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MBA Grad Quits Job to Sell Organic Food, Aims for ₹10 Cr ARR in FY25

A Delhi-based Cost Accountant, MBA turned agricultural entrepreneur launched Earthy Tales, a venture dedicated to selling clean and organic food.

By Bilal Khan
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Earthly Tales

Co-founders At Earthly Tales

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Deepak Sabharwal was a man of numbers, logic, and precision. At 40, he was a Cost Accountant working for General Electric (GE) in Gurgaon, earning good money. But every weekend, he shed his corporate skin to become a farmer, travelling to his family's lush, sprawling farms in Pushkar, Rajasthan.

This rhythm of balancing high-stakes corporate life with the serene, demanding world of farming continued for two years until a life-changing event struck, altering his path forever.

One fateful day, Deepak's mother was diagnosed with cancer. The news hit him hard, but what shook him even more was the realisation that the pesticides he was using on his farm might be contributing to ill health of people consuming those crops.

"It shocked me to realise that I was putting poison into the soil, which ended up in our food. I couldn't continue harming people and the environment," said the founder of Earthy Tales during the exclusive conversation with Startup Pedia.

In a bold and decisive move, Deepak destroyed his chemically grown crops and began an earnest quest for alternatives. He took a break from his high-paying job and travelled across India, visiting organic farms in Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

While talking to Startup Pedia, Deepak explained, "I realised that organic farming is possible, and it is not a marketing gimmick as misunderstood by most people. Moreover, we needed to connect consumers and farmers willing to switch to organic methods."


Sowing the brand- Earthy Tales:

From this realisation, Earthy Tales was born in 2018—a direct-to-consumer digital model focused on natural, clean and organic food. "Our mission was to build trust with our customers through a farm-to-fork model, ensuring 100% transparency and quality," Deepak told Startup Pedia.

The Delhi-based agri-startup began collaborating with farmers, training them, and helping them get certified for organic farming. This approach not only empowered the farmers but also ensured a steady supply of organic produce.

In the early days, Deepak worked directly with a few families, relying heavily on word-of-mouth to grow his customer base. "At first, I did the deliveries myself. Then, I started building a team that shared my passion," recalled the founder of Earthy Tales during the conversation with Startup Pedia.


Sprawling of the brand:

The COVID-19 pandemic heightened awareness of health and immunity, boosting the demand for organic products. Earthy Tales expanded its reach across India, partnering with e-commerce giants like Amazon, and Flipkart for non-perishable items. The agri startup also ventured into the B2B sector, supplying products to major e-commerce firms while primarily focusing on the D2C model.

Earthy Tales began with fruits, and vegetables and gradually expanded to include a variety of food categories like pulses, oils, flours and spices. "Today, we have around 400+ SKUs and 15+ food categories. We try to bring out something unique and traditional. For instance, our flour is ground in traditional stone grinders, and all our oils are cold-pressed," the founder explained to Startup Pedia.

The agri-startup's commitment to improving sourcing and creating a user-friendly website and mobile app contributed to its rapid growth.

Deepak explained the price differences between organic and conventionally grown products. "We have to compare the long-term cost and benefit. Using growth hormones in the crops can increase production, but it's not healthy," he stated.

Earthy Tales organic products are generally priced at Rs. 1.5 to 1.75 times higher, but with more farmers entering the field and the demand increasing for these products, prices could eventually come down.


The Challenges:

Transitioning to organic farming was not easy. Deepak had to destroy an entire cauliflower crop worth around Rs. 1 lakh. "It was a bold decision, but my family's support, especially my wife, who is my strongest pillar, made it possible," he acknowledges.

Friends and colleagues often questioned his decision to enter the agri space, but Deepak's passion never wavered. "When your Purpose becomes your Passion, you don’t hear all these things. I never felt fatigued, never once," he shares.

Organic farming faces several challenges, including lower yields and pest attacks. "Natural farming focuses on long-term solutions, like improving soil quality, which takes time. In the short term, yields might be lower due to pests," Deepak explains.

Another challenge is the demand and supply gap for organic products. 

"Everything has been contaminated for the past 50-60 years, and it will take time to recover the soil and environment," he added during the conversation with Startup Pedia.


Team and Operations

Earthy Tales operates from NCR Dwarka with a team of 20 members, including co-founder Abhishek Singhal, who has been with the company for four years. "Abhishek joined us as an IT business partner who built our website, but eventually fell for our bigger purpose and vision. He is a B.Tech Computer Engineer and a core business person at heart," Deepak mentions proudly.

The agri startup's leadership team comprises five core members handling Technology, Agri-sourcing, Customer service and Operations. 

Earthy Tales is committed to inclusivity and sustainability, with around 25% of its staff being women by design. "Sustainability is built into our model. We believe in recycling, using brown paper for packaging, and retrieving our oil bottles and other materials from customers," says Abhishek Singhal.

Ms Gurneet Kaur Bajaj, the Customer Community Outreach head at Earthy Tales shared, "In our customer referral model, we plant a tree for you rather than providing cashback. Our customers and community also support our sustainability efforts, and their involvement in this journey is crucial for us".


Financial Growth of the brand

The financial growth of Earthy Tales has been impressive, with an average growth rate of 100% year on year. 

In FY 2020-21, the revenue stood at Rs 1.2 Crore, which then increased to Rs 1.7 Crore in FY 2021-22. The following year, FY 2022-23, saw an even more substantial rise, with revenue reaching Rs 3.2 Crore. This positive trend continued in FY 2023-24, with the top line growing to Rs 4.0 Crore. 

The agri startup expects to end the current financial year (2024-25) with an average run rate (ARR) of Rs. 8-10 crores.

"We have mostly been bootstrapped so far. We are now looking to raise funds from like-minded investors. It's crucial to balance passion with commerce," advised Deepak.

The government has also supported organic farming, helping farmers become serious about organic products. Earthy Tales was incubated by the Ministry of Agriculture and received a grant under the RKVY RAFTAAR scheme.


The End Note

Looking ahead, Earthy Tales aims to continue its growth trajectory with plans for new projects and further expansion. The company remains committed to educating its community about the long-term benefits of organic food.

"Food is an investment. If you are healthy, you can enjoy everything in life properly. Keep food at the top of your investment so that you can enjoy your other investments as well," Deepak emphasised during the conversation with Startup Pedia. 


What is Earthy Tales?
Earthy Tales is an agri-startup founded by Deepak Sabharwal in 2018, focusing on providing natural, clean, and organic food through a direct-to-consumer digital model.
What is the mission of Earthy Tales?
The mission of Earthy Tales is to build India’s most trusted Clean, Organic food farm-to-fork model, ensuring transparency and quality in food production.
What products does Earthy Tales offer?
Earthy Tales started with fruits and perishables and expanded to include pulses, oils, spices, and more, with around 400+ SKUs and 15+ food categories.
What is the financial growth of Earthy Tales?
Earthy Tales has an average growth rate of 100% year on year and expects an average run rate (ARR) of Rs. 8-10 crores for the financial year 2024-25.