ONganic Foods Pvt Ltd

ONganic Foods Pvt Ltd: ONganic

Kolkata, IndiaNadia District, India
Year Founded:
2015
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

ONganic is a social enterprise that improves livelihoods of small organic farmers and connects them with urban consumers. Small farmers organized as a farmer producer company grow, process and package the produce, which is marketed and sold by ONganic through both e-commerce and offline platforms.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if we could reconnect farmers to consumers, in a way that would generate higher returns for the farmers while at the same time creating enough supply to change the face of the food industry in terms of green, chemical free food?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Lack of Direct Market for Organic marginalised farmers Lack of Awareness of native, indigenous varieties which is an intrinsic component of organic farming Low profitability in Agriculture Sector: High costs of production fail to yield proportionate returns, causing large gaps in profitability No ease of access to products: Growing uraban demands trump production, hence making access cost heavy

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The three pillars of ONganic are- Quality, Affordability & Ease of Access. These are the basic tenants which ONganic strives to address. The central idea behind ONganic is to create a direct market for the food produced by marginal organic farmers – to ensure that they have a steady livelihood opportunity and receive higher margins. The farmers are also offered more livelihood opportunities as a part of the supply chain infrastructure itself (including food processing, packaging) Environmental benefits related to transitioning to Organic Farming, is another strong focal point. These products are then available on an online platform at affordable prices, for a pan India audience to access from comfort of their homes.

Awards

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Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Chitta Biswas was a marginalized farmers who incurs substantial costs in agricultural inputs like fertilizers, in his desperate attempt to increase his profits to feed his family, however, he failed to make profits due to economies of scale and competition. Chitta also noticed his soil slowly degrade to the point that couldn’t grow crops unless furnished with chemical fertilizers, increasing his costs exponentially. Today, as an ONganic supplier, Chitta successfully managed to increase his monthly income by 15% - while at the same time, reducing costs of production due to non dependency on chemicals. He observes an improve in general health of his family as well as his soil and ecology. Today, he strongly advocates for organic farming.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

- Consolidation of Marginalised Farmers into Organic Groups - Increased Livelihood for Farmers: Farmers have access to nearly 30-50% profit on each product sold by ONganic - Increased Opportunities for Farmers: ONganic also creates opportunities for farmers to be associated in different stages of the supply chain, to earn an additional livelihood. - Increased Awareness: (numbers of converted farmers etc) successfully transitioned over 20 farmers in 4 months of existence. - Health: A regular inorganically grown product has more than 70 chemicals present in it, which affect health adversely. Transitioning to organic food is a sure way to ensure that your body is devoid of harmful chemicals that would be otherwise ingested. - Environment: Organic farming ensures that the soil, air and water slowly but surely treated to regain all their lost nutrients and microbes.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

ONganic.in will be a vehicle of social consciousness, creating a holistic ecosystem through sale of organic products that promotes well-being of consumers & marginal farmers. Our vision is to provide non perishable organic produce via an e-retail platform to a global level, thereby benefiting a large consolidation of farmers to get higher profit margins by eliminating middlemen. It would also help promote Indian Indigenous varieties to a more global platform, having access to affordable healthy nutritional food at their doorstep.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

ONganic.in has identified multiple revenue streams that will be suitable to our business model. 1. Revenue from Sales - ONganic.in keeps a margin of 30-50% on each product depending on the quantity purchased. Since grocery is a weekly/monthly requirement, customer retention is very necessary. 2. Additional Services – ONganic also has a host of chargeable services it offers including: Workshops and Cross Promotions.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The business model utilized by ONganic is relatively new, but not unique. There are established organic retailers who sell through physical outlets & online (like Down to Earth, 24 Mantra, Pristine, Rainbow etc) However, our USP is unique pricing structure (competing with the entire inorganic market as well - our prices are only 10-15% more than inorganic prices) This and the availability of nutritious indigenous groceries at affordable price at customer’s doorstep and a unique opportunity to impact small farmers by directly purchasing from them, sets us apart from our competition
Team

Founding Story

ONganic was a spin-off of Switch ON, a not for profit dedicated towards livelihood development in underserved areas. Switch ON had been working with farmers for over 3 years, including provision of training for organic farming. A survey of farmers trained, revealed that the only reason they do not practice organic farming is because they do not have a direct market available for them to sell in. This learning was what gave rise to the idea of ONganic – a platform that allows farmers a direct market to sell in, thereby incentivizing transitions into organic.

Team

We have a dedicated team with grass root experience of working with farmers, and supply chain management. Ekta Jaju is certified perma culturist, Organic Farmerand completed Entreprenuership Program from ISB, Hyderabad. Suman Paul has experience in partnership networking, linkages overall team management. Meghna manages partnership development and project development. KaushikMitra supports team in development of promotional tools, communication materials. Vinay Jaju co-founder of ONergy, provides strategic and technical support
Background
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

E-mail

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

Marketing & Business Development

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

No Poverty, Climate Action.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

1. Switch ON: Switch ON (Environment Conservation Society) has a strong mission to Promote Livelihoods through Sustainable Development. Our strength is in creative advocacy and implementation - through capacity building, training and awareness programs. Switch ON is a registered not-for-profit Society, certified under FCRA and 80G. In the past we have done projects with GIZ, Halloran Philantorphy, ETC foundation, WWF, Times of India etc.
2. ONergy: ONergy (Punam Energy Pvt. Ltd.) is a leading social enterprise established in 2009 providing decentralized energy solutions to underserved households and institutions. ONergy provides complete energy solutions with an entire range of solar products. ONergy’s strength lies in developing high quality products, strong after sales service network, facilitating consumer financing for solar systems and developing an ecosystem for sustainable development and rural empowerment.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

Advisory Board:
Professor Shambu Prasad Chebrolu, IRMA - Rural management
HariNatrajan, GIZ - Sustainable Agriculture Technology

Informal guidance/Mentorship:
ArdhenduChattarjee, DRCSC - agriculture expert
Krishna Prasad, Sahaj Organics - Organic Marketing