Home-made Nourishment- Exclusive Interview Of Jyothi Sri Pappu, Founder Of Nutreat

A baby’s birth in any family is nothing less than a celebratory event at any household you talk about. From the time the baby steps in, all his\her surroundings are made as clean and pure as possible. From dirt free environments to chic nourishing foods, everything seems to be just impeccable.
While many families rely on branded baby care food products for their little ones, they are also apprehensive of the fact that what all ingredients might have gone in the making of this eatery. We all know that food processed less is more nutritious and aids you in real radiant health and therefore to cater to this segment, Nutreat is entering the space to get the kids rid of this fad diet concepts which always tends to attract the masses, containing only preservatives but no nutrients. The bootstrapped startup makes home-made food for babies, kids and a small range of health food using traditional processing techniques. Now, to know the ‘hows and why’ of her clean processing, let’s follow her memoir to know more about her brand

1. What is the Name of Your Venture? Any specific reason for this name?
“Nutreat” is trademarked by us (SRISLOKAGROUP) which handcrafts foods using primitive Indian techniques. So we thought this would be perfectly suiting our soul aim the “Nutritious Treat” to everyone.

2. Who is your target Audience/clients?
We currently offer all health foods that are crafted with very less processing and our best products are baby, kids & few health products like protein rich porridge, dry fruit halwa etc. However “Nutreatlife” is a unique site that allows to customize your food treating that every individual is different and their requirements are different. “You just don’t need to have the product that has been mass produced with empty calories just because they have designed it”.
Nutreat allows you to craft your own recipe, any age any one.

3.Where is your venture based (city, state, country) & What are your
geographical target areas?

We do Nutreat in a small village named “Malkipuram” located on the banks of river Godavari, Andhra Pradesh, India. We presently made available Nutreat all over India. Once we have complete resources we will definitely export in US & Germany.

4.What problems does your venture resolve? What are your products or services?
A real nutritious food that has been faked with tetra packs with loads of empty calories but no nutrients is our target. We all know that food processed less is more nutritious and aids you in real radiant health, but we all because of this fad diet concepts always get attracted to tetra packs travelled all the way with artificial ingredients & preservatives but no nutrients.
Nutreat is our step to resolve this issue, for real radiant health by promoting and encouraging local grown and local processed(less) foods.
We handcraft baby foods like Nutreat ukkiri, Aged rice & cashew rice etc. along with wide range of customized baby foods for better early foods.
Nutreat Kids & Kids brown etc. are handcrafted for kids above 2 years with locally grown nutrient dense ingredients like lentils, brown rice & nuts.
Similarly, we handcraft health foods for every one like Protein rich Porridge, Dry fruit halwa mix, Sprouted & stone grounded ragi flour, Sprouted & stone grounded atta flour,
sprouted Sathumaavu etc.
Along with these we have already customized about 100 products requested by the customers with their own choice.

5.Share the idea or story behind the venture. How did it come to
existence? What motivated you to start your own venture?

It was in the year 2012, when my first son was born I was researching about his first foods in the market. But none of them hiked me as, almost all of them are with preservatives and being a pharmacy student (pursued my masters from Sri Ramachandra University) I know the side effects these ingredients well. So, I thought I would make this on for my li’ll one.

For this I had to research again by consulting some pediatricians, friends, and internet and finally it was my Grandmother who gave me the real traditional recipe for baby food and she warned me that I should only process this using stone grinder. After my son, I shared this recipe to most of friends but as most of them are working they asked me to prepare. These requests made me to think about crafting it commercially with the support of my husband in 2015.
Initially, when we started giving it to near and local retailers. But a call from Gujarat (I donno how she got the pack) saying “thanks for this, my baby eats only this and she is gaining her healthy weight now” was the real moment that made me confident about my products. As I was totally a newpreneur I didn’t even asked her to write a testi. Day by day we are growing and developing the skills on marketing.
This made me to think about Nutreat more personal & started handcrafting it from the year 2015.

6.Who are your biggest competitors and how do you differentiate yourself from them?

I feel all the products from MNC’s are our competitors, but I no longer consider my journey of handcrafting Nutreat to compete with these, as Nutreat is unique in every aspect from handpicking ingredients that are locally grown, stone grinding, sun drying, clay pot roasting all the ingredients meanwhile pulling our traditional techniques of processing from our ancestors for real radiant health.

Moreover, all the product s available in the market are made considering the ingredients shelf-life, so they add artificial ingredients & preservatives, but Nutreat is crafted considering the usage by the customer, so we craft it only after the order and so we need not add any artificial ingredients or artificial ingredients.

And customization makes you feel more personal about your product that you get from our Kitchen.

7.How did you identify your co-founder? Tell us something about your
I alone lead my company with help of my husband who takes care of all the financial matters. However, I should say he is the investor for this as he is the person who believed in my concept and encouraged by investing capital. And till his journey continuous with Nutreat by encouraging me in low times.

8.How did you hired your first team members? What skills do you want in your employees/team?
I am accompanied by 4 women helpers. I should call Manga (45 year old) & Lakshmi (43 year old) are the main crafters of Nutreat as they are the people who stone grind the rice & other ingredients, the hands behind crafting Nutreat. Durga (22 year old unmarried girl) is really talented and supervises whole crafting, packing, and other simple marketing process when required. I should say I can rely her whenever necessary. Along with these we have occasional helpers (Suda & Ramana) whenever required depending upon production volume.

Nutreat requires man-power than machine power, so I need to encourage people who are willing to stone grind ingredients like rice, ragi etc. And I am really fortunate to have women like Manga, Lakshmi etc. who take the real pain while handcrafting Nutreat, I feel this is possible only in villages like Malkipuram.

9.What expansion plans are you looking for the next 2 years, next 5 years?

