Meet Jyothi Pappu Founder of ‘Nutreat – The real handcrafted homemade foods for babies, kids’, shares her motivational startup story to inspire and motive others who are still planning to chase their passion and dreams, especially women. Lets read her amazing journey below.
Please introduce yourself. [About Jyothi Pappu | Nutreat Founder]
I am really fortunate to have all the luxuries in my life with no roller coaster rides and we belong to Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, but however it was never that interesting till I have started crafting Nutreat. Most of my family members are group-1 holders and expected me to be the same. After completing my masters in pharmacy practice at Sri Ramachandra University, Porur, Chennai, they all advised me to try for DI. But it was never my cup of tea.
After my marriage we have to live in a rural area where my husband works for ONGC as an EE, and almost all the gates were closed for my career plans. Some of the pharmacy colleges around us were the only option if I wanted my career. But teaching will never sync with my mind. It was in the year 2015, when my son born and I was researching about his first foods, I found no product as a homemade food with lots of preservatives & artificial ingredients. This really made me to think about make his first foods on my own. The recipe & process of preparation were shared by my grandmother. Her only condition was to prepare it in a traditional way to get the maximum and true benefits.
When and How did you think about Nutreat?
It was in the year 2012, when my first son was born I was researching about his first foods in the market. But none of them hiked me as, almost all of them are with preservatives and as a pharmacy student I know the side effects these ingredients well. So, I thought I would make this on for my li’ll one.
For this I had to research again by consulting some pediatricians, friends, and Internet and finally it was my Grandmother who gave me the real traditional recipe for baby food and she warned me that I should only process this using stone grinder. After my son, I shared this recipe to most of friends but as most of them are working they asked me to prepare. These requests made me to think about crafting it commercially with the support of my husband in 2015, in Malkipuram located on the banks of river Godavari.
Initially, when we started giving it to near and local retailers. But a call from Gujarat (I don’t know how she got the pack) saying “Thanks for this, my baby eats only this and she is gaining her healthy weight now” was the real moment that made me confident about my products. As I was totally a newpreneur I didn’t even asked her to write a ‘testi‘. Day by day we are growing and developing the skills on marketing.
To say about Nutreat in one word about “handcrafted in traditional way” for the providing best nutrient rich foods for babies, kids & small range of foods for entire family without any empty calories. We craft Nutreat by stone grinding, sun drying, clay pot roasting etc. People are slowly coming out of the myth that poor foods of the rich countries are not for us, they are rethinking about our traditional foods. So, Nutreat provides the best possible traditional foods.
Who motivated you to start Nutreat and Who is your mentor?
Frankly speaking people around are the real inspiration to me, people with different health needs and who are advised to be on special diet etc. made me poking all the time for better alternatives.
The artificial baby foods made me to think and discover Nutreat ukkiri, while my neighbor who is a picky eater when advised to have brown rice resulted in diabetic friendly Nutreat. Likewise each product from kitchen has its own unique crafting story.
My natural attitude towards our local foods made me to research more about them & collect lots of information regarding our primitive techniques & delicious foods from India. People me helped me a lot by sharing their recipes with unique cooking methods that preserve the nutrients which is the main motive while crafting Nutreat.
My husband who is the driven force from the beginning is my mentor, always motivating me while turning the tables in crafting Nutreat.
Introduce your Co-Founder/Founders and Team.
I alone lead my company with help of my husband who takes care of all the financial matters. However, I should say he is the investor for this as he is the person who believed in my concept and encouraged by investing capital.
I am accompanied by 4 women helpers. I should call Manga (45 year old) & Lakshmi (43 year old) are the main crafters of Nutreat as they are the people who stone grind the rice & other ingredients, the hands behind crafting Nutreat. Durga (22 year old unmarried girl) is really talented and supervises whole crafting, packing, and other simple marketing process when required. I should say I can rely her whenever necessary. Along with these we have occasional helpers (Suda & Ramana) whenever required depending upon production volume.
