Alex, May and Nitya met at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and became fast friends. After four years, they decided they wanted to do something fun and exciting to mark their time together, and when they heard about the Shell Ideas360 competition, they knew they had to enter. “We thought what better way to do it than to join a competition. And we really didn't expect ourselves to go so far.”
As it happens, they went on to win it. Their idea was simple, but ground-breaking: an app that aims to reduce the 1.3 billion tonnes of food wasted each year. Called Food Basket, the app allows people to track expiry dates on their groceries and suggests recipes for the items close to their expiry date.
We wanted to focus on what we could do to save food,” Alex explained. “As much as a third of the food that is produced globally goes to waste every year. Throwing out the equivalent of just six meals a week could cost the average household $1,500 a year. We worked out that if we could save a quarter of this from going to waste, we could potentially feed all 870 million people who are hungry in the world today.”
Although they all agree the best moment was hearing their names announced as winners of Shell Ideas360, the entire process provided plenty of memorable experiences. May recalls travelling to Amsterdam as particularly exciting, her first time in Europe, and they all enjoyed meeting the other teams and sharing ideas. They also have a lot of respect and appreciation for Adam Healy, a Fuels Scientist based in London, as well as Gerald Foo, General Manager – Asia Pacific of Shell Global Solutions, who were their mentors during the competition. “Their advice and thoughts on our idea were invaluable and instrumental in our success,” Nitya said.