All posts filed under: Daily Inspiration

5 point someone – a farmer’s take on life, work and economics

“Kaka, ek pose dijiye na photo ke liye” (Uncle, please give me a good pose for the photograph) “Suicide wala pose du kya?” (Should I give the suicide pose) The humour is dark in Vidarbha. As the temperature soars to 48 degree Celsius, farmers joke about death, depression and the shadow of unpaid debts, which comes lurking with extreme weather changes leading to a possible crop loss. Everytime, I visit our farmer groups in Vidarbha, I come back with unheard stories and turbulence in my mind. I spent last three days in Akola and it’s nearby villages, where Happy Roots along with farmers and Chetana Organics, has been working on a crop demonstration project. The heat was unbearable. The dark tanned faces of farmers with patches of red, told a story of their everyday battle with the sun and their undeterred spirit to fight for survival. This visit has raised my respect for Vidarbha farmers to a whole new level. Their view points on life, work and economics of their ecosystem made me write this blog …

Changing the face of agriculture in Vidarbha

Vidarbha as a name whenever heard, evokes many thoughts and sentiments, most of which are gloomy. Drought, farmer suicides, water distress and many such stories haunt the region and the minds of those, who care about the state of agriculture in India. The story of small and tribal farmers in Maharashtra is no different than that of farmers in other states of the country. At Happy Roots for the last 18 months we have been trying to build a sustainable food value chain that connects farmers directly with processors (F&B Industry) and end consumers. This would help our farmers own a bigger share in the food value chain and make farming an occupation of choice and not one of sustenance. Today, as I write this, we have taken a significant step to change the face of agriculture in Vidarbha. We are transferring the power of earning profitable incomes in the hands of our farmers and giving them the right to choose what to grow and sell it directly to the industry, at the rate they deserve. …

How I learned from continuous consumer feedback and shaped my startup

  In this post I have written a phase wise progress of Happy Roots. How I approached one problem at a time, what went wrong and how did I start afresh. Maybe I have made mistakes on the way but I learnt some biggest lessons in business. The best being “Be close to your consumer and she will guide you through”. Phase-1: Market linkage for small poultry farmers in Vidarbha Last year same time (April 2015) Happy Roots started as a project to build market linkages for small farmers in Vidarbha. Chetana foundation (our non-profit partner), the farmers and I worked really hard for 06 months to make this happen. It was a small project but had a good scope and we attracted attention from state government too.  In September, 2015 we tested our organic, cage-free eggs with few restaurants in Pune. The product was a hit (we had some great nutritional analysis results for the eggs). Below are some snapshots of the nutritional profile of the eggs we sourced and marketed:   But soon …

Look out of the window

  I wrote this post to ease the pain in my heart. I am finding something amiss for the last few days. This happens once in a while when I get too occupied with my work and household responsibilities. Today I am happy because couple of months back I found the courage to follow my heart. I quit my luxurious corporate job and I now work for a startup that supports small farmers. As I write this post, I am sitting in a canteen of a tribal development center, in the interiors of Gujarat. The sun has set and I only hear some folk music in the background. Whenever I travel to places away from home I connect to my mind and soul. I ask them if they are happy. But today my soul said that it has missed that one thing I have always loved – sharing my experiences through my blog. Few months back when I had not quit my job, I used to read a lot and blog. Then, I wasn’t too busy but …

Right or wrong?

This morning I was intrigued by a conversation between my mother and a distant uncle who lives in one of the mountain villages, up north of India. He is a college professor. The uncle was sharing the latest grapevine in the village about a man who brings young girls from Delhi and “sells” them to families who are looking for brides. He put the entire process as “rehabilitation” of destitute women. I gave this man a piece of my mind. My anger was not about the fact that this was a case of human trafficking (I know there are plenty such cases thriving in cities, towns and villages) but on the naked truth that this man was well-educated, respected in the society he lived and yet he was so unmindful about the entire situation. My words fell on deaf ears and the uncle ended the call saying “Yaha ye sab chalta hai. Saalon se dekh rai hai. Kisi becahri ka ghar he toh bas raha hai” (all this happens here and we have observed this for years. After …