We are publishing an interview of Mr. Pavan Kumar, Director, Diabetic Food International Pvt. Ltd.
About the founders
Mr. Pavan Kumar (Former SAP Labs employee with 16 years of experience in IT and Social Entrepreneurship ) and Mrs. Shobha Menon (Venture Capitalist & Business Entrepreneur Been in the International Business for Over 25 years. ) and are the founders of Diabetic Food International Pvt Ltd, the producers of Granoss Millets and Millet Products.
They started working together from the year 2012 towards:
• Revival of Millets Farming
• Support to Farmers (end to end)
• Creation of Alternative Healthy Foodgrain for Global Distribution
• Social Outreach Program for Farmers and Health Education Program for Prevention and Management of Diabetes
• Conservation of water resources for producing the food.
What is the problem you are trying to solve?
The problem afflicting the world today is unhealthy high chemical contaminated food cultivation and ingestion of high carbohydrate diets both of which are leading to an alarming incidence of cancers, diabetes, heart disease etc. The only solution for mankind is firstly to go back to natural zero chemical farming and secondly towards ingestion of healthy low carbohydrate grains such as millets, bajra, and amarnath as their staple food. Our company’s efforts are aimed at reviving Zero Chemical Millet farming, thereby providing an alternative food choice that will ensure good health, and prevent /manage life threatening diseases. Today International numbers on Cancers and Diabetes are increasing exponentially and all including Indians must awake and stall the alarming rise of these diseases in India. Our company objectives and our efforts are in that direction.
What is the uniqueness about your Startup?
The uniqueness of our Startup is that we are a socio- economic cause aimed at benefitting both the rural and the urban people of India. We are involved in every step of the process from the farm to the home. Our products are of international quality, premium grains, unpolished, 100% natural, chemical free, and vacuum packed with a certified long shelf life. The different Millet grains ( Foxtail millet, Proso Millet, Kodo Millet and Little Millet) and Millets products (such as semolina , roti flour and khichadi mix) are suited for both Indian and Continental Recipes.
What is the revenue model? Explain your thought process.
Difodin is a socio-economic project, hence our goal is to incentivize millet farming for the benefit of farmers and to make premium quality millets available to consumers at the best possible price. Currently in India, we are on an e-commerce model and our sales are online via our website difodin.com and via amazon.in . Our efforts are on to establish the direct selling or the multi level marketing module so that it will provide employment and income to a large number of people and also create awareness about the potential of millets among the public. As the level of awareness about the potential of millets increases more and more people are sure to move towards a millet based diets. With the multilevel directing marketing module, along with the online business module, I am sure our social and economic goals will be easily met. Our emphasis is primarily on the quality of our product and the commitment to our farmers.
Who are the consumers that you are targeting? How is this going to affect them?
Every individual who wants to remain healthy and keep away from life threatening and debilitating diseases should look at moving to a millet based diet. Millets are a boon to those families which have a member who has been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes . Millets are the key to the prevention and management of not only diabetes but heart disease, hypertension, cancers, etc because one invariably leads to the other. With high ingestion of wheat and wheat products there are innumerable people who are suffering silently from gluten intolerance and celiac disease. To such people millet flour and millet semolina are the foods that will give them health and well- being. Those people who are fighting obesity or desirous of increasing their fitness levels, for such people too millets are the answer. Truly speaking , everyone should move to a millet rich diet, and move away from rice and wheat based diets if they want to ensure good health throughout their lives. When disease strikes we spend our entire lifetime and life earning to regain it , but isn’t it better to make the right choice and live healthy and happy .
What is the big picture of your startup? Will it lead to something bigger? If so, how?
There is an awakening in the entire world today on the value of good health and the search is on for whole grains which are alternatives to rice and wheat. India we are lucky to produce millets traditionally and due to the unhealthy predominance of rice and wheat , cultivation of millets which are infact a drought resistant crop has eroded. Our objective is to bring millets back into people’s diets, revive millet farming , and thereby support the farmers. Our objective is to launch 27 products which are Chemical Free and Highly Nutritious. We are confident that Granoss Millets will become a household name throughout India over the next 5 years. India is the highest producer of millets in the world and by the year 2020 we hope to distribute our millet products to 10 international markets.
What is the success story of your startup in your own words?
The cultivation of the millets has drastically gone down in Anantapur region revival of this was a big challenge because of no subsidy encouragement from the government. The problems faced by the farmers are highlighted by the extent of poverty in the region due to drought and less rain fall. Our efforts towards incentivizing millet farming combined with our research and efforts in zero chemical and zero budget farming created a sense of hope and empowerment in the minds of the farmers in the region. That to us is our true success story. Of course there is immense success in the encouragement and appreciation we have been receiving from nutritionists, dieticians, doctors , and consumers who are very happy with the quality and variety of our products and the availability of the products throughout India via amazon. .
Any other information about your startup that you would like to share with us.
The journey this far has not been easy but it has been very rewarding and we are very fortunate to have a very committed and dedicated people working with us at different levels in India and abroad. Currently we are working towards the formation of a co-operative society that will empower the women folk in the Anantapur region of Andhra Pradesh with regular source of income for their family. But more about that later .