This couple launched their startup during COVID-19 to help people grow their own vegetables, fruits, and teas
While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced most of us into self-isolation, it has also led to a number of people taking up different hobbies to keep calm or be occupied during these trying times.
In the little or large spaces, they have at their disposal, whether it’s a huge lawn, or a small balcony, many have turned to gardening to keep themselves busy or calm.
Also, during the lockdown, when essentials like vegetables became scarce in some areas, people began to realise the need to grow their own vegetables.
Love for the greens
Cashing in on this “need”, and also the desire of people to grow their own greens, Mumbai-based couple Tanvi and Ankur Agarwal decided to launch– a range of DIY kits to help people to effectively start off on their gardening pursuits in different areas – microgreens, herbal teas, vegetables, and fruits.
The couple’s love for growing their own food, however, started much before the pandemic. “Our journey started a few years ago when we decided to eat fresh and healthy vegetables. Our love for salads prompted us to buy exotic vegetables, which were difficult to procure. Furthermore, the produce we received at times was not fresh either. Hence, we decided to grow our own vegetables at home. But while doing so we faced a lot of challenges since we had no prior knowledge or help from anyone,” Tanvi says.
This is when the couple decided to launch Bombay Greens, a range of DIY growing kits that they claim is so simple and effective that even a child could use to grow a variety of plants.
Tanvi (32) has an MBA in Marketing and has worked with Unilever and Marico. Ankur (33) who also has an MBA degree and has worked with the Times Network before he and Tanvi decided to quit their high-paying jobs in 2015 to launch Regor that deals in high quality unique electronics and mobile accessories. It has a range of 30 products and is currently listed among the top five brands on Amazon.
Simple way to grow your own vegetables
After the huge success of Regor, we decided to launch Bombay Greens during the COVID-19 pandemic sometime in May 2020, as we saw huge need for people to learn to grow vegetables at home, says Tanvi.
At present, she handles the marketing and B2C Sales for Bombay Greens along with designing of branding collaterals. Ankur, on the other hand, handles R&D, new product development as well supply chain, inventory management as well as B2B sales.
“During the pandemic, we were very lucky we had our own vegetable garden and hence we never faced issues like shortage or unavailability of vegetables. This made us realise the importance of being self-reliant and independent. Hence, we thought of creating products that can help amateur gardeners grow their own produce easily and quickly,” says Tanvi.
Organic and healthy eating
This led to Bombay Greens that contains everything you need to grow vegetables, fruits, and teas in a box. Its vision, Tanvi explains, is also to promote organic and clean eating by encouraging every family to grow a few vegetables at home and eat fresh, chemical-free produce.
“Since a lot of people are not aware of basics of gardening like which soil to use, how and when to fertilise, etc, we wanted to offer a simple and small kit suitable for even beginners.”
Bombay Greens offers three types of products:
- Stir Fry Kit - Broccoli, Zucchini, Purple Cabbage
- Herbal tea kit – Chamomile, Roselle, Butterfly Pea
- Edible flowers kit – Butterfly Pea, Calendula, Zinnia
- Herbs KIT– Italian Basil, Dill, Oregano
- Hot & sweet chillies – Jalapeno, Yellow Desire, Orange Bell Pepper
- Detox kit – Kale, Spinach, Chamomile
- Exotic veggies – Orange Bell Pepper, Brussel Sprouts, Pak Choi
- Gourmet salad mix – Misticanza lettuce, Yellow Bell Pepper, Red Cherry Tomato
- Trio of tomatoes - San Marzano Tomato, Yellow Pear tomato, Red Cherry tomato
- Healthy greens – Kale, Lollo Rosso, Pak Choi
Every kit has three different types of seeds, three grow pots, cocopeat discs, fertiliser, name tags and an extensive instructions manual.
A Microgreens Kit has five varieties - Basil & Mustard; Radish & Amaranth; Chia & Mustard; Radish & Alfalfa, and Mustard & Radish. It also offers an organic fast release fertiliser.
The brand sells via ecommerce sites like Amazon and is also planning to launch direct sales via social media platforms and its own website.
“We invested Rs 30,000 as seed capital and have achieved a turnover of Rs 9 lakh in the past four months. We have received a phenomenal response from people saying they love the concept and because of the kits they finally got a push to grow plants at home. Many are happy that they were able to start their gardening journey from these easy, all-inclusive grow kits,” she says.
While there are a number of other companies like Ugaoo, Nurserylive, and MyBageecha that offer gardening products, the couple claims their idea is unique because it’s DIY and easy to use.
Despite the quick growth and profitability of the brand, the founders faced quite a few challenges. These include manual packaging, procuring high quality seeds, and keeping costs in check while ensuring the products are of a superior quality.
“We are optimistic about the future,” Tanvi says, adding, “We are looking forward to introduce more products in gardening, a range of healthy and nutritious organic bread flour, organic spice blends, and also launch our store on our website and on Instagram."