BodhiShop has a handcrafted selection of the best Gir Cow Ghee & A2 milk Products and Panchagavya items available in India. Products are lab tested for A2 protein, purity, fatty acid profile with packaging happening in FSSAI facility. It was launched on 8th August, 2018.
About the founders
The founders are the husband-wife duo Rajas and Gautami Paranjpe:
- At the age of 23, Rajas started his own firm, specialized in making marketing videos and ecommerce websites. With an experience of working with worldwide clients( Google, Sony, National Geographic) in different capacities, he has a deep understanding of best practices in Ecommerce marketing, sales, user experience, identifying trends, data analytics etc. In today’s times of reduced attention span, Rajas excels in creating effective & engaging video content for communication and sales. He is an expert in pooling a talented team together.
- Gautami started writing marketing content for The Times of India while still in college. For 2 years, she had her own segment on ABP News Network where she created and shared content for image management. Her content showcased her skills in packing, organizing and healthy grooming. Having worked in AdFactors PR in her media days, Gautami comes with her knowledge in traditional and modern PR necessary for any start-up. She understands the need to innovate in the Content and PR areas to stay relevant.
We are publishing an interview with Mr. Rajas Paranjpe:
Q.: What is the problem you are trying to solve?
Ans: Various vendors in the milk industry have noticed the demand for A2 Milk products. In addition to the high price of the products, the demand for A2 products is a motivation for many vendors to sell fake and adulterated products. The customers today are willing to pay an extra price for a verified and trustworthy product. Ghee is something people consume even as a medicine. Nobody wants to take a risk when they are buying food products for their family members. But there was no such third party who is doing verification of the vendors for the customers. Where is the milk sourced from? What is the process of making the ghee? Is the product lab tested? How are the cows being treated? What measures are being taken to ensure that the products are not adulterated? We decided to personally get involved in the process of verification. Our idea was to understand the philosophy of the vendor behind selling A2 product.
We believe that apart from the lab test reports and certifications, the vendor’s core reason for starting the A2 products business is of great importance. When a sensitive topic like Desi Cow is in question, it is essential that the philosophy of the owner as well as traders in this domain is clear. Gaushalas are the focus here. The only way to really promote our culture of protecting and worshipping the cow by opening and supporting more gaushalas.
Another problem is of misrepresented information. In the times where most people in society are extremely cautious about all the products that they buy, they are quite misguided by viral videos and posts which are seldom true. The toughest job is to make genuine information reach to these people. Lack of genuine content about the desi cow and the benefits of using desi products is a challenge that we are trying to overcome with our own original content to inform and educate people.
Q.: Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
Ans: As per a member of the Animal Welfare Board, around 68.7 per cent of milk and milk products sold in the country is not as per the standards laid down by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The production of milk in the country up to March 31, 2018 has been registered at 14.68 crore litres per day against the consumption of 480 grams per capita per day. The World Health Organisation (WHO) had recently issued an advisory to the Government of India stating that if adulteration of milk and milk products is not checked immediately, 87 per cent of citizens would be suffering from serious diseases like cancer by the year 2025.
Q.: Tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
Ans: Our products are not just lab tested. They are coming from the Gaushalas which we have personally shortlisted. Unlike Amazon or Flipkart, we do not have 100s of vendors selling the same product. We have restricted to a short number. This enables us to be closely in contact with the vendors. The customers benefit the most from this set-up. They are confident that because Bodhishop doesn’t own the gaushalas, they have no incentive to introduce any fake and adulterated products on the website. We do not hesitate to delist a product in case of a fall in quality or customer service. Our products fit the market because the customers get 100% pure and animal cruelty-free products which come with a verification done by Bodhishop.in
Q.: What is your USP?
Ans: There are 100s of vendors online who are selling A2 products claiming that their products are the best. The reality is that no one else is actually seconding their claim. Bodhishop.in deals exclusively in the desi cow domain and hosts only select few but genuine vendors. Although we don’t own any farm, our strict parameters to get a listing on our website is an assurance for the customers that they will only get the best product here. We have currently delisted 1 vendor since tracing the source and authenticity of their milk started becoming a problem.
Q.: What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have? Who in your mind is your ideal customer? Do you have at least one of them signed up?
Ans: We started with only one product – Desi Cow Ghee. When we entered the market, we thought that the customer base is very limited due to the high price of ghee. Soon we realized that there are many people who are now aware of the adulteration happening in the milk products industry. People from all states and income groups are inclined to buy pure desi cow ghee. They are buying the ghee for some medicinal purpose or for a baby. The reasons are varied but people are choosing a verified option of ghee over the one available commercially in the market. Even with the high price of ghee, our customer buys ghee only from us because he doesn’t have to worry about the quality and authenticity of the product if it is coming from Bodhishop. We have managed to build trust in our customers in the past year.
Q.: What has been your biggest failure as an entrepreneur and what did you learn from it??
