For some people, entrepreneurship is not a thought, a plan, or even a goal. It is almost like second nature – the entrepreneurial spirit remains unwavering in them.
This is exactly what Fariq Naushad and Previn Jacob Varghese have always been like. Starting up their own business and adding value to society was something they began doing while they were in college.
Today, they are co-founders of Greenikk, an agritech startup that is based in Thiruvananthapuram. Simply put, it is a digital ecosystem for banana farmers in the country.
What led to Greenikk?
While in college, Fariq and Previn started a company called Invento Technology Solutions. It was engaged in making a platform that enabled homemakers to sell their food online.
Next, the duo launched a software solutions company called Teczium Solutions in Rwanda. Within just one year of operations, the startup became insanely successful, but a void in the founders’ hearts remained.
That’s when they wanted to come back to India and do something for the country by solving a problem.
In 2019, they saw that the agricultural space in India was seeing a growing momentum towards sustainability and environmental protection.
This is what led them to launch Greenikk in Thiruvananthapuram
What does Greenikk do?
As a startup, Greenikk has made a digital ecosystem around banana farmers. The aim is to ease out issues and hiccups for every stakeholder in the banana value chain.
Usually, these stakeholders include a host of people from farmers and processing units to B2B buyers, fibre buyers, and commission agents.
Greenikk is a full-stack platform and offers complete support and assistance to banana farmers.
What the platform does is help banana farmers with the financing and insuring their produce, marketing it, and then utilising the waste so efficiently that they get value from it.
Through various Establishment Centres set up by Greenikk, the startup offers farmers the necessary education, information, and concrete support in the aspects of crop advisory, agri inputs, and market network.
Greenikk is currently following a B2B model and sells bananas to buyers like export agents, chips manufacturers, and wholesalers.
The founders claim that smoothening the banana value chain increases the revenue for every stakeholder involved.
Due to various business reasons, Greenikk had to change its model at least three times.
The fruit and vegetable supply chain in India is extremely old, and adding technology to it and working on its rough edges was quite a task for Greenikk.
The founders were also cheated by a banana dealer once and lost Rupees 1.55 lakh.
Greenikk, as a startup, is refining the banana value chain and is beneficial for every stakeholder. Despite that, certain dealers would threaten the startup not to approach the banana farmers directly.
The team handled all of this and continued moving towards growth and learning.
Currently, Greenikk has a network of 10,000 farmers.
In FY22, the startup achieved sales worth Rupees 1.58 crore and grew 300%. Closing the current financial year at Rupees 6 crore is the projection.
With a team size of 12 people, the startup’s clientele includes Beyond Snacks (Shark Tank Funded), Tierra Foods, Chedda Foods Mumbai, Kozhikodens, Casco Mumbai, Vimala Welfare Centre, and Reshamandi.
In the future, Greenikk aims to expand its farmer network to a number of 50,000 and set up more enablement centres across Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
To know more about the startup, visit its website https://greenikk.com/.