SRINIVAS JANA, FOUNDER at EAGROSS WELLNESS LLP
Mridu Jana and Srinivas Jana’s, Radix Nutritive®, an award-winning Gluten free and Millet’s brand, manufactures a range of Gluten free, Vegan, Specialty foods and Millet Products. Srinivas talks about their journey. Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
SRINIVAS JANA: Sometimes the universe throws a curve ball and makes you realize that often we are driven by circumstances. It may be a way to communicate about futuristic events that may unfurl in due course.
Well, here is a snapshot of a real-life story which led a BPM Consultant entrusted with transforming the Business Operations of global Banks & Financial Institutions to undertake a voyage in a completely unknown territory.
In 2011, while we were getting ready for travel to the USA at work, I got diagnosed with gluten allergy, which later cascaded into a host of other complications. It came as a rude shock to a family which had predominantly been a wheat eater for decades be it rotis, parathas or bhaturas.
It was then, that my wife, Mridu Jana explored several diet alternatives and based on my body responses, she designed a survival kit with expansive range of innovative food solutions. Gratitude to the Universe, that a good number of Gluten free options were now available to drive my daily chores.
In recent times, there seems to be a marked increase of conditions like IBS, Celiac, SIBO, related to food intolerances/ allergies, globally, for example – Gluten, Lactose, Nut, Yeast etc.
With depleting soil, air, and water quality, coupled with food adulteration, usage of preservatives is causing havoc in the human body to an extent of lowering immunity.
With extensive use of processed/ refined foods,
The dietary fiber responsible for providing roughage for the smooth evacuation of bowels is at bare minimum levels. This leads to toxin build up, unhealthy gut conditions and bacterial imbalances.
Constipation, Diarrhea, Bloating, Abdominal pain signal the conditions of an unhealthy gut.
Having witnessed the high tide and looking at the possible trends, entering the Health and Wellness space was just a matter of time. In Feb 2017 upon our return, we set the ball rolling by setting up an exclusive gluten free facility with “Millets – The Forgotten Grains” at its core under our flagship brand - Radix Nutritive®.
Great Companies: What are the various services provided by EAGROSS WELLNESS LLP?
Our products categories span Bakery, Sweet shop, Flours, Rawas, Blends.
We recently introduced Ready to Eat Gluten-free Rotis, Parathas, Waffles, Jaffa Bites, all driven by millets.
We ship domestically with the help of dedicated courier partners / India Post. Our freshly baked dry cakes are airlifted to select locations, Vacuum packaging is available on customer request.
Being an innovative food processing company, we encourage direct interaction with Customers by way of direct purchases. Furthermore, the zeal of such interactions leads us to participate in various events – apartment complexes, corporate houses, trade fairs,
Such an interaction is usually around millet benefits, product related information, recipe building, market trends. It helps to build connections and trust with our target audience, and
We have multiple channels to market and sell our products using social media, WhatsApp, Referrals, e- Commerce and 3rd party platforms, food blogging, participating in international events while invoking food consciousness.
Although we started as a D2C Startup, we are now trying to build our network in the B2B segment as well to expand our outreach.
Great Companies: What makes EAGROSS WELLNESS LLP different from hundreds of other similar service providers?
SRINIVAS JANA: We are proud to convey that we are an Atta Chakki with Startup India recognition. As Eagross Wellness LLP, the product makers of Radix Nutritive®, an award-winning Gluten-free food and Millet’s brand:
We feature in Top 10 Business Leaders from Bangalore Startups 2022, awarded by CEO Insights.
We are on cloud nine to announce that our Cofounder, Mrs. Mridu Jana has been conferred with “Great Companies Women Entrepreneur Award 2023”.
We feature in Culinary Entrepreneurs magazine, in April2023 online edition.
We feature in “10 Best Gluten Free Food Startups– 2023” by Silicon India.
Gratitude to the Universe for these recognitions and they continue to pour in. But why? Here are the why’s as our Unique Selling Proposition.
We procure unpolished native grains from Organic Farmer Federation.
