Our Food: This Hyd start-up aims to decentralize India's food processing industry

The start-up has innovative, low-cost, and decentralized mini food processing units and its mission is to bring food processing closer to the farms.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  25 Jan 2022 3:04 PM GMT
Our Food: This Hyd start-up aims to decentralize Indias food processing industry

Hyderabad: The Hyderabad-based agribusiness platform, Our Food, is on a mission to decentralize India's food processing industry. The start-up has innovative, low-cost, and decentralized mini food processing units and its mission is to bring food processing closer to the farms.

Our Food has a presence in 12 states in India, primarily concentrating in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Karnataka. The company has processing units for over 15 crops, including pulses, cereals, spices, groundnut, and plans to expand its crop portfolio.

"Our Food value proposition is a triple play for the rural youth who operate franchises, for farmers who can increase their income through direct supply, and for the business buyers who can offer higher quality to their consumers," says Lalit Jalan, former CEO of Reliance Infrastructure who will soon join the company's board of directors.

Our Food has raised $6 million in growth funding and plans to ramp up operations, increase manufacturing capacity and improve the agricultural food supply chain that sees an estimated $5 billion annual post-harvest wastage in India. This funding round was led by existing investor 3Lines Venture Capital and a new investor, C4D Asia Fund. Mr. Jalan is also the chairman of 3Lines India.

Over 1,700 rural entrepreneurs have licensed Our Food farmer franchises, each operating a regional crop-specific processing unit that procures and processes raw material from over a hundred farmers from nearby villages. Each farmer franchisee is powered with an end-to-end tech-enabled solution, starting with the establishment of a single mini food processing unit, access to equipment financing, training in processing, and marketing of the processed output.

"Our Food has seen a growth of over 100x in its decentralized processing over the last two years signaling a disruptive trend in mini food processing," adds Lalit.

Arvind Agarwal, the CEO of C4D Partners, says, "Our Food is the first successful model in India that has been able to scale decentralized processing of agricultural products. In-house design and manufacturing of the processing units, coupled with financing and buyback guarantee of the produce, has set up Our Food to become a pan-India company in no time."

He adds, "Decentralized agri-processing is the key to achieving the objective of doubling farmers' income in India."

Bala Reddy, the founder and CEO of Our Food, says a majority of the value gained from pre-processing, reducing post-harvest wastage and supply chain disintermediation is shared between the franchise operator and the farmer that supplies the unprocessed harvest. "To bring food processing closer to the farm is the mission Our Food team has worked tirelessly over the past five years and has fine-tuned the business model to develop innovative ideas in manufacturing, food processing operations, financing, and B2B/B2C sales," he says.

He adds, "The additional capital infusion will help us boost our capacity to over 6,000 operational franchises, gives us the right ammunition to significantly disrupt the food processing industry, and position us for an IPO in 2024."

Our Food is based out of Hyderabad and was founded by IIMA alumni Bala Reddy in 2016.

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