Start of this Organisation:
The moto behind this organisation is to get the authentic Indian recipes which are being practiced by Village Women into the market.
All I started was with two products: Moringa Nutrition Bar and Nutri 7. We started in Pabal itself along with one lady. So, I came across these two recipes while I was in Ashram itself. Earlier, the deal was simple – I was supposed to get them manufacture and my mother was supposed to sell. Both these products were loved by our small group of customers. But the product used to vary every time they gave a new order. Though quantities of each ingredient were fixed the quality of those differed a lot and hence all the problems.
Meanwhile, I studied about the products and their ingredients and was surprised to found how these ingredients which these village women eat on regular basis are considered one of the amazing super foods. Like, Moringa the drumstick leaves – here some of the women make curry out these leaves and flax seeds are consumed more often as a chutney with the flat breads. While in the cities, people would be shocked to know about the curry!
And Hence, began the need for reviving our own age old recipes, standardizing them and market them lastly!
Standardization and Costing:
Standardizing the product taste and the texture was the difficult task. We neither had temperature controls nor the color spectroscopy. So, everything was to be assessed using the five senses.
- Eyes: Checks if you got the correct color.
- Nose: Check if the aroma is similar to the earlier ones.
- Mouth: Just taste one piece of every batch.
- Ears: Hear the crackling sound to ensure roasting is done perfectly.
- Touch: Check if the texture is as per the requirement.
Standardisation was one of the biggest issue to overcome. Changes in raw material quality, quantity, difference in roasting temperatures and methods, difference in making process altered the product. Hence, there came prescribed rules for processing of each ingredient before it is finally used. The type of peanuts, bajri, sesame, magaj were fixed. As of now this factory isn’t fully automated and hence all these rules have to be carefully followed by the women.
There were many trials and errors before the recipe and way of doing was fixed. To eliminate the sugar which we used in our bars we had to get the jaggery processed differently. Also as these products are preservative free. So the technique of preserving them naturally was also studied and developed. So we got processes defined for each of our raw material. How to clean them, the impurities present, extent of roasting etc.. Once the processes were defined the task got simpler.
Costing was also the difficult task. We needed these products to be budget friendly as health should be luxurious but it is the right of every human being. Though our competitors had a price which is four times greater than us we limited ourselves to a lower price. Considerations for cost was also challenge. Getting figure out the labour cost behind every box, travelling, marketing fee, distributors and retailers margin, packaging cost and many things. But getting on a price which is perfect for your product is a difficult task.
Marketing and Packaging
Packaging was a bit challenging but fun. Firstly, we thought of getting cardboard boxes instead of the plastic ones. All hard work in Vain as preserving them gets difficult and also one has to make sure that these boxes are kept nicely and shouldnot at all get wet. As the products degrade with exposure to moisture and air. Eventually, we shifted to plastic air tight boxes and the labeling. Vrushali Athavle is the person behind our intrinsic sticker designs which include different patterns, the patterns which are predominant in rural India’s architecture or fabric.
The study of information required on the sticker is very essential job and had to change the design ample number of times!
- The sticker should not cover more than 70% of the product.
- The sticker should have the product name, brand name, complete address (A detailed address is required of the manufacturing unit), FSSAI lic No., Nutrition Facts, Ingredients, Veg or Non-veg mark sign.
- Manufacturing Date, expiry date, Batch no., Maximum retail price, and the customer care details like the phone number and mail -ID.
- Also all these information should be fitted in one single sticker!
We had to go through a lot of changes everytime to include all these specified details in the specified format.
Marketing always and always plays a important role. The equation was pretty simple, if I can sell approx. 32 Kgs of Moringa Bar and Nutri 7 in an audience of 100-110 then I can sell 32,000 Kgs of Moringa Bar and Nutri 7 in an audience of 1 Lakh people which is 1/32 th of whole Pune population. So this became the goal of next three months to capture atleast 1/32 th of the Pune population.
As any one else would do, I went to the shops where I can keep the product for sale but to my surprise a high margin was being asked which made my product to be more costlier. The amount of money in which I can make it was lesser than the margin I had to bear to the shopkeepers inorder to keep my products. There have been many meetings and discussions with many shop owners and then found one who were ready to keep the products at a lesser margin. My motto was simple just because my product is labelled to be healthy it cannot be costly!!
Though earlier we decided not to go with retail shops as higher margin was being demanded which would result in higher price of the product. But in the current situation we found retail shops to be better option to expand our supply chain fast. We started with agraj food processors. They are stores where one can find mostly the homemade products. They have in all 70 stores across Pune. Getting that deal done was difficult. Their rules and regulations were very strict. They require a certain packaging level, labelling and many more. But we found out that having our products on their counter will be very helpful as the crowd inside this shops usually pick the kind of food products that we make in.
Very very important for a startup. No one else can advertise the products better than you. You got to stand their and make your own customers. A bit of hard and patience job as many wont entertain you but then all you’ll get is the greater and bigger sales output.
That day’s inhouse marketing taught a lot about the customers. How they approach any new product in the market, what makes the customer buy the product etc. So initially I stood up with my boxes and the roll up standee all morning and the response was just one box of laddu got sold. But then in the evening, I just added a piece of chart paper. I wrote “Famous and delicious Moringa Chikki and Nutritious Laddu From Pabal, Pune” in the local language. Then the strategy changed completely. In the evening I got 8 more customers buying the product in just 2 hours.
A tumultuous turn
This month was the most with ups and downs in the journey. Started with a very successful first week, where with the help of distributer we could acquire 18 more shops. I even went along with the distributer while introducing the product to many shops. Some of them did
reject the product as this was more into nutritional stuff but many accepted. Every new shop got three boxes of each and a poster. Karve nagar, Kothrud, Aundh, Kalyani Nagar, Koregaon Park were the locations which were covered.
We got our brand’s mascot design. Having granny as our mascot, easily depicts the healthy yet tasty, rural yet desi food easily to everyone. We even designed a new poster to help out in the marketing. Roll-up standees and 12 x 18 posters were printed too. This poster was intentionally made, as during inhouse marketing we found out that customers always look in for some connection with the product. So, to connect them with the rural food and healthy food we thought nothing would be better than the granny.
This month was a big downfall to the Sahrudaya. Inorder to complete increasing order one more women was employed for the prodyction help. But as soon as increase in covid was observed people stopped their orders. So the lady employed had no work after two weeks. Also shops denied in keeping new products as they wanted to first finish the supplies that had already in store.
But then many good things did happen. Fall in the market allowed me to focus my attention in building of more new products, planning of the atomization of the existing products. More work on the marketing frontline was done.
A total of 85 boxes of morninga were and 72 of nutri 7 having 18 outlets intotal in Pune.
Registration of the company:
I was confused what kind of organization should I form? LLP was a great option and many suggested the same. But doing the research again, like what are government different schemes, what all benefits we get, investments source etc. made me finalize into forming a Pvt. Ltd company. With the help of Vakil Search App we started with our registration.