Migration from well-developed countries to India is always a cragged deal when it comes to ease of living. Anil Varma, the founder & CEO of honestkart.com was in one such predicament when he moved from the U.S. to India – he missed an online marketplace to have genuine organic products. He started scrutinising the market and drilled that only 8-12 percent of the $350 billion worth food and grocery market in India is organised offline retail.
On the resource side, the excessive usage of pesticides is driving frequent crop failures and resulting in farmers committing suicide.
On the consumer front, majority of the people are suffering from lifestyle diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular, cancer, lung related etc, which we haven’t heard of 30 years back. In the process, Anil also met a lot of suppliers and farmers who are doing ethical farming whose efforts are not being noticed on a larger scale. Hence he decided himself to be the ‘change’, and incepted Honestkart in 2015. Today, honestkart.com is the only online marketplace in India which sells end-to-end natural and organic product categories ranging from dairy, fruits, vegetables, juices, coffee, teas, dry fruits, groceries, body care through its website and mobile apps (Android & iOS) that hold an attractive UI. It also takes orders over call. Currently the company is doing home deliveries in Hyderabad, but the expansion plans are very much on-the-go.
“There is a great demand for organic food products in India today. What consumers look for is genuine organic products and assurance from companies that are selling these products” elucidates Anil.
The company addresses this crater by only accepting suppliers with NPOP (National program for organic produce) India organic and USDA organic certifications. “Even though suppliers have certifications we still do our own testing so that customers get genuine products,” adds Anil. The regular and painstaking tests for 98 chemicals are conducted in APEDA (Agricultural & Processed Food Export Development Authority) approved labs with high-end equipment. The purchases are embedded with these quality reports and thus the customers savor genuinely organic products without a dust in mind. The company also cares to add more products to its portfolio in regular intervals, no wonder 88 percent of its orders come from repeat customers.
The Knowledge Centre
To make sure the organization is leading from the front and creating awareness among people, the company has created a 20 acre model-organic farm where it grow most of the produce. This organic farm today acts as a knowledge center even for IT professionals and schools to learn the modern techniques of organic farming. This unique commitment recently fetched a place for the company in the top 25 companies out of 400 applicants in the marketplace 3.0 event conducted at T-Hub, Hyderabad.
Catering only genuine organic products, Honestkart only accepts products from suppliers with NPOP India organic and USDA organic certifications
The talented team of 22 odd people has worked like an oiled engine to produce good traction within 10 months from inception. Going forward, Honestkart is about to launch its own label products very soon, while the next big thing is the exploration of export market. “We have raised angel round funding recently and we allocated budgets for marketing and teams to scale up. We are also moving to distributed warehouse model in Hyderabad first and then expand operations in Bangalore soon,”concludes Anil.