My grandfather cultivated crops through organic farming. My father knew about it but he didn’t follow it. But now graduates are giving life to organic farmers.
B & B Organics is an agritech startup that came up with an idea of “Farm to Home”. It was founded by Mr.Balaji, a B.Tech Horticulture graduate from TNAU and Mr.Balathandayuthabani, PhD in Env. Science (Sweden) with the mentorship of Mr.Rajsekaran PhD in Organic Farming (Germany).
B & B Organics is an online store that began its journey in March 2016 supplying grocery, fruits, vegetables and traditional rice varieties in and around Trichy, Bangalore and Coimbatore. Initially the firm started its business in Trichy, which was a fast developing area and there was not much competition. This became an advantage for the founders to become a market leader in the city.
Mr.Balaji started his college life without any interest in this subject. Sometimes it lead to failure but his exposure during his visits and his contact with professors helped him to establish this online organic store in its prevailing trend. After that he learnt about the farming and marketing of organic produce.
The firm started with an initial investment of 30 lakh rupees.Within a short period it attained a better growth with a turnover of 95 lakh rupees per annum.
Mr.Balaji told that freshness and quality are the major factors for perishable produce which helps to run this business in a sustainable way, because people are already aware about organic produce. To ensure the quality of the produce, that it is “Organic” and “free from chemical residues”, every month samples are tested at Interstellar Testing Centre Pvt. Ltd., Haryana for quality assessment. They procure the produce only from genuine farmers who are doing organic farming. A periodical visit to these farms is done for verification.
He added that if someone had any doubt on produce, packaging and other queries related to the produce, they are very much welcome to their warehouse in Trichy and Coimbatore.
Competitors are not well established in this field but in future India is going to see a huge competition from corporates and from emigrated Indians (who are eager to do agriculture related business in India). A study by Indian Institute of E-Commerce states that by 2020 India is going to generate $200 billion on online retail.
Before the online players came to knock our door, our mother used to go to the market on weekends and purchase vegetables for a whole week. But now everything is just a click away. With this idea the company made a package of vegetables for a week depending on the family size and if a member is allergic to some veggies there is an option for replacement. You just need to book before any Wednesday for the weekend delivery. But some criteria has to be considered like size of the veggies (some people like only small sized potatoes) and the immediate need has to be considered and supplied.
Mr.Balaji said, “Initially we struggled to get the customers but now our quality speaks. Our journey has been triggered sometimes by Mr.Arul Murugan from Snack experts.” With happiness on his face, he confidently added that they are going to extend their markets throughout India by establishing some more centers within the next two years. With advertisement on social media like Facebook the number followers have reached 11000.
Their products are now also available on Sandhaikadai.com, Amazon.com and some super markets and soon it will be on Big Basket.
But, even though it is organic – it doesn’t fit the pockets of middle class people and the gap has to be filled to give toxin free foods for all.