Manga and Lakshmi were totally ill literates yet they won their masters in using primitive house-hold techniques. This was the main reason that I am able to move on. Durga passed her 10th standard and due to her family background she had to discontinue her studies, but I feel she is the captain of my helpers.
Tell us more about Nutreatlife.com, What makes you special ?
Nutreat is a handcrafted homemade food for babies, kids & small range of health foods using the traditional processing techniques.
We handpick the raw ingredients directly from the local farmers and sun dry them for improving the shelf life. Ingredients like rice, millets are stone grounded to retain the maximum nutrients and they are slow roasted in clay pots (this enhances its taste). We don’t use any kind of preservatives or artificial ingredients to increase the shelf life as we believe food should always be consumed freshly and before it spoils naturally. Hence our products has very low shelf life of 6 months like most homemade foods.
Following ‘primitive techniques’ for processing is the one thing that makes us unique in this market. There are people who are producing this kind of baby & kids foods yet most of them are also processed using latest techniques. Our products are near to the nutritional facts with no empty calories and we craft Nutreat only when we get the freshest from the farmers grown with no chemicals. This might put us a li’ll back in this commercial world but still we ride on this way only because we are motivated with only one soul aim “encourage eating local produce with rich nutrients for real radiant health”.
What challenges did you face while setting up Nutreat? How did you overcome ?
As the path we choose was completely unique though it is a primitive technique every step was challenging before and now. The main challenge was getting helpers. People are not that interested in producing the flour in a stone grinder after these modern electronics. But still we had overcome this by offering more than regular daily wages for them and the second biggest was the “people”. We always look for easy and fancy things but not the facts. Same way people are much interested in Baby foods imported than produced locally.
Most of the people even well-educated think imported foods are always superior. For this I had to work for about a year, convincing the people about the preservatives added, regarding the empty calories and providing the samples in large amounts. But once they tasted no customer bought highly processed foods. Besides these, the place where we live was a big hurdle in early stages as it is a rural area I got no chance of retailing or exhibiting. People in our area are no scope for marketing my product initially. I had to find my market through lots of research till I signed up for amazon.
The marketing media available now-a-days is the ultimate care-taker for young entrepreneurs. People should just come-up with a unique idea & work for it, anything is possible in these days, no area or age or gender or marriage or finance are just hurdles these days they are no more barriers. All the thing we need is ‘determination’.
But still there is a big hurdle which is to be achieved collectively, as Nutreat aims in promoting & encouraging ‘local foods’. People need to rethink & reconsider about our traditional foods that are proved healthy several years ago but now they are degraded due to many reasons. This is really a challenging hurdle in my journey of Nutreat but still I feel there is a hope.
What’s the Current Path, Nutreatlife.com ‘s Funding Status and Future plans?
Nutreat is self-funded, my husband has supported me both mentally & financially to no limits.
I have invested INR.25 000 as capital with totally a vague idea on marketing but with a master piece in home, my husband is my ultimate financial advisor. With his support only I am now earning up to 2 lakh per month and I expect this year I could reach up to 5-8 lakh per month. The only traction that drives us is the feedback that we are receiving from our customers. Though we receive only few written feedbacks mostly, when have our repeated customers both offline and online. Most of our customers say that they are dependent on my products as they trust us. This made us to earn up to 5 lakhs in a month in the year 2017.
We are currently in few retailers in Andhra Pradesh & Telangana with 5 products in the market and we are going to release 6 more this year. We are readily available on amazon and other health sites, once we are ready my friends are ready to tie-up.
If you would like, you can share a few words about VID .
Sure, I think this is the first thing that I need to share with this world. Though there is incredible marketing aids these days, the focus & encouragement that an entrepreneur needs is almost negligible offline. Platforms like VID act as catalyst for entrepreneurs like me in achieving such goal, especially VID is very transparent & unique inspiring stories.