Article by: Hari Yellina
Deepak Rajmohan returned to India from the United States in mid-2019 to work on a food preservation breakthrough. “I’d always wanted to go back to India, and this seemed like the appropriate time with the right goal.” I spent nearly three months travelling through Tamil Nadu’s villages, meeting and speaking with farmers, wholesalers, retailers, and anybody else involved in the food supply chain. This made me realise a few things.”
In May 2020, a prototype was released after three months of research. He employed natural plant extracts to trigger an intrinsic defence mechanism that slows the process of ripening and reduces microbial development, extending the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. Deepak got a co-founder, Vijay Anand, a long-time friend of the innovator, after a European business called Rockstart AgriFood invested in his idea. As a result, GreenPod Labs, an agri-biotech firm, got down to business.
Its sachets are completely environmentally friendly. As a result, another firm goal has been to create a sustainable option. “Apart from that, we seek to help farmers receive a better price for their produce and make fresh food veggies/ fruits available to customers,” adds Vijay, GreenPod Labs’ co-founder and chief business officer. The company’s goal is to offer low-cost packaging options. The star innovation is a biotech-based packaging sachet that enhances the shelf life of each vegetable and fruit. It does away with the requirement for cold storage and supply lines. With crop-specific solutions that extend shelf life at ambient temperatures, this breakthrough will help farmers, distributors, retailers, and e-commerce platforms.
Vegetables and fruits can have a shelf life of up to 12 days. “It is entirely dependent on the item. Tomatoes would be extended for 8-10 days, mangoes for 10-12 days, and capsicum for 8-9 days,” Deepak says. Farmers, according to the founders, will be the primary benefactors of this breakthrough. “If a farmer invests Rs 1 in our product, he will almost certainly receive a return of Rs 10,” he asserts. “So, one component is sustainability, and the other is offering a helping hand to farmers.”
Several donations were given to the company from both within and outside India. They recently received a Rs 4.05 crore investment from Indian Angel Network (IAN), alongside co-investors Rockstart Agrifood and she1K. The sum will be spent on three things, according to the creators. More research and development; growing up operations; and launching four new items, to name a few. GreenPod Labs’ headquarters are in Chennai, and the company employs 15 people. “We’re getting ready to launch our current products across India and focus more on our new products,” says the ecstatic entrepreneur.