Though we are not able provide every one this product and at lower prices, we are planning to heir more helpers in the next 2 years and make it available for some more customers say like atleast 1000/month. In next years we are looking to export our product and make available the customization to other people living away from India, as we already have many requests from outsiders.

10.Where do you want to see yourself in next 10 years?

Forbes, as an entrepreneur who really created a different approach to business not for bank balance but for getting back our ancient Indian techniques back.

11.What are your immediate goals over the next 1, 3, 6 and 12 months?
Our goals are really small as we target mainly on using locally produced ingredients but the people now are under a trance that they should eat avocado but not banana. So, this is our ultimate goal to make people realize that “eating local is the only way to be healthier”

12.Have you raised any funding? Or have any plans for the funding?
Nutreat is self-funded, my husband has supported me both mentally & financially to no limits. once we are ready my friends are ready to tie-up.

13.What were the problems you faced during the starting days and how did you resolve them?

As the path we choose was completely unique though it is a primitive technique every step was challenging before and now. The main challenge was getting helpers. People are not that interested in producing the flour in a stone grinder after these modern electronics. But still we had overcome this by offering more than regular daily wages for them and the second biggest was the “people”. We always look for easy and fancy things but not the facts. Same way people are much interested in Baby foods imported than produced locally. Most of the people even well-educated think imported foods are always superior. For this I had to work for about a year, convincing the customers about the preservatives added, regarding the empty calories and providing the samples in large amounts. But once they tasted no customer bought highly processed foods. Besides these, the place where we live was a big hurdle in early stages as it is a rural area I got no chance of retailing or exhibiting. People in our area are no scope for marketing my product initially. I had to find my market through lots of research till I signed up for amazon.

14.What was the most challenging part of your journey till now? How did you overcome those challenges?

Helpers for stone grinding. And we are still in search for more, as many are used to robots in our day to day life. We need to conduct local campaigns about these primitive techniques and motivate them.

15.What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?

I love to be a nomad and I am an artist love to pencil sketch. During my non-work time I prefer photography (contributed my pics on many sites like shutter-stock etc.), hang out with my dearest ones and recently I found myself as an activist and involved in the activities that need to be incorporated in our present educational system for a change that makes a kid ready for the future but not for the certificates.

16.Whom do you consider your idol or biggest motivator?
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, I don’t know how I got connected to him and how my life is in his way but I know that his preaches drive me in many ways.

17.What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and
those who work for someone else?
As an entrepreneur I consider myself very lucky and I need not work for anyone ,my life is in my way, my rules, my flexibility. No compromise in family life like holidays etc. I can take charge of everything.

But I don’t feel a life as an employee (though I don’t have any experience) is not any bad, because an employee is part of the organization, without an employee there is no organization small or big. They have their own comfort zone.

So, the major difference is all about “attitude”, an entrepreneur is the person who takes risk to allow his/her life to flow wildly but employees are balanced people who let flow their lives channelized.

18.If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Really! Then I would start a school which almost follows the “unschooling” method, a holistic approach to education.

You know I am a totally non-sink to our educational system, which teaches without considering the real interest of particular kid, Every kid is unique and so their interest and talents. Then how can we make them to study for more than 18 years books written by some so called experts(of course they are).

19.How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?
Great! enjoying the current status as an successful entrepreneur. They are really proud. Being a girl from well renowned family socially it has added another flavor to our lives. But this journey affected me than anyone else. As I started living more holistic and understood the art of living.

20.Anything, you would like to say to our readers or upcoming entrepreneurs?
Sure, especially for women who are married I would say “if you really feel that you are thrown out of this world after marriage try coming back and look the real world. It is different, there are many helping hands. The attitude of people now-a-days has changed. All that you need to do is express yourselves without any hesitation and catch the opportunity when it knocks your door.

The world is small now due to globalization and the media is very supportive. Step out and make the move. Here starts your journey. Visualize your future positively and this is going to be happen in the same way.

21.Tell us something about your education & family background.
I am really fortunate to have all the luxuries in my life with no roller coaster rides. Most of my family members are group-2 and expected me to be the same. After completing my masters in pharmacy practice, they all advised me to try for DI. But it was never my cup of tea. I have done my B-Pharm at GIET, Rajahmundry and M-Pharm at Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai and we are natives of Vijayawada, the new Andhra capital.
After my marriage ( I was 24 year old then) we have to live in a rural area where my husband works for ONGC as an EE (now he is dy.SE), and almost all the gates were closed for my career plans. Some of the pharmacy colleges around us were the only option if I wanted my career. But teaching will never sync with my mind.

22.What is your USP which makes it unique & different from other
start-ups in similar domains.
Getting back the primitive Indian techniques which are almost gone these days. Though we know their value and benefits no one is ready to practice at their home, because we are too busy in the rat race. So, finally the techniques that I use is my USP that makes its difference.

23. What do you think is the biggest threat to the success of small
businesses & Start-ups today?

A part from our government, I feel it is lack of innovation, due to lack people who are creative. It is not a personal failure but our system’s , we are not trained to think creative at schools but we are trained to follow others blindly. So when we are suppressed as a child how will we blossom as an adult and as an entrepreneur?

24. Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?

Yes, I do. I don’t measure it in terms of my revenue but the hearts I won.
Though my products don’t get digital reviews as other products I have more than 500 returning customers and I know that more than 5000 people are totally satisfied with my products.

Though the numbers may be small but I feel “it is not always about getting your bank account credited but your life account getting credited”

25.Please share complete name, address, phone number, email id & website of Your Business & Contact Person
Name: Jyothi Sri Pappu
Flat:304, jaggaraju heights, Malkipuram. Andhra Pradesh.

See also - Your Partner In Learning

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