Interview with the Co-founders of Nutrifresh Farm Tech India Private Limited

Co-founders of Nutrifresh Farm Tech India Private Limited, Sanket Mehta, and Ganesh Nikam

Nutrifresh Farm Tech India Private Limited is one of India's largest hydroponic farms based out of Pune, India. Founded in 2019, the company aims to transform the farming and agriculture landscape in India by combining state-of-the-art technology and advanced farming techniques to produce fresh, residue-free and pesticide-free vegetables.

Let’s know about the company and how it is working for the agriculture sector from the Co-founders of Nutrifresh Farm Tech India Private Limited, Sanket Mehta, and Ganesh Nikam.

What was the eureka moment? What led to the foundation of the company?

Nutrifresh was launched with the idea to provide Healthy, Pesticide Free and Residue Free Food to various consumers at large. The best thing available in the market was Organic Produce. The deeper knowledge in Organic Produce leads us to believe that “is the Produce Really Organic?” and that’s when we came across Hydroponic Farming. It is more Controlled, Précised and Traceable.

What is Hydroponic farming? How does it differ from other farming practices?

At Nutrifresh Hydroponic Farm, we use Controlled Atmosphere with the help of Polyhouses & Insect Net. We use RO purified Water and most importantly SOILLESS FARMING. Entire Supply chain from Farm to Fork is less than 24 Hours and Minimal or NO Hand Touch. The entire Post Harvest Practices is done by Nutrifresh team and it is not outsourced. Due to these reasons, Nutrifresh has been able to achieve superior Quality and Freshness. Besides, Hydroponic Farming will also help in establishing regular and steady income for Farmers. These types of Cultivations help in upscaling per unit production up to 10 times, utilize 90% less water and entire produce is Pesticide Free.

Nutrifresh Hydroponic Farm
Nutrifresh Hydroponic Farm

How beneficial is the Hydroponic process for produce? Does this process take less time than other farming methods? Is it cost-effective?

Due to its Controlled Environment and Precision Farming, dependency on monsoon is substantially reduced. Prices and Availability of the Vegetables will be consistent throughout. Therefore, Hydroponics Farming has dual benefit from Customers as well as Farmers side. However, it is not far when people will understand importance of Fresh & Nutritious Food in their daily lives. At Nutrifresh, there is minimum or no hand touching of the vegetables and once packed at the farm, these veggies are opened at consumer’s place only. Nutrifresh makes use of nutrient rich water which is RO purified to help plants grow enabling entire produce to be freshly harvested and delivered at households within 24 hours of its harvest.

What do you offer at NutriFresh?

They offer imbibe Fresh, Clean and Rich in Nutrients Food in daily regime with superior quality texture and taste to Vegetables and Fruits.

Where can we get NutriFresh products? Are they available online and offline both and at which locations?

Nutrifresh products are available on Nutrifresh app and offline. They supply its products to over 100 plus B2B aggregators in the Indian market and Modern Trade Delivery Partners like Big Basket, Swiggy Instamart, Vista Foods (McDonalds), Supr Daily and Zomato.

Any challenges you faced while setting up your business?

Our operation is highly dependent upon the quality and production volume. This technique in a controlled environment is called Hydroponics. Hydroponics has many associated problems. Open field cultivation has to deal with many abiotic stresses such as varying climatic conditions followed by risks of pests and diseases from the nearby poorly maintained farms. Seed, Nutrients, Labour, and Climatic condition are the four major components that support the yield for any type of crop. A balanced proportion and quantity of these components help in producing a good yield. Out of the above-mentioned components the least we could control was the climatic condition. This is where the tech integration helped us achieve scalable growth.

Funding details: is the company bootstrapped? If yes, how much was the initial investment? Was it a loan or personal savings?

The initial investment was of 1 lakh from personal savings.

Have you raised any external funds? Share details.

Yes, have raised funding of USD $5 million. Key Investors are Mr. Theodore Cleary (Archer Investments), Mr. Sandiip Bhammer  (Managing Partner - Green Frontier Capital),  Sky Kurtz (CEO & Cofounder of Pure Harvest UAE), Mr. Mathew Cyriac (Florintree Advisors & ex MD of Blackstone India), Dr Soumitra Dutta (Dean Elect - Saïd Business School, University of Oxford), Mr Shaishav Dharia (Regional CEO, Lodha Group), Mr. Karan Goshar (Samarthya Investment Advisors LLP).

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