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Truly Desi to get into agro-tourism and traceability – founder

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Started with 15 customers, now the brand has a base of about 5000 customers

Bengaluru: Truly Desi stands for a movement and earmarks a change in the way we conceptualise dairy and organic products. An initiative flagged off by a concerned mother, Rupali Kakade, co-founder of Truly Desi, is now a name in itself with customers vouching for the ‘purity’ quotient.

Getting the trend on-point

Founded by Rupali Kakade and Mohit Rathod, Truly Desi aims to create an ecosystem for the benefit of the consumers and producers of eco-friendly fresh 100% certified organic products. It offers organic indigenous dairy products along with food and groceries to consumers. Their main objective is to find an alternative to the adulterated products that are available in the market.

Back in 2016, Rupali Kakade was worried about her daughter’s health and wanted to find a solution. Then, she decided to bring a few Lal Kandhar cows to their farm and feed A2 milk to her daughter from those cows. Along with that, she started distributing milk to their family and friends and with that, the idea of Truly Desi was born. Starting with just a few cows, Truly Desi now has about 100 cows on their farm and 600-700 cows through connected farms. Truly Desi is an initiative driven by Gauecogram Agrovikas Producer Company Limited which was incorporated in June 2018 and started its operations in December 2018.

Growing with power

Being a mission-driven brand with the objective of the welfare of farmers from rural India and connecting them directly with customers to sell their produce at a reasonable price and make them economically strong, Truly Desi has eventually shifted its focus from dairy to exploring other organic products all across categories. However, the idea is to sell only pure, farm-fresh produce. “We have disrupted the market with a very detailed approach that includes offering products straight from the farm to the customer’s homes by cutting down on the middleman across the path. We have over the months built our producer base and given our strong sourcing capabilities, we are able to control each node. Eventually, we are proud to have built a robust omnichannel network that helps us serve our growing customer base across touchpoints. We will be integrating blockchain-based ERPs to reduce wastage and efficiently manage the inventory and supply chain,” Rupali shares.

Taking the big leap

Considering all the products, Truly Desi caters to over 1000 orders per month. Last year the company had a profit of Rs 2.71 crore at about 11% profit. The initial investment was Rs 30 lakh and till date, the founders have invested about Rs 2.2 crore to support their endeavor of purity.

“One of the major challenges we faced was from the producer’s end wherein we initially had to convince farmers to come on board for organic farming. Initially, farmers did not appreciate this concept, and they were not ready to adopt it. The main reason was a lack of awareness. Along with this, the process of shifting from conventional to organic farming is also quite time-consuming. The rules to getting certified as an organic farmer are also very stringent. On the other hand from the consumers’ end lack of awareness was a big factor. So, we have dealt with these challenges with our innovative approach and transparent storytelling from the start,” Mohit informs. One of the biggest USPs of Truly Desi is that they have their own farms, SOPs as well as fodder production.

Currently bootstrapped the founders are looking to raise Rs 8-10 crore in the next few months. They plan to expand their franchise in Mumbai city. In the long-term, their objective is to get into agro-tourism and traceability, where all of their products will have a QR code. Customers can scan the QR code and receive all the details about the farm, the health and diet of the cows along with their mental health as well as details about all other products available to them.

Brownie Points

  • Started with 15 customers, and now the brand has a base of about 5000 customers.
  • Entered the modern retail market with premium stores like Natures Basket, Dorabjee’s, and Fine Foods.
  • The brand has a strong online presence on Truly Desi Daily App on iStore and Play Store, Truly Desi Website, Amazon, You Care Lifestyle, Bombay Organix, Natures Basket, and BigBasket.
  • Completing the entire ecosystem – the brand is also generating electricity through the excess biogas and using it on one of our partnered farms.

First appeared in The India D2C Yearbook 2022

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