Ans: I was raising VC money for excellent startup idea in video/media space. There were a lot of interests from the top VC funds of India. Eventually I learnt the investment proposal reached to a point where it couldn’t go further because there was not enough proof of concept and proof of revenue. All the big investors wanted some other investor to start and then they can join on the second round.
What I learnt is even if the idea looks great on paper and attracts industry stalwarts, it has larger chances of failing if it is not supported by Proof of Concept and Proof Of Revenue.
Start small, establish proof of concept, proof of revenue and traction before approaching any investor to have maximum chances of funding and prolonged interest in your idea.
Q.: How are you pricing the Product? What is the logic behind it? What is the model you are following – Free / Freemium / Premium etc. ? Explain your thought process.
Ans: The most common question for our ghee price is “Why is it so expensive?” Before starting Bodhishop, we did a thorough study of ghee making in Ayurveda. The ghee made using the technique prescribed in Ayurveda needs about 30 litres of pure desi cow milk to make 1 litre of Vedic Ghee. Every Gaushala has a different number of cows and different quantities of output. Location and cost of the feed is another factor which affects the pricing. The price of the products is decided by the vendor. Bodhishop decided to sell the products at the price that the vendor has fixed.
In the past 6 months, we have introduced an economical range of personal care and home care products which is really appreciated by many customers. By-products of a desi cow, like Gaumutra and Gomay are very useful in making basic home care and personal care items like soaps, agarbattis or floor cleaners. Now, the products on our website range from economic to premium price range.
Q.: How did you get your first customer?
Ans: The first-ever customer on Bodhishop.in did not like the ghee he purchased. We were extremely scared and worried. What market have we entered? We never anticipated that a customer will come back with feedback like ‘This ghee is bad. It tastes bad.’ The aggregator model has worked for us since the beginning. We requested the customer to try out another brand of ghee from the website. He orders a bottle from another Gaushala which he absolutely loved! Since then, that customer always orders the same product every month from us.
What one needs to understand is that the taste and texture of the ghee depend on various factors like region, weather, the time taken to cook the Makhan, etc. Some people prefer ghee which is cooked for a longer period of time while some don’t. Due to multiple options available on Bodhishop, our customers get to try small size bottles from various gaushalas and decide their favourite ghee for themselves.
Q.: Please tell us about the investors (if any)
Ans: We are soon starting our fundraising process.
Q.: Is there any interesting success story? If yes, please write about it. ?
Ans: We recently completed one year of Bodhishop.in. In August we received an invite for a huge Cross-border e-commerce conference. We were really shocked to know that DHL had invited us for this combo where the top e-commerce websites who are catering to customers beyond India. 1 year ago, we would never have been allowed to attend such a conference let alone be invited to one.
Q.: What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product/service leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Ans: Our Bodhishop.in platform directly affects 5 entities:
- Farmers (creates dignified employment opportunities for the farmers especially with scattered holdings or to the new generation who has given up farming due it’s risky nature)
- Consumers (consumers who have lost touch with farming since decades now get unadulterated A2 Milk with organic F&V whose source can be traced)
- Indigenous Desi Cows (Once the backbone of the Indian economy will gain importance due to its milk’s numerous proven health benefits)
- Traditional Indian Panchagavya products (which are in huge demand in domestic as well as global market)
- Marketplace model (It helps genuine farmers located across India to sell directly to customers through their own brand and at their price)
Q.: Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture? Please explain in details:
Ans: In 10 months the monthly turnover has grown 10X. We get —- visitors on our website every month.
From just 20 orders a month to over 150 orders a month, Bodhishop has catered to more than 1000 customers in India and abroad. When we started, we even had A2 milk on our platform. Currently, Bodhishop is servicing over 400 customers for A2 milk. There is a waiting list for over 2000 customers which is not being fulfilled due to the lack of supply and an unorganized last-mile delivery service industry for milk.
Q.: What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
Ans: In the past year we have had a chance of interacting with over 100s of customers on phone calls, messages or email. Today, we know the set of customers who buy these products. We know the reasons why people are buying this product. Also, we have the advantage of being the only Desi cow based e-commerce website.
Q.: List all the names of the core Team Members, along with their Designated Roles.
Ans: We are a team of 2 – Rajas and Gautami. Rajas overseas the entire technology, sales and marketing of Bodhishop.in. Gautami is in charge of the content, customer care and packaging.
Q.: Who do You Perceive as Your Competition? How do you differentiate yourself with them?
Ans: Honestly we do not see any competition for Bodhishop.in because we are the only website in India that is providing 100% desi cow products. Be it our ghee or our grocery items, all of them are connected with the desi cow which no other company is doing.
Q.: What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
Ans: We are looking to raise funds to develop our own logistics system and expand bodhishop marketplace operations.
Q.: What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Ans: We have always believed in following instincts. The most important step is to start. Put in your hard work. If you do something consistently and sincerely, nothing can stop you.
Q.: Any other information you would like to share?
Ans: Visit our website to know more about us.
Thanks Rajas. Best wishes!