has previously worked for NBC Universal and Hearst Corporation. She did her Bachelor’s in Communications & Photography (Urban Wildlife) from Mumbai, India. Preeta Sinha is passionate about conscious and compassionate living, public health, and empowering women, minorities, and underrepresented communities.
Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory and how you grew up?
I was raised in a big vibrant community of family, friends, cousins, aunties, and uncles in the “Maximum City” of Mumbai or “Bombay,” as I grew up calling it–seeing socio-economic disparities and class segregation, slums, and homelessness alongside millionaire mansions. I experienced explosive urbanization leading to the rise of the middle class and witnessed my city and country undergoing a complex cultural transition. Yet, there was a dynamism to the city. I admired its secular roots, and was in awe of its essence and hustle; in love with the colorful bazaars and spice markets, stray dogs, street fares, religious festivals, and the various ethnicities, cuisines, and languages. Additionally, I would be remiss if I didn’t give credit to the role arts, cinema, and the liberal culture of Bombay played in shaping my personality and ambition.
My family also played a significant role in setting the stage for my future pursuits. My grandfather came to America to pursue his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. My father followed suit, completed his Master and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M, and worked here for numerous years. After he got married and I was born in Queens, NY, my parents (Dr. Lakhan Sinha and Geeta Sinha) decided to move back to India. So, while I was born in the U.S. and am an American citizen, I spent my childhood and adolescence in India and moved back to NYC after finishing my undergraduate degree in communications and photography.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
I had the great privilege of interacting with Senator Kamala Harris and her team during her presidential campaign. Later that led to working alongside the 2020 Biden-Harris campaign team during the pandemic to bring attention to marginalized and minority communities and businesses through our platform, One Green Planet. It was a proud moment for me on a personal and professional level.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I am a female founder of color running an independent media company in a country far away from my family so my entrepreneurial journey is laced with unique struggles not many can relate to. In addition, I’ve experienced systemic barriers and discrimination that come with being a marginalized group in the United States. Therefore, I’m truly grateful to several people who showed genuine care for my wellbeing and offered tangible support along this way–team members who believed in my vision, colleagues who helped shape our mission, and partners that were generous with their time and resources. Even the people who troubled me have taught me a great deal about perseverance, patience, and resilience and helped me evolve into a better leader and human being.
Millions of readers flock to One Green Planet because they care about how their actions impact people, animals, and the planet. I am particularly grateful to them for giving me the opportunity to serve in this way.
This principle helped me build One Green Planet. One day at a time. Every day. We’ve never had investors and have grown organically from day one.
When everything came to a screeching halt due to the pandemic, we were forced to immediately scale back and adapt to a new normal like many other businesses. So we started again, used what we had, did what we could, and still made some pretty hefty strides. We pivoted our content to focus entirely on covering the most critical and current issues facing the nation like Black Lives Matter, Coronavirus/Public Health and reported on the nightmarish end of the Trump Presidency and the hopeful entry of the Biden-Harris Administration. It was a way to use our platform and voice to be on the right side of history.
We also immediately realized that health was at the forefront of everyone’s mind and that having a robust immune system is our best defense to fight the virus. We re-coded the Food Monster app and made it free so people would not have to pay a price to be healthy (at a time when everyone was struggling financially) because access to good, healthy food should be a basic human right.
Like most other small businesses our revenues were significantly impacted as well so yet again, we used this principle and worked towards creating a new revenue stream by turning our extensive recipe resources into physical cookbooks.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success?
Can you please share a story or example for each? My passion gives me purpose and this purpose has given me superpowers I never knew I had; it’s what fuels my grit, hustle, determination, learning, and growth and helps maintain One Green Planet’s relevance in a crowded space despite the rise of major players and big money.
In terms of particular characteristics I possess, I am indefatigably optimistic, happy and hopeful as a human being. I am not scared of hard work; I’m a critical thinker and a creative problem solver, and a very execution-oriented and product-focused leader. From coding the very first One Green Planet website to wireframing our vegan recipe app, Food Monster, I’ve done it all. I still read/learn from all the content that goes up on the site daily (and we publish a lot!). Most recently, I created a scalable system to take our first cookbook to market and plotted the next 12 we have lined up for 2021 and 2022. I thrive on being hands-on and working with my team! There’s no role or task I’m too good to do.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about the tech tools that you are helping to create that can make a positive impact on our wellness. To begin, which particular problems are you aiming to solve?
We had long been taught that to live an environmentally conscious lifestyle, all we needed to do was recycle, reduce, reuse, go paperless / plastic-free, and clean our oceans/beaches. However, something that was missing from this critical list was examining what we put on our plates. As we all know by now, the industrial livestock system is at the center of climate change, human rights violations, deforestation, and a future global food crisis. Therefore limiting our dairy and meat consumption can have a lasting impact on the planet for generations to come. This is the problem One Green Planet is committed to solving and the reason behind building the Food Monster app.
“Life Lesson Quote”?
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. Don’t wait for nobody!