Meet Green and Grains & iMature! Two startups from Bhopal, they embody the spirit of the ecosystem in their city. Read more about the Ahmedabad ecosystem here.
GREEN AND GRAINS
Amidst Bhopal, where an ecosystem is a well-oiled machine, the city helping the whole startup ecosystem to grow and mature, there lies a successful startup – Green and Grains.
Green and Grains is a B2C initiative working as an aggregator of farm produce grown organically. It understands that organic food has higher nutritional value than conventional foods and hence is the need of the hour. In today’s times, everyone wants to make organic food a part of their diet and so it ensures that the provided is sufficient and has the right mix.
They work directly with the farmers so that they have products as per requirements. Working with farmers gives them the benefit of ensuring traceability, a missing critical aspect in perishable food.
In terms of funding, the start-up is bootstrapped. Moreover, it is incubated at IIM Calcutta Innovation Park and has received seed funding of INR 15 lacs under the INVENT program of Govt of India.
Reaching out to the customers and bringing smiles to their faces has never been a problem for Green and Grains. The customers are happy because they ensure that chemical-free and quality food is home delivered to them and is affordable. They aspire to supply all the raw food we may need in our kitchen. Green & Grains reaches out to 2000 families in Bhopal and serves them Vegetables, fruits, Cereals, Spices, and some processed food items.
Marketing is essential for every startup and Green and Grains is no exception. Since the startup is a home delivery business, it faces issues of non-visibility and hence requires continuous marketing efforts. Since they deal with Perishables, they focus on keeping freshness maintained as a key to retain customers. Further, the startup majorly focuses on customer acquisition through the referral route. This is because the stickiness is higher and the cost of serving is lower for customers added through customer referrals.
Challenges & Future Plans
The startup broadly faces two major challenges in their day to day working mechanism. Firstly, when you deal with organically grown perishables, you need to ensure continuous production to maintain the availability of seasonal produce. Since organic farming is still considered impractical in India, ensuring continuous supplies is a major challenge. Secondly, grains are normally seasonal. To ensure continuous consumer supplies of organically grown grains, they need to stock these them which is a huge working capital requirement.
Read more about the journey of Green and Grains – https://www.thebetterindia.com/113819/prateek-sharma-banker-turned-organic-farmer-bhopal/
In simpler terms, Green & Grains ensures that safe and nutritious food is available at affordable prices at the convenience of our homes. For the future, the startup is looking for expansion. As a strategy, they want to adopt the franchise route to expand in new cities. By the end of the financial year 2020-21, they want to have their operations running in 5 cities.
They aspire to become India’s largest raw food aggregators dealing in safe/organically grown food and supplying everything that we may need in our kitchen; Fruits, Vegetables, Cereals, Spices, and processed food.
From a place that had startups which could be counted on fingers, to an ecosystem that is equally energetic and optimistic as compared to the trending metro cities, Bhopal has seen it all. Along with Bhopal, there lies a successful startup whose founder has been around for 15 years now and knows in and out of how the Bhopal ecosystem works. – iMature.in.
iMature.in is an ed-tech startup that is considered to be a pioneering business in the field of digital citizenship and internet maturity. The vision and mission of the startup are to educate students about the internet and urge them to make the best use of the various tools that it offers. The team has built comprehensive online courses on internet security that they offer to students all around the world.
In 2017, iMature decided to not follow any traditional models of education and go for something that is fairly scalable. After a lot of deliberation, they introduced their first course in January 2019 and it turned out to be one of the best decisions they have ever made.
Funding of the startup has majorly been supported through revenues since they are bootstrapped. The team that runs the company is small and frugal. While revenue is generated, it is not enough for growth and so they are actively looking out for venture capitalist funding.
Marketing Strategies play a vital role at iMature. They not only need to be well thought of but also innovative since no typical strategy works. The customers are not habitual of paying for online courses and so the startup has got a lot riding on marketing. The core strategy that they use is Inbound marketing. This is done by leveraging the internet, social media, search engines, and using the power of emails. iMature has recently started writing content in the form of articles and blogs.
Challenges & Future Plans
Amongst various hardships that all startups face, iMature has had to constantly deal with a lack of awareness. It is not only the customers that lack knowledge but the investor community too. The investors mainly focus on the mass market concepts of ed-tech and none of them have their eyes set on a niche domain like iMature.
This already flourishing startup has big plans for the future. They have set a few milestones. Firstly, they want to complete their portfolio of all the online courses they wish to launch. Secondly, they want to gamify their courses to make them more appealing and interesting. Finally, they wish to partner with telecom and gadget manufacturer companies. Apart from this, their long term goal is to be leading players in India and the neighbouring countries.
“Be in Bhopal, not for Bhopal” is a motto that iMature follows and one that has kept them going for quite a long time now. The startup is all set to solve the issue of digital discipline and bring about a positive change in the tech-savvy world all of us operate in!