Amit Gupta, Co-Founder, and CEO, Native Roots

Amit Gupta, Co-Founder, and CEO, Native Roots

Amit Gupta is the CEO and Co-Founder of Native Roots, Gurgaon, India. He is also the Co-Founder and COO of the Foodshaala Foundation.

 

Podcast

Overview

Millets, a popular superfood, had their Cinderella moment recently. In her Union Budget speech, Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister of India, announced 2022-23 as the ‘International Year of Millets.’ She said, “Support will be provided for post-harvest value addition, enhancing domestic consumption, and for branding millet products nationally and internationally.” Earlier, the country had termed 2018 the ‘National Year of Millets’ to boost the production of the nutrient-rich cereal. (Source: Hindustan Times)

People are realizing that they can meet their nutritional requirements by just eating right. Everyone is connecting to farms and moving back to their native food habits. We have seen the consequences of eating junk food. During COVID-19, people have realized, in India people are still doing better as compared to the western world just because they are eating a balanced diet. We have those ingredients in our diet that make sure our immunity is good. Today we have the CEO and Co-Founder of Native Roots, Amit Gupta, to talk to us about how we can include native ingredients in our diet and make it balanced and fill our nutritional requirements.

About Amit Gupta, Co-Founder and CEO, Native Roots:

Amit Gupta is the CEO and Co-Founder of Native Roots, Gurgaon, India. He is also the Co-Founder and COO of the Foodshaala Foundation.

About Native Roots:

In April 2021, we started this venture, but the operation started in August due to COVID-19. The idea was to bring millet-based healthier alternatives to our regular food. Every product is adulterated with refined flour, refined oil, or refined sugar. India is a big market, and we have diversity in terms of food grains. There is a lot of nutrition that is lying hidden in our roots, so we decided to do something about it and started Native Roots.

Products of Native Roots:

The first product was Batter. Currently, in North India, you won’t find a wet batter that is rice-free and made of millets. We thought to introduce Juwar and Ragi Dosa Idli batter because it is rich in fiber, calcium, iron, and protein. Consumers loved the product because they got away to include millets in their diet. Then in October, we introduced Ragi Nuts and Seeds Ladoos. Recently, we launched Oats and millets Choco muesli.

Sourcing and Challenges in the Supply Chain:

We are currently sourcing all our millets from Andhra Pradesh. We are making sure they are of good quality and organic. It is a challenge to source millets in North India.

  • Recipes: If you look at my background, I am nowhere close to the food industry, but I am a passionate cook. All the recipes are my creation.

Indian recipes getting adopted all over the world:

  • People are following Indian roots whether it is Ayurveda, yoga, and now it is Indian food. Different Indian recipes are moving around the whole world.

Packaging of food products:

  • Packaging is very important because people judge the product by the way it looks.
  • The story behind the brand is very crucial in today’s world, hence highlighting it in the packaging.
  • Eco-friendly packaging: It is essential for the environment and the brand to catch an eye.
  • Packaging should be convenient to use for the consumer.

Technology in Native Roots:

  • Technology is helping in sourcing. We can process millets to get puffs and make bakery products.
  • It helps in marketing through the Direct to Consumer model.
  • Social Media is helping us to easily interact with our consumers.

Challenges while building up Native Roots:

  • Trust Building is the biggest challenge when you start something new.
  • Consistency: If your first customer talks well about your brand, then you don’t have to spend so much on marketing.
  • Not a lot of people were interested in Millet-based batter. But we are slowly developing this category.
  • Networking: Strong network helps in getting the conversation fast.
  • Getting the funding.

Objectives of Foodshaala Foundation:

  • We started it with the vision to spread awareness of healthy eating in low-income communities.
  • You don’t have to buy expensive products to meet your nutrition requirement. You can have a balanced meal with ingredients available around you.
  • We have a four to five weeks awareness program for kids.

Resources:

You can connect with Amit Gupta: LinkedIn

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Amit Says “So far my life has been none less than a roller coaster ride, where I have experienced so many highs and lows in my life. I started my career as a software engineer and now working as an entrepreneur following my passion for food and making a difference in people’s health through my work.

Over the last 10 years of my professional life, I have worn different hats of software developer, teacher, school leader, product manager, marketer, project manager, and now an entrepreneur. In this journey, I have also explored other interesting facets of my life such as trekking, swimming, running, cycling, cooking, meditation, and public speaking.

To count a few of my achievements I have done 15 half marathons, 1 full marathon, 2 triathlons, am a certified competent communicator and competent leader from toastmaster international, and I have been featured in the Economic times Sep 2016 edition for my entrepreneur pursuit.

This rich and diverse experience has made me what I am today. There are so many things I have learned about myself on this journey, but to pick any three characteristics that best describe me I would say I am a risk-taker, I am very optimistic and don’t give up easily, and no matter what difficult situation I am in I always stay calm and cheerful.”

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