Food is processed in our exclusive gluten free facility ensuring zero gluten contamination. Processing, packaging, labeling all activities executed under single roof.
Small millets are roasted to provide better longevity to the grain.
Our concept is No Wheat, No Maida and No Refined Sugar foods.
Our story backed products are objective oriented.
At the core of innovation, all our food products or product categories are driven by a purpose:
While envisioning healthy roti making, we included millet as a nutricereal, a legume for its high protein and dietary fiber content and a binding agent to come up with products like “Radix Nutritive® Gluten-free Jowar Missi Plus Roti flour”.Just add water and salt to make sumptuous and puffy Indian breads with a rolling pin.
Considering the rise of Diabetic population, we encouraged a multi-millet flour high on dietary fiber, low in glycemic index, and recommended also for cardiac health. We came up with “Radix Nutritive® Trinity Multi-millet flour”. It can be added to dosa or idli batter, roti dough to enhance the nutritional quotient, and can be prepared as porridge and ganji.
For white rice eaters, millet rice is a great alternative. Small millets cook like rice and rice-based recipes like puliyogare, payasam, bisi bele bath, pulao. We roast the small millets to ensure better longevity without usage of chemicals.
For weight watchers and constipated population looking for healthy breakfast options we introduced Gluten-free Trinity Multi-millet Rawa which makes spongy idlis, upma, halwa and other heights of kitchen creation.
For our sweet tooth audience, why should they be kept away from mouthwatering, nutritious, and Vegan laddoos which are made from millets and jaggery.
To pull the younger generation towards millets we introduced Guilt free bakery driven by millets and jaggery. Our dry cakes (including Vegan variants), muffins, cookies, come in various flavors which provides a gluten-free snacking option without compromising on the taste.
Cooking is fun. But, for those of you who want to eat out for a change or people on the go, we have come up with Gluten free and Millet Rotis, Parathas.
The journey continues with yet to be launched Gluten free and Vegan bread.
Great Companies: What were the struggles and challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?
SRINIVAS JANA: During the initial months of our startup, there were many unknowns as expected. Sourcing raw materials, transparent stand-up food pouches and food processing machine manufacturers were our major challenges. We even tried our luck with incubators / research institutes for MoU to use their technology know-how while coming up with innovative food solutions. Witnessing such challenges made our resolve to go full throttle on our own.
Our vision to “BUILD A FOOD CONSCIOUS SOCIETY” took us to mandis, farmers, research institutes, agricultural universities, trade fairs, and food parks.
This conscious effort helped us to develop a comprehensive 360° view of a sustainable food chain and helped us to identify Millets as a clear winner.
We got many of the answers at the International Trade Fair, Organic sand Millets 2018, Bangalore. We got great connections and a feeling that “we are not alone in there”. We earnestly used lockdowns for our R&D efforts in making 100% Gluten free Millet cake with minimum available inputs.
Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for EAGROSS WELLNESS LLP?
SRINIVAS JANA: We envision,
On spreading awareness to include millets as a diet alternative among all age groups (minimum 6 plus months in age).
Our products to be available in Organic Stores, Restaurants, Star Hotels, Event Gatherings, Package Tours, Wellness Centers, Airport Lounges and beyond across major locations of our country.
To be an exporter in the next 2 years and a listed company in the next 5 years.
To support 3 villages, directly or indirectly in terms of employment and growth opportunities.
To inspire “young in spirit” minds with our entrepreneurial journey.
Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
SRINIVAS JANA: There are N number of problems/possibilities waiting for a solution especially in the manufacturing sector.
Startup definition includes:
Identification of a problem.
Concreting the problem statement.
Idea to solve the problem.
Executing the idea on the ground.
Most of our young minds are enthralled by funding and valuation aspects. My advice here is identify your WHY, concrete your WHY, the HOWS will follow anyway..Funding appears on the HOW side. Use IT as an enabler. We are never ready enough to start with, just begin wherever you are with whatever you have. Take the plunge!!!