The Purpose Company: Sourcing Organic Products Directly from Small-scale Farmers

Vishal Warrialani | CEO & Founder || Ashish Agarwal | Co-Founder | The Purpose Company
Vishal Warrialani | CEO & Founder || Ashish Agarwal | Co-Founder | The Purpose Company

Organic products protect farm workers, their families, and customers from hazardous and persistent chemicals found on the farm and in food, as well as in the land they work and play in, the air they breathe, and the water they drink. Pesticides are especially dangerous to children. As a result, introducing organic food and fibre products into the marketplace allows parents to select goods that are free of these pollutants.

Not only can organic farming help to lessen public health hazards, but accumulating data reveals that organically cultivated foods are higher in nutrients like Vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus, and have lower levels of nitrates and pesticide residues when compared to conventionally cultivated foods.

“We are confident that in the long run with more farmers joining and organic farming practices becoming further scientific, the yields of organic farming will increase which will have a direct impact on lowering the prices making it accessible to the common man”

The Purpose Company was founded with the objective of bringing healthy, organic and clean label products to consumers, while also keeping in mind the importance of values such as sustainability and transparency. As the name suggests, the purpose is to inspire the community to cook with healthier ingredients to support positive change in the eating habits of customers to help them attain fuller, fitter lives. The Purpose Company is the parent company of Swabhiman33 and BerriNutty Brands, both of which are committed to improving the environmental footprint of food production, and positively affect its customers’ lifestyle.

Vishal Warrialani (CEO and Founder) and Ashish  Agarwal (Co-Founder) discuss the importance of organic and clean products in an interview with Insights Success.

Highlights of the interview:

Brief us on how you have made an impact in the organic products niche through your expertise in the market?

We are extremely proud of our vision of sustainability and transparency. As a company, we  are the biggest advocates and supporters of #VocalForLocal. We source our products directly from smallholder farmers, who we consider an integral part of this initiative. To bring about transparency in the supply chain process, we came up with the ‘Know Your Farmer’ feature, which enables customers to learn more about where their food is coming  from, and about the farmer who is responsible for the produce. All this information can be accessed by simply scanning the barcode on our packaging.

Brief us about the featured person(s) and their professional journey.

Vishal and Ashish are agricultural commodities trading professionals with a combined experience of over 20 years. Having worked with multiple Agri trade MNC’s over the

past decade, both are extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the industry they have chosen for themselves.

Vishal graduated from IIT Kanpur in 2009 with an MBA in Marketing & Finance and went on to work with companies such as ADM, ETG, OLAM and Vedanta. On the other  hand, Ashish graduated from IIFT in 2012 with an MBA in International Business and has worked with companies such as ADM & OLAM.

Taking into consideration the current pandemic, and its impact on global economies, how are you driving your organization to sustain operations and ensuring safety of your employees at the same time?

The current pandemic has been a challenge, yes, but one we haven’t shied away from. If  anything, the pandemic has helped us understand the value of the online marketplace and the importance of being digitally connected with your customers.

In terms of safety precautions, we are doing everything we possibly can to safeguard our community – from customers to workers – and making sure that we follow all COVID-19  related official guidelines and mandates to ensure safe handling, packaging and delivery of our products. Our employees have been working from home, our staff at warehouses have been instructed to wear their masks and gloves at all times, and we’ve implemented  a no-contact delivery policy for all of our delivery executives.

What are/were the other challenges you and your team come/came across in your  day-to-day operations?

Being a bootstrapped company, while working directly with small scale farmers working capital is a big constraint as there is a 90-day cycle of the money flow. We are growing at a rapid pace with a 30% average growth QoQ for last four quarters since the inception of our business, we are working with about 300 farmer groups and have expanded to more than 60 products. We are reaching out to leading VCs to be able to  continue the pace of expansion to support our inventory and working capital needs.

What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the organic products sector?

Farmer economics is the key to building sustainable business in the organic products

category. Small Holder Farmers in India have limited access to tools and information to  increase their income, like any small business majority of the income goes to family expenses. Any marginal increase in the income can go a long way in improving the life of  the farmer and thereby sustainability, providing the organic products to the consumers. We believe that it is important for a business to be socially conscious and responsible towards the community. We are trying to do our bit by giving back Rs 33 for every Rs 1000 of sales. After doing this for a year now, we realise that what started as a social initiative has come to benefit the business in the form of increased farmer loyalty and helping us build a strong relation with our famer community.

Where do you envision your organization to be in the long run and what are your future goals?

We aspire to be a brand whose products become an integral part of the overall nutrition of  our customer and their families, bringing the promise of health, trust and transparency to their doorstep day in day out.

Together with our farmers, we want to build sustainable agricultural practices with organic farming at the centre, to preserve and grow more of the indigenious grains so as   to provide our consumers with nutritious food at affordable prices.

Why are organic food products a better option over processed or genetically modified food? And how can organic food products be made more accessible to the common public?

Very quickly people have come to realise that over-processed food or genetically modified food isn’t the way to go when it comes to leading a clean and healthy lifestyle,  and there are a variety of reasons for this. Heavily processed food often includes unhealthy levels of added sugar, sodium, and fat, which might make the food taste better  but it also leads to serious health issues like obesity, higher cholesterol levels, diabetes and heart problems. Organic Food is naturally rich in minerals compared to the hybrid   varieties of grains, which helps the body with essential nutrients and also helps build immunity naturally.

In the quest for higher productivity, our grains have also started coming from labs. This development in combination with heavy use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, though, provided India with self-reliance, the growth has come at the cost of decreased in fertility of soil, seepage of chemicals in the food chain which in turn has led to various health related complications. Clearly, such a practice is unsustainable not only for the consumer but for the farmers themselves. We look at organic farming as a solution to a lot of these challenges.

Organic farming in our country provides for a self-sustaining ecosystem, where the farmer produces his own organic fertilizer with the use of cow dung, medicinal herbs and    plants. This also helps the farmer to take care of the old cattle instead of being forced to sell them due to their age and prevents animal cruelty. We are confident that in the long run with more farmers joining and organic farming practices becoming further scientific,  the yields of organic farming will increase which will have a direct impact on lowering the prices making it accessible to the common man. 

Client Testimonial –

“I have been ordering Swabhiman33 Black Rice since a few months, being raised in a farming community, I truly appreciate the company’s effort in giving back to the farming community. Swabhiman33 Black Rice is my Mom’s most favourite rice. She often repeats that it reminds her of her childhood days. Thank you for truly building a purpose driven brand.” – Dhanyatha Basilica, Mysore



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