Ritesh Agarwal partners Naropa to give personal grants to four startups
Founder and CEO ofRooms Ritesh Agarwal has announced an equity-free grant of Rs 5 lakh each to four startups from Ladakh in a partnership with Naropa Fellowship.
These grants are a part of an initiative pledging Rs 1 crore equity-free grant and mentorship to entrepreneurs in the Ladakh region. Ritesh Agarwal has worked closely in collaboration with the Naropa Fellowship, a Ladakh-based fellowship programme, to shortlist these startups that will bring value to and boost the local economies of the region.
"Being from a small town myself, I resonate with the potential of these startups to create an exponential impact on their communities," Ritesh said in a tweet. "I'm truly looking forward to supporting and mentoring them," he added.
This fellowship provides a platform for budding entrepreneurs to create businesses that add value to the local community and bring economic sustainability to the region. The four startups selected are Siachen Naturals, Ladakh Brew, Nima Goos Goos, and The Forest Collective.
Siachen Naturals was founded with the aim to produce and promote healthy food alternatives to fast food. It has developed a range of traditional Ladakhi superfoods made of organic ingredients such a barley which are rich in protein and fiber, the company has said.
Ladakh Brew identified the market potential of Chaang (Ladakhi local beer) and decided to produce and promote it as the only commercial local beverage available in the region. Its production also encourages the farming of Barley, the main ingredient used in its manufacturing, which has been decreasing over the years due to the preference for cash crops. The company claims also provide livelihood opportunities to local women who have been making Chaang for ages, a statement read.
Nima Goos Goos promotes the natural herbs and crops which are found in abundance in the Himalayan region. Its herbal tea, also known as ‘Tisanes’ is available in different varieties and created a distinct reputation for itself in a short time, it said in a statement.
The Forest Collective looks to stop pine-fueled forest fires and promote pine-based biomaterials which are alternatives to plastic and timber for varied industries. It is also exploring the potential of using them for the manufacture of wellness products like perfumes and candles to diversify income streams, it said in a statement.
Ritesh will continue to support these ventures through regular interactions and sustained guidance, a statement read.
Edited by Akanksha Sarma