top of page
  • Writer's pictureGreat Companies

Dr. Sushant Shekhar, Founder at Jayaa Agro Foods

Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

Dr. Sushant Shekhar: Right after I completed my post graduate degree, I had plans to pursue my research interest and had plans to complete my doctorate. I, along with few friends planned to start mushroom cultivation in the outskirts of Bangalore. I always thought, this could also help me sustain financially and not be an obstacle in my research activities. The journey began as a part time activity turned out to be a full-time business, and today, when I look back over these years, I feel, it was a right decision.

Great Companies: What are the various Services provided by Jayaa Agro Foods

Dr. Sushant Shekhar: Jayaa Agro Foods is primarily involved in Mushroom Cultivation. Apart from that, we have been actively engaged in providing technical training and support to new growers. We have also engaged actively in providing technical know-how to the backbone of our nation, the Farmers. Doubling Farmer’s income is the vision of our government and Mushroom growing has every potential to make that happen. We cultivate mushroom using agriculture waste which is in abundance with farmers. And post cultivation, mushroom waste can be converted to compost which can again be used by these farmers to substantially reduce usage of chemical fertilizers. This is a pure win win situation, where waste generates income but doesn’t create any waste. We are also engaged in research and development of various Mushroom based value added products. Mushroom is a wonder food, having multiple potential like improved immunity, antiviral properties, loads of Vitamins and essential minerals, it must be seriously considered by every household in their daily diet like any other food. Many people may not like the taste or texture of mushrooms, hence these Mushroom based Value Added products can fill in the gap of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle for everyone. Especially, this Covid Era has taught us one very important lesson that We must ensure a complete healthy lifestyle for our families.

Great Companies: What makes Jayaa Agro Foods different from hundreds of other Mushroom Cultivation firms?

Dr. Sushant Shekhar: I strongly feel, Mushroom growing is a science and it must not be taken lightly. Our vision is simple and clear. We try to innovate on new ideas, improvise on our farming practices and implement it in our farming. We, as a team believe in one thing, Change is the permanent law of nature. We need to evolve every day and challenge ourself to better innovations.

In our cultivation practice, we have zero tolerance towards usage of chemicals and we are completely focused on providing chemical free food to our consumers. We, even, do not use any kind of preservatives in our Mushroom fortified products. As a social responsibility, we provide completely free support to farmers and defence people, as they are our real heroes.

Great Companies: What are the struggles and challenges you face?

Dr. Sushant Shekhar: Mushroom growing in itself is a challenge and a responsibility to create a food which is completely chemical free and unadulterated in all means. As an industry, mushroom growers face a very basic hurdle, that is to be recognised as an important sector of our country’s growth and development. I urge government to include mushroom in the list of essential commodities, recognise us as agri based industry, promote us through various schemes as well as departments. Personally, as a grower, we have seen lots of challenges and have struggled in the past, but in present, I would prefer to speak collectively on behalf of every grower of the country. Procurement of raw materials, their prices, procurement of good quality mushroom spawn, certification of trainers and consultants by national agencies through rigorous procedures are few of the concerns for the betterment of the industry as a whole. We have seen Green Revolution, White revolution and now is the time for Myco revolution.

Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for Jayaa Agro Foods?

Dr. Sushant Shekhar: We plan to diversify into various other agri based activities as well as intensify our effort towards imparting technical know-how to farmers and migrant labors with the help of government agencies, private organisations and NGOs. We also plan to initiate a full established production line for Mushroom fortified products in next few years.

Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Dr. Sushant Shekhar: As a nation, we are not technically advanced in our cultivation practice. Problem is not that we do not learn, problem is, we feel, we know everything. We need to come out of our self-esteemed cocoon and evolve. As a startup, new growers should select a right mentor for them. Do as much research as possible regarding cultivation practices and learn to find out what is good for cultivation and what is not. Also, they must have a firm belief in their work and follow passion with discipline to reach their dream.

bottom of page