Mumbai’s Dial Organic pushes the envelope for organic food with meal plansSaswati Mukherjee
If you think healthy is non-tasty, you are in for a surprise.
Thus goes the tagline of Dial Organic, a one-stop shop for organic products and meals in Mumbai. Be it fresh fruit or vegetables, they bring it all to your doorstep at the click of a mouse or a phone call.
The Founder Namita Ambani says her goal is simple – an attempt to make everyone acquainted with the term ‘organic’. “We give our customers the best organic products at competitive prices,” says Namita.
For someone who spent the whole of last year working with farmers, organic manufacturers and traders only to ascertain that natural is better, Namita firmly believes in giving consumers the best natural products. A Management and a CS degree holder by education, she was earlier part of the core planning team for Pantaloon Retail India Limited and Strategy at Aditya Birla Retail Limited.
One of the projects she started researching on was ‘Organic’. It emanated much from Namita’s need to look for good quality milk to wean her toddler son. Also her father’s own organic kitchen garden was a source of great inspiration for this entrepreneur.
As a consequence, she started her research into the organic field, met farmers, channel partners, and companies producing organic products. She was quick to identify the potential of business in this sector and her early industry advantage. She says,
I was convinced this is where I want to contribute.
The next big challenge to overcome was a mindset change. “While I was very sure that I wanted to work for a certain number of years and then venture out on my own, when I actually did it, it was a bit of a shock,” recalls Namita. She had to train herself to be her own boss, her own employee and set work hours for herself.
Things were easy thereafter. It just didn’t matter what time or location, her mind was constantly tuned to getting innovative ideas for her venture.
Eat wise, drop a size with organic food
Launched recently as an extension of the website Dial Organic, in consultation with nutritionist Kinjal Shah, the Organic Lunchbox is Namita’s dabba service that can provide a single meal plan or an entire week’s diet regime for users.
To talk of the recipes, on offer are Russian Salad or a tangy kachumbar salad. In the main section, there is vegetable kofta, methi matar malai to an Amritsari aloo. The dal rice combination too can be ordered. To it can be added a starter, dessert or power snack at an extra cost.
The challenges in starting venture
The challenges in setting up the venture were many -- staffing and working capital are to name a few. Her biggest challenge, however, was to change people’s mindsets. Says Namita,
There are quite a few notions about organic that they are a tad too expensive, and not reliable.
The farm-to-home vans which carry fresh organic fruit and veggies to the customers are used by Dial Organic’s team. They faced a lot of opposition from local organizations when it came to their distribution.
It was a lesson learnt and now all raw materials are sourced by way of placing pre-orders directly at the nearby farms. “Retail is indeed a constant learning experience and one must find the best way to serve the customer in an ever changing environment,” notes Namita.
Also read: I Say Organic sets its sights high, hopes in 5 years organic produce will rule
Future plans, scaling-up ideas
Currently, two chapters of Organic Story have been rolled out – Dial Organic and The Organic Lunchbox. Very soon, they will introduce nutritionist’s consultation on their site.
The founder believes that organic can add a significant value to hospitals for whom they have prepared an Organic Meal Program via music therapy and community healing themes. “This can significantly increase the food and service quality at key hospitals,” says Namita.
Similarly, children, when served an organic planned and fun meal, can create a whole circle of good habits for adulthood. Therefore, they are in talks with prominent schools to introduce organic meals there as well.
On the mobile and web platforms, Dial Organic is in the process of creating a high-level engagement platform for consumer lifestyle upgrade.
Getting there: To order an organic lunch box one can call a number or visit their website. Prices start at Rs 150 per box and Rs 20,000 onwards for monthly diet consultations and plans.