Gigi Desai has always been concerned about food waste which is a major problem in developed countries like the United States. As a nation, food waste costs us $165 million per year and costs her close to $800 per year. Recently, she won the Fast Pitch Competition at the 2017 SEER Symposium for developing the smart bag, a reusable, machine washable, fabric bag that is lined with a naturally occurring mineral that absorbs decay enhancing gas ultimately slowing down decaying process. The smart bag, which costs $9.99, extends the life of produce by four times, and saves consumers over $1,400 per year. She has done extensive product and market research, created a proof of concept and a prototype and if everything goes smoothly she is hoping that the smart bag will come to market this summer. She plans to initially sell the smart bag online and when she has generated enough revenue she will explore retail options.
Gigi says that not only reducing food waste good for the environment and consumers, there is a social responsibility component in which she will donate 0.5% of her sales to help local farmers and the food bank. This combination really embodies the SEER model and Pepperdine’s commitment to developing values-centered leaders.
Gigi resides in Santa Clarita, CA with her husband and son. She has a BS degree in Biological Sciences from UC Santa Barbara and a Master’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine. Gigi earned her MBA from the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School in August 2016.