With more and more people shifting to nutritious and healthy eating, the demand for organic foods is on the rise. India is home to many organic food producers who are also exporters. Organic farming is conventional farming that was replaced with chemical fertilizers. Gradually, awareness among people gave an impetus to organic farming.
The growing organic food industry is constantly striving to meet the demands of the consumers. One such company caught the attention of Insights Success and we chose to bring their story to our readers.
Started in the year 2014 with top management possessing more than 26 years of rich experience in rice and organic food industry, Nature Pearls started with exporting organic rice from India. Today with a sustainable and farmer-oriented approach, Nature Pearls has become one of the top organic rice and foods exporter in India.
As for short-term, the goal is to become a predominant customer service and quality-oriented company, as Nature Pearls wants its customers to have the best experience. While the long term goal is to diversify into a much newer and value-added product range, expand its sales in to the entire world, set up state-of-the-art organic facility and most importantly to launch its own brand of organic food range in India as well as global markets.
Mr. Ajay Katyal has been in the international agri-business since 1994. But the turning point came in the year 1999 when he came across the concept of organic farming and the potential of its international business. Then, came the next milestone in 2014 when Mr. Ajay founded his own venture “Nature Pearls – An Organic Food Venture.”
The major challenges during initial years were to convince large farmers to carry out organic farming. They were very apprehensive and did not want to take risk or get cheated due to the past experiences. After lot of research of various locations, Mr. Katyal learned that small and marginal farmers are most suitable for organic farming. They were already doing less intensive chemical farming and had very lower yields expectations. Mr. Katyal found that there is a great potential of growth and development for them.
He carried out all these activities, personally along with his colleagues in the initial years. He had to travel across states, cities, and more. Due to the above efforts, he could establish India’s best organic farming projects where most of the farmers were so involved as if it was their own project.
Inspiring Professional Journey
Mr. Katyal has always been an independent development professional who established series of Agri-business and Specialty food ventures like organic farming project, seed production and contract farming initiatives and established the market linkage for these ventures with some of the top global food companies.
Entrenched in the year 2014 with the top management possessing more than 26 years of rich experience in the rice industry, Nature Pearls started with exporting organic rice from India. Today with a sustainable farmer-oriented approach it has become one of the top organic rice exporters in India. Nature Pearls seizes the next level of global growth in multiple organic food products like ready-to-eat gourmet meals, flours, spices, pulses, and other grains and more. Seed is the most important element in agriculture system. The organic food venture has also had the privilege to establish organic seed production in its projects, which notably helped, improved the yields of the organic crops too.
Mr. Katyal has been responsible for 360-degree business expansion under principles of long-term and sustainable growth. Growth strategy of the company involves adding new products and new value addition in the existing range of products. He also takes care of the planning and execution of organic farming projects in terms of crops, location, profiling of farmergroups, and others.
Challenges in the Day-to-Day Operations
Challenges include dealing with constant shutdown, hygiene, food fraud due to surge in demand coupled with economic downturn for some meant the priority was getting food on shelves and tables as cheaply as possible, opening the door for disingenuous operators to move in. Food businesses will need to update both their procedures and their employees on any changes in order to ensure they have clear evidence that food safety risks have been considered and addressed.
Advice to Budding Entrepreneurs
Mr. Katyal has been a professional since the beginning of his career. Later on, he became a business head who was responsible for the 360 degree of the business and its profitability just like a CEO in any large organization. It means Mr. Ajay has been a quasi-entrepreneur in the later part of his career before he founded Nature Pearl and became entrepreneur.
Mr. Katyal’s advice to youngsters is – Please identify your passion and follow it until you are successful. It requires persistent and consistent efforts to become successful in one’s professional career. Never give up. In the first five years of the career one needs to undertake hard work, in the next five years needs need to acquire specialization and inculcate leadership qualities, then afterwards success is sure for you to become leader in your area of work.
Vision & Future Goals of the Organisation
An Indian organic food venture having captured the next level of global growth in multiple organic food products like ready-to-eat gourmet meals, flours, spices, pulses and millets, and more, Nature Pearls is an industry aficionado presently working with more than 25,000 farmers across seven states in India on the basis of the crop being grown and its relationship with the farmers goes back to the year 2000, where the farmers are like its partners. In its pursuit to unearth more of the traditional farming techniques, the company sets an example in the country’s agriculture sector through socio economic and development program for the farming community, providing best quality seeds and bio-inputs, providing technical guidance for on-farm inputs, training by external experts on innovative farming techniques, and more. Deploying unmatched infrastructure to handle brilliant produce and delivering the same with invaluable commitment, the food venture is all set to get its name hummed worldwide and relish global legacy.
Organic Food Products are a Better Option Over Processed or Genetically Modified Food
There are number of reasons which made organic farming better than conventional farming –
It is Sustainable: Sustainable agriculture emphasizes the conservation of its own resources. Eco-agriculture through organic farming use organic manure and nitrogen-fixing legumes as green manure to maintain soil fertility, as much as possible.
Not Polluting Agriculture: Organic farming benefits attributable to reduced or no chemical use at all, less soil erosion and water conversation create a healthier environment. Organic farming minimizes the use of pesticides and other synthetic chemicals there by reducing the major environmental hazards like soil erosion, air pollution, water pollution etc.
Promotea Biodiversity: Crop rotation is to build soil fertility, helps promote biodiversity, which promotes greater health across all living species. As organic farms provide safe havens to wildlife, local ecosystems also improve
Remunerative to Farmers: Organic farms tend to bring in more profits, despite requiring more working hands. Advanced organic practices like bio dynamic etc, gives profitable edge to farmers in organic sector when compared to traditional farming practices. Interest in organic is rising from last few years and hence bring more customers. Currently, the demand for organic food is growing faster than supply. Countries like the UK and US have to import organic food from abroad (often from developing economies like India). It will definitely create opportunities for farmers.
Prevent Contamination of Water due to Chemicals: Pure water availability will be biggest issue for coming future generations. Organic farming helps in keeping our water supplies unpolluted and clean by preventing polluted chemical and pesticides runoff.
Products Produced is Safe and Healthy for Consumption: Organic produce tends to have lower nitrate content than non-organic varieties, leading to fruits and grains that not only taste better but also have higher antioxidant levels. Science has already shown that organic food tastes better than products that come from conventional farms and methods. So in terms of both taste and health organic products do have a definite edge.
Health Cost of Community: As mentioned in above point, Organic products are better equipped in terms of nutrients they carry over their conventional counterparts, they will definitely help in maintaining good health. In today’s technological era where we have gone rather sedentary, maintaining a healthy diet structure which if free of any type of chemical can certainly be very important. Organic farming can certainly help in achieving this. It will in turn save many on economic front where we spent lot of on medicines and ways to keep ourselves fit.
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