“Sowing Dreams: A Software Engineer's Journey to Natural Farming"
Today I want to tell a story about a software engineer who turned into a chai wala :-)
.. I know this is not new to our India, since a chai wala has become the Prime
Minister of India; however, the journey and the experiences are different. So, I am
here to talk about my experience.
I have been a software engineer for nearly 15 years and, more than that, have been
an entrepreneur all my life. I've been a street vendor and ran a vegetable shop, sold
fruits, did pick up and delivery to support my family and make ends meet. After
being able to sustain my software job, I decided to invest money in buying an acre
of land to do natural farming (No pesticides, insecticides, herbicides) and this gave
me immense pleasure and satisfaction of eating and selling very high-quality food.
This opportunity also taught me the health problems of eating processed foods like
sugar, cheese, packaged food, etc. It's not actually with what we eat, but it's with the
way they were grown in the farms using heavy fertilizers. However, what I
observed was, there is no market available for goods produced through natural
farming, since the produce would be a limited quantity, and the cost of production
is high, so I thought of setting up shop in the city.
After extensive research and discussing with multiple farmers who have been in
natural farming, I came to realize that it's not sustainable to set up shop and sell in
the city since it adds signicant costs to sell. We started to discuss with multiple
online grocery stores, but again the commission was very high, which adds more
cost to the produce. So, I came up with a plan to set up my own restaurant and use
natural farming produce to the possible extent and give quality food to my
customers and also provide a platform for farmers to sell their products. After
brainstorming for months and understanding the availability of natural farming
produced goods at my nearest vicinity, I found setting up a coffee bar was a feasible
Here we sell tea, coffee, cakes, burgers, pizzas, and etc. at affordable prices. As you
can see, most of what we sell are processed foods, but we are adding a twist to all of
them by alternating a few ingredients/raw materials with natural farming produce.
For example, the milk we use for tea and coffee comes from a farm where cows are
fed with natural farming-grown grass. The pizza base is mixed with millet our
produced through natural farming methods. Vegetables used in the burger are from
the farms, which are produced through natural farming. We are working with
farmers for feasible alternatives for most of the raw materials. We know we can't
change everything overnight, but dreaming for a better world!!
With this spirit and ideology, we are getting into the franchise model to serve more
customers and provide a platform for more farmers to sell their produce.
Thanks All..!! Dreaming of a better world together - Rajesh Anumula.