This emerging D2C woman, entrepreneur, helps people sign up with farmers for rice subscriptions

In India, where people eat rice as a staple food, diabetics and their families are constantly looking for healthy alternatives like quinoa, barley and millet.

entrepreneur Susti Mishra On a mission to help diabetics enjoy rice by offering them a healthy and organic variety.

It all started four years ago when her mother-in-law was diagnosed with diabetes and advised to stay away from rice. Swosti noted that she was not enjoying her food.

A little research led her to realize that two types of rice are available in India: rice grown organically without fertilizers and rice grown for purely commercial purposes.

She says the rice they bought in the stores was not of good quality.

“The grains were completely polished and full of starch and sugar with little nutritional value. I started getting organic rice straight from a group of farmers. My mother-in-law has been consuming a set amount for years and her glucose level is well maintained,” she says. her story.

After a few years of working with farmers and understanding rice cultivation, I launched in April 2021 My Farman Odisha-based agri-tech startup that connects urban consumers directly to rice farmers.

The idea, she says, is not just to help diabetics but all families looking for a healthy diet.

the trip

MyeFarm may be Swosti’s first entrepreneurial venture, but it’s nothing new to India’s startup ecosystem.

An MBA graduate from the Regional College of Management, Bhubaneswar, Swosti worked at the US Consulate in Hyderabad where she led Small and Medium Women Entrepreneurship Program In addition to over a decade working at companies such as ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank.

She also worked as the CEO of Industrial Entrepreneurs (TiE) BhubaneshwarFormulating the organization’s strategies and development plans.

Swosti stepped into the entrepreneurial path after setting out on a quest to source high-quality organic rice for her mother-in-law. During this process, she reached out to local farmers in Odisha, set up in some of their homes and observed the difference in their work and operations in the field firsthand.

With MyeFarm, she wanted to connect farmers with health-conscious city dwellers who otherwise wouldn’t have the means to tap organic rice directly from farmers.

She launched the business on a subscription model – farmers grow rice on demand on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis, and customers are assured traceability and quality.

“Customers feel they are growing the rice themselves because the farmers grow it specifically for them,” she says.

The startup has also arranged field visits to farms, which helps boost customer trust and loyalty as well as farmer morale.

“Because farmers usually sell to mandi and do not meet customers directly, they appreciate this aspect. They feel important and recognized as food growers,” she says.

The process also ensures farmers’ guaranteed demand and revenue; They no longer have to worry about selling and market prices.

MyeFarm earns revenue from subscription fees while farmers earn the total price charged for the product sold.

Challenges

Entrepreneurship is never without challenges.

In the first few years in the business when she was working with farmers before MyeFarm was officially launched, Swosti introduced and urged them to try different methods of organic farming. However, many cultivators, in their ways, wanted to give up.

But things got better as they continued to work together.

today is D2C startup bootstrapped Developed a network of more than 100 farmers across OdishaWest Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh, serving eight types of rice to more than 1,000 customers across India.

priced between 89 rupees to 300 rupees per kilogramIt has delivered over 1000 kg of rice so far.

Swosti invested in 15 lakh rupees In the project and also got cash support for farmers through crowdfunding platforms.

While the startup is not yet broken, the entrepreneur is confident the opportunity is promising as India has seen per capita rice consumption of up to 103 kg in 2017.

Currently, Swosti is ramping up monthly subscriptions and is exploring partnership opportunities between businesses. The startup is also developing an app and hopes in the long run to expand pan-India to be the go-to platform with rice as a subscription model.

Edited by Teja Lily Desai

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