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I took a conscious decision to opt out of final placements at IIM Indore to start my career as an entrepreneur- Gunajit Brahma, co-founder, Jeev Anksh Eco Products

"The company was launched to market and promote organic products through online medium. We started as an ecommerce portal, and officially launched our website on 12.12.12. This company is still operational, and currently we are working on marketing and promotion of organic food products from Northeast India."- Gunajit Brahma, co-founder, Jeev Anksh Eco Products

In an exclusive interview with Startup Terminal, Gunajit Brahma, co-founder, Jeev Anksh Eco Products shares more insights about the startup and future goals. 

Excerpts:  

Gunajit Brahma, 
co-founder, Jeev Anksh Eco Products

ST Bureau:  When did you decide to take the path of ‘entrepreneurship’ as your career? Do you remember any special incident?

Gunajit Brahma: I took up entrepreneurship while I was studying at IIM Indore (PGDM 2010-12). I was actually invited to be a part of a team that was doing great work on renewable energy product and services at that time in Oct 2010. I became a student entrepreneur with it. Luckily that startup won one of the best Student Startups award for 2011. That motivated me to continue the journey that I took, and since then, I have been an entrepreneur. I took a conscious decision to opt out final placements at IIM Indore to start my career as an entrepreneur.

ST Bureau:  Can you briefly tell us more about your startup?

Gunajit Brahma: I have been a founding member of Renewable Bazaar which was operational from Oct. 2010 till Dec. 2013. It was a marketplace and job portal for renewable energy product and services. We have to close it down because it became too top-heavy.

In June 2012, I cofounded Jeev Anksh Eco Products Private Limited, along with my batchmates from IIM Indore. This was the startup for which I opted out of final placements. One of the triggering factor for this startup was my professor who taught the course of Retail Management. I submitted a toned down version of my business idea as part of the course project report, which got much appreciation from the professor as well as my colleagues who took that course. The company was launched to market and promote organic products through online medium. We started as an ecommerce portal, and officially launched our website on 12.12.12. This company is still operational, and currently we are working on marketing and promotion of organic food products from Northeast India. We have been working with over 300 organic farmers, and supplying quality organic products to our clients within India and in Hong Kong, Malaysia & Singapore. By associating with us, our farmers have increased their farm income by a factor of 8x (or eight times) from their previous earnings as well as previous volume of sales. Two of our farmers are Krishi Ratna awardee, and were felicitated in March 2016 during the Krishi Unnati Mela held at New Delhi. We have our expertise in supplying exotic food products from Northeast India like Black Rice/Chak Hao, Red Rice, Aromatic Joha Rice, Naga King Chilli, Bird Eye Chilli, Lakadong Turmeric, Karbi Anglong Ginger, etc. The company is currently incubated at the ZTM & BPD Unit of Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi.


We (the company) broke even in March 2016. I, on behalf of my company, went to China as part of the Indian Delegation, to exhibit at CISMEF 2016, held between Oct.10-13th, 2016 at Guangzhou, China. Buyers from China have shown interests in few of our products from Northeast India.

I am part of another startup, Bati Energy Private Limited, which deals in Renewable energy solutions for farming, households, commercial buildings, etc. I joined the company as a Director in March 2014. The company has broken even within a year, and we have done projects in Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra and also have exported to Europe.



ST Bureau:  How big is your team at present?

Gunajit Brahma: We are a lean startup, and have a small operational team of 5 people. We do consider the farmer groups that we work with, as part of our larger team.

ST Bureau:  Did you get any funding for your startup? Are you planning to attract funding in the near future?

Gunajit Brahma: We are a boot-strapped company, and have raised internal funds from friends and families. We have not raised any external funds, yet broke even due to sales of our product and services.

Yes, we are planning to attract funds for our expansion and to set up a factory to fulfill the demands for our products by our clients.

ST Bureau:   What challenges do you face in your daily professional life?

Gunajit Brahma: Since we are into agri-business, the challenges are many. It is a seasonal business, so we have to keep our team motivated during the lean months, by engaging them with farmers/farmer communities for providing trainings, etc. As we are a bootstrapped company, keeping the expenses to bare minimum is a daily challenge. We don't have the luxury to spend on fancy perks that other companies can afford to pay their team. Meeting the expectations of our clients is also a continuous challenge. And as we work with a large number of farmers, keeping their hopes (financial, social, economical, etc.) on us intact is a daily challenge, which we are thrilled to take up and delivery it.

ST Bureau:  How do you see yourself in next 2 years from now?

Gunajit Brahma: Professionally- working with more farmers, creating an organic brand, Mentoring new entrepreneurs, teaching entrepreneurship to professionals.
Personally - Settling down

ST Bureau:   What are your hobbies in your personal life? Which is your favorite holiday destination?

Gunajit Brahma: Writing (poetry/articles), Trekking/hiking, water sports.  Haven't been to many places; but I enjoy destinations where I can get a lot of "me time". Within India, South Goa (less crowd/noise and more me time), Andaman Islands.  Abroad - Enjoyed staying at Laos. Dream holiday destinations are Peru, Cambodia, New Zealand, and Norway.

Interviewed by Startup Terminal Bureau

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