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
|Gunajit Brahma, co-founder, Jeev Anksh Eco Products|
Bureau: When did you decide to take the
path of ‘entrepreneurship’ as your career? Do you remember any special
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.
Bureau: Can you briefly tell us more
about your startup?
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.
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.
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.
Bureau: How big is your team at present?
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.
Bureau: Did you get any funding for your
startup? Are you planning to attract funding in the near future?
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.
for our expansion and to set up a factory to fulfill the demands for our
products by our clients.
Bureau: What challenges do you face in your daily
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.
Bureau: How do you see yourself in next
2 years from now?
working with more farmers, creating an organic brand, Mentoring new
entrepreneurs, teaching entrepreneurship to professionals.
Bureau: What are your hobbies in your personal life?
Which is your favorite holiday destination?
(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.