Startup Name: EarthFood.
Start Year: 2016
Founders: Nilesh Palresha, Siddharth Khinvasara.
Please brief about you and your co-founders?
I am Mr. Nilesh Palresha, Founder of EarthFood.and Executive Director of VTP Group, a business conglomerate, operating for three decades and I am renowned in the construction industry. I completed my graduation from Vishwakarma Institute of Technology (VIT) Pone, and also have an MBA degree in Family Managed Business (FMB) from S P Jain Mumbai.
I often researched the agriculture industry in India and found it is very interesting in its nuances. I found this industry had great opportunities as it is the backbone of our country, but it lacked dynamism and professionalism. For me, agriculture is not just about growing fruits and vegetables, but going beyond and using the latest technology to transform the age-old practices, which would not only be beneficial to my family but also embolden farmers to move to a better world.
Mr. Siddharth Khinvasara, Co-Founder EarthFood
Mr. Siddharth Khinvasara, Chairman of Rairah Corporation, a business house having interests in real estate, food and investment sector, has joined the EarthFood family as a Co-Founder. His primary roles include expanding to newer markets, driving strategic initiatives and adopting new technologies for farming.
A commerce graduate and a degree in Family Business Management, Siddharth comes with a decade-long experience in the construction industry.
A third-generation entrepreneur, Siddharth feels India’s burgeoning start-up ecosystem is at an amazing phase currently with many youngsters moving towards farming and doing their bit in making this an organized sector. He is confident that Earth Food will deliver what it has set out to and foster relationships with customers and farmers based on trust and quality.
As both are related to different backgrounds? Which ideology binds you together?
Our passion for agriculture and the idea to provide pure, fresh, nutrition rich and healthy food that is completely devoid of chemical/organic residue are the two most important points that bind us together.
Why you chosen Agritech industry, even though there are numerous profitable businesses in the country?
I have always been a keen observer and often noted the humongous increase in the number of fertilizers and pesticides being used on the agriculture produce, which in turn would be consumed by the masses leading to some serious health disasters.
We realized that there needs to be an alternate solution to this problem, which ultimately gave birth to Earth Food.
Majority of Indian population livelihood depends on Agriculture, but many are not opting to do agriculture? Why?
I personally feel that the scenario has been changing since the past few years and there are a lot of young entrepreneurs who have realized the need and the robust demand in the field of agriculture and are also committed to contributing to this segment by using latest technologies that would transform the age-old practices.
The reasons motivated you to become an entrepreneur?
The reason that motivated me to become an entrepreneur is my passion for agriculture and that fact that agriculture today is not only limited to growing fruits and vegetables but going beyond and using the latest technology to transform the traditional practices, which would embolden farmers to move to a better world.
About startup? What is your motto and vision of your startup?
EarthFood is a Pune based agri-tech startup. EarthFood a product of VTP RAIRAH Foods Pvt Ltd has taken the concept of Farm to fork and made it into reality. We are a startup that is changing the concept of farming and taking the world into a residue-free environment.
EarthFood is amongst the only companies in the country which produces their own vegetables that are completely residue free. The company has 370 acres of land near Pune where this farming is done. Farmed in a natural way, EarthFood offers produce reaching the end-user in the most hygienic, healthy way possible.
EarthFood offers a wide range of fruits and vegetables that are grown in the purest form without using harmful chemical fertilizers or pesticides and they are sold to the customers without adding preservatives and synthetic food enhancers. The produce is residue free.Earth food has multiple benefits, but the four most important benefits are.
Minimally touched by human hands – The long lag between the harvest and the buying time, transportation in unhygienic condition, multiple human touches are the problems that VTP RAIRAH Foods is trying to address with their brand – EarthFood. The Reason being, the nutritional value of the product decreases with every passing day, and multiple human touches.
Transported in a hygienic manner – EarthFood fruits and vegetables are harvested, inspected and get packed on the same day. From there on it goes to retail outlets AC vans with minimum travel time.
EarthFood has been using the latest technology for farming, where there is less of manpower and more of technology
What problems you are solving with your startup?
One of the major problems faced by the consumers today is the lack of availability of healthy agricultural produce. Most of the products sold today are full of chemicals/preservatives used to prolong the shelf life of fruits and vegetables but in the process, they pose health hazards to people consuming them. Good health is life’s greatest blessing and fresh produce go a long way in maintaining a balanced healthy life.
We at EarthFood are committed to offering a one-stop solution to this particular problem by providing the customers with fresh produce that is rich in nutrients and antioxidants and is much more flavourful as compared to the ones with residue/chemicals. They contain natural sugar which is not detrimental to your health and wellbeing. Apart from being nutritious and tasty, farm fresh produce are ready to eat the minute you receive them. When you buy these vegetables, you’re receiving the yield at its highest form.
Why your startup? What sectors you are covering in your startup?
We are currently focused on delivering residue free fruits and vegetables and with the funding received from Rairah Corporation along With the expertise from Mr. Siddharth Khinvasara, Co-founder EarthFood and chairman of Rairah Corporation we have recently started our dairy operations.
Have you come across any situation which made you think about quitting from startup?
No. Not as of now. But I completely believe that being an entrepreneur is a new journey altogether and involves a lot of ups and downs. An entrepreneur in his journey is bound to commit mistakes that count as the most valuable lessons and help them grow and succeed.
As there are many e-commerce sites which are doing the same thing. What’s your startup specialty?
We are the only startup that is providing residue free fruits and vegetables. Also, we are the only company in Pune to own 100-acre farmland with a complete supply chain. TheStrategy is regular supply, reasonable pricing and to use good agronomic practices for the quality product that would be beneficial to the end consumers.
What about funding? How did you raise funding for your venture?
We have raised INR 6.4 Cr from our first round of funding from Pune based Rairah Corporation a business house having interests in real estate, food, and the investment sector.
What are the services provided by your startup? Is it solving a real-time problem in society?
There has been a significant rise in the number of chemical fertilizers and pesticides on the agriculture products that has taken a toll on the health of the masses. In order to counter this problem, EarthFood is committed to serving fresh farm produce that is completely free of residue/chemicals.
Do you feel your venture is successful? If yes? Explain about it?
Yes, we are successful. We have been able to create awareness about residue free vegetables resulting in apt consumption by the masses. The demand graph for both Indian and Exotic vegetables has indicated a rise and as a result, we have increased the range of our produce
What your stack on the competition? Who are your competitors? How you are overcoming them?
We produce our own vegetables which are completely residue free setting us apart from other companies. Our prime focus is to deliver healthy & non-toxic products to masses, and we are fully concentrating to achieve this.
Is the team necessary for a successful company/startup?
I am a firm believer of the saying “coming together is beginning, keeping together is progress and working together is a success” I personally feel that having a team is one of the most important assets for a particular venture. Exceptional entrepreneurs are the ones who make people believe in themselves through appreciation, motivation and providing support systems.
What piece of advice would you give to college graduates who want to become entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurship is the new craze and many youngsters, as well as experienced professionals, are now exploring ways to have their own start-ups. Being an entrepreneur is a new journey altogether and involves a lot of ups and downs. In order to become an entrepreneur following are some of the essential traits that you need to have
- Leadership and being a team player
- Open for a feedback
- Ability to think in a different way
- Have a research-oriented approach