Cycling two to three hours every day to reach his school in a town 4 km away from his village in Uttar Pradesh, Navneet Mishra, Founder of Rawking, has come a long way. The village life, 40 km away from the city of Kanpur, had its own moments. “Since my father was in a government service, I could afford to go to school, while many others dropped out. But, there was work around the house that needed to be completed. As I was good at studies, my friends from the village would encourage me to study and would pitch in to do the pending housework. This sense of community that was imbibed, inspired an urge in me to do something for the fellow villagers,” says 30-year-old Navneet.
With limited resources Navneet was able to pursue his B.Tech from NIT, Trichy, and landed a job with Ashok Leyland as the youngest Project Leader. Navneet rues, “With my prestigious job, came responsibilities. People from my village having had little education started approaching me for jobs. I wanted to help them, but it is not easy in a professional set up to get people jobs, leading to disappointment. Although charity could have helped, but that was not a sustainable solution and I wanted my folks to feel independent.” Navneet turned to entrepreneurship to help his village men.
In 2013, he lost some of his near and dear ones in the Uttarakhand floods and that was the turning point in his life. “After the tragedy, the urgency to do something was greater than before. I realised time was running out and I shifted my focus to do something for people of my village. I started actively looking out for opportunities and support. After evaluating a few options, I decided to go for cold-pressed juices which is emerging in India and already has wide adoption across the world,” shares Navneet, on setting up Rawking, a 100% raw-undiluted cold-pressed juice manufacturing and delivery service in Gurgaon. Elaborating further Navneet says, “I found this opportunity appealing. As it not only provides pure and healthy food, but also services which help customers develop a habit for the right nutrition in today’s fast-paced world. Cold-pressed juices are 30–35% healthier because industrial machines crush the fruit at a high pressure without generating heat, thereby all the goodness of the fruits is retained in the juices as against centrifuging them in a mixer or juicer which leads to oxidation of important vitamins and enzymes. This would also enable me to help farmers by sourcing raw materials directly and providing employment opportunities. This was my plan to support the society I came from and also impact the health of my customers in a positive way.” Navneet started working upon his idea in 2014 and engaged with professionals in the industry and food laboratory experts for diagnostic tests and gained understanding of the technology to be used. “My engineering and product development background helped me create differentiation in both process and product. From ozonisation, to using R.O water, to removing bacteria and impurities from the raw materials, to understanding the wavelength of UV radiation (at which bacteria, gets killed) to be used for decontamination, we learnt and implemented all industry leading practices to provide the best to our customers,” shares Navneet. “Once we were ready with the setup we got all tests and capacity validation done at par with international standards. In fact, our production facility is air sterilised and all production happens under stringently controlled environment. We decided to use the most advanced equipment’s imported from US, which gives us better quality and yield”, he elaborates. By December 2014, Navneet and his team were testing their range of cold-pressed juices made with inputs of nutritionists, families, friends, and a group of select audience.
Almost a one-man army himself, Navneet’s skill in leading teams, marketing research, target market understanding, pricing, costing, engineering, design validation, and launch got honed at his last assignment with JCB, where he was leading a cross-functional team to launch two new products in the market. This knowledge helped him in making Rawking operations live in record time by January 2015. About the product, he says, “All our products are processed in our state-of-the-art Norwalk machines which gives us an ideal shelf life of 48–72 hours providing fresh and chemical free product to our customers. Our focus has been to provide the right health benefit while optimising the taste, but we do not focus solely on taste like some of our competitors. If we say that our juices boost immunity then they would do exactly that. In all our juices, at least one nutrient is in good measure which also gives value for money to our customers. The Gladiator drink, for example, provides more than 200% of daily Iron needs. Likewise, the drink Samurai provides more than 100% of vitamin K required,” shares Navneet. Rawking’s key competitors as of now are Juicifix, Raw Pressery, Jus Divine, and Jus Pressed.
Navneet kept to his promise of helping people from his village and has employed a small team of 14 people from his village in various roles like delivery and operations. His strong focus towards quality has helped achieve a reputation from his customers, most of whom have signed up on a subscription model. “Since our juices are well formulated and healthy, customers have found that it works for them. Some customers who also tried the products of our competitors have promptly come back. One example is the Head of Cardiology at Asian Hospital, Faridabad, who has been buying our products for the last three to four months. She was so impressed that she alone has got us at least 20 more customers, because of her positive experience like weight loss and resultant increase in stamina,” shares Navneet. Now that his operations have streamlined, the efforts focussed towards expanding the business through retail and institutional partners and even introduce Rawking to other cities along with working on a new product line. From creating a healthy relationship with his village folk to making a healthy life possible for the new-age customer, Navneet is making the most of what life has to offer.
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