Every year more and more people are making the decision to go vegan, and for good reason! There are so many amazing ways that veganism can improve our lives – fantastic health benefits, less stress on our environment, more efficient ways to use our resources, and many more!
There are so many unique reasons someone might choose to adopt a vegan lifestyle. When thinking about transitioning to veganism it’s important to ponder your morals and the reasons why this lifestyle speaks to you. A big lifestyle change is easier to sustain if you wholeheartedly believe in your decision. Think about the standards you hold yourself accountable to, and what guides you as you decide what is right and what is wrong.
Because milk is derived from cows and other such herbivorous animals, milk is a no-go for vegans, even if it’s organic or direct from a farm. The reasons for not drinking milk are, in fact, quite similar to the reasons people choose to become vegetarian: animal rights/welfare, environmental reasons, and health concerns.
But as we all know milk is a supplementary diet for all food. For an infant milk is considered as a whole food and the entire life of an infant is dependent on milk. So what to do if you are a vegan or a lactose intolerant person?
The solution is Drupe Foods. Drupe Foods is a startup based out of Noida and a subsidiary of Drupe LLC, USA. Drupe Foods is a one stop shop to a vegan healthy milk and sugar alternative food products to overcome obesity in India. Today we are presenting the exclusive interview of Founder of Drupe Foods, lets see how her venture is helping Indians to stay fit and diabetes free. Let us learn about their entrepreneurship journey and what this wonderful startup has to offer in their own words.
1.What is the Name of Your Venture? Any specific reason for this name?
Drupe is the name as it means inner seed of a fruit and its symbolic with Almonds as almond is a inner seed of a fruit.
2.Who is your target Audience/clients?
Vegans, lactose intolerant, fitness freaks
3.Where is your venture based (city, state, country) & What are your geographical target areas?
Manufacturing plant is in U.P and target is Pan India
4.What problems does your venture resolve? What are your products or services?
We are a one stop shop to a vegan healthy milk and sugar alternative food products to overcome obesity in India, as sugar kills your immunity by 50% and dairy is scary. India is the largest diabetic population in the world.
5.Share the idea or story behind the venture. How did it came to an existence? What motivated you to start your own venture?
Birth of Drupe happened to satisfy myself as a customer as i am lactose intolerant and i did not want to consume heavy cold pressed vegan milk and worry about refrigeration. I love my cold coffee and I did not want to consume fortified synthetic milk in tetrapak as they pasturise at 145 degree Celcius and all natural nutrition evaporates, so if you read the ingredients on a tetrapak milk it would clearly have added/fortified vitamins which is synthetic and not natural, hence you rather drink a glass of water and consume some vitamin pills.
6.Who are your biggest competitors and how do you differentiate yourself from them?
Drupe is the first natural almond vegan milk in the world which does not require refrigeration and is 100% natural with a 4 month shelf life and No Preservatives. All other Almond Milk are either in Tetrapak ( fortified) or Cold Pressed ( Shelf life if 21 days and require refrigeration)
My biggest competitor is amazon as drupepower has the vision to be a one stop shop for a vegan living.
7.How did you identify your co-founder? Tell us some thing about your co-founder/s
My co founder is my daughter who is extremely healthy and played an integral role in helping me create the composition of the first almond milk in the world without preservatives and 4 month shelf life at ambient temperature.
8.How did you hire your first team members? What skills Do you want in your employees/team?
My first team member was my assistant and her skills which attracted me were her ability to never say No and she did not ask her working hours and understood the meaning of a true start up.
9.What expansion plans are you looking for the next 2 years, next 5 years?
To be present all India, explore exports within Asia.
10.Where do you want to see yourself in next 10 years?
World largest natural vegan brand
11.What are your goals over the next 1, 3, 6 and 12 months?
Goals within the next month and year to target Horrocca and Institutional sales and run full capacity as our plant is 6000 litre per day but we run only three days of production so far.
12.Have you raised any funding? Or have any plans for the funding?
We are a self funded registered start up and are open to funding.
13.What were the problems you faced during the starting days and how did you resolve them?
We are blessed to have faced no problems as I have spent half my life building brands as I worked with Lintas for over 10 years.
14.What was the most challenging part of your journey till now? How did you overcome those challenges?
Challenges that we have faced is getting the retail chains to pay on time and its on going challenge.
15.Are you married, single or in a relationship?
16.What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
Writing and my books are on amazon and my last book released in the u.S is available on amazon.com with the title ” Without the Gazing Mirror”
17.Whats your favorite food & holiday destination?
favorite food is Pao Bhaji and Bhel. Holiday Destination is Goa
18.Whom do you consider your idol or biggest motivator?
My daughter is my motivator and my Husband is my idol.
19.What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Major difference between the two is, an entrepreneur has to be a multitasker and hands on with all aspects of the business whereas an employee can be a specialist and stick to their own field of work space. An entrepreneur has sweat equity at stake with zero remuneration till the start up brings home the fruit of profit whereas an employee can demand a remuneration at the month end.
20.If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Honestly I would not do it any different then what i have achieved and done so far. Its a high to give up your career at its peak to bring up a family and restart at the age of 42 and race with the millennials. My experience make me far ahead in this race.
21.How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?
Fortunately my daughter is an adult and lives in Los Angeles and my husband works long hours and travels, hence Drupe fills the void of being an empty nester and has only effected my life in a positive way with a busy social life promoting my new baby Drupe now.
22.Anything, you would like to say to our readers or upcoming entrepreneurs?
The one thing I tell every entrepreneur plan your investment phase for an extra year post launch and don’t give up for a year post launch. The most crucial time of investment is post launch for the first year.
23.Tell us something about your education & family background.
I am an MBA and a middle child, I believe my life experiences and on the job learning have been more valuable than a Philip Kotler. Born to an expat family I have travelled the world and International exposure adds value to the person I am today.
24.What is your USP which makes it unique & different from other start-ups in similar domains.
USP of Drupe is that all our products are zero cholesterol, vegan, gluten free, lactose free, soy free, No preservatives with zero migration packaging and powerfully natural.
25. What do you think is the biggest threat to the success of small businesses & Start-ups today?
Biggest threat is when the small business owner gives up half way or does not get funding alternatively lacks vision to make a difference.
26. Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
Yes Drupe is extremely successful in less than 6 months of launch we have 26% repeat customer especially when Vegan Milk is still not known to all.
27.Please share complete name, address, phone number, email id & website of Your Business & Contact Person
Meeta A Madhok
Founder & COO
Drupe Foods India Pvt Ltd
Subsidiary of Drupe LLC, USA
India +91 9811431225
USA +1 2136751699
Manufacturing Plant: A-13 Sector 58, Noida 201301, U.P, India