How these couple-turned-entrepreneurs are shining the spotlight on women farmers in Almora, Uttarakhand

Serial entrepreneurs Pravin and Shweta Shah hope to bring organic wellness products from Almora, Uttarakhand to urban consumers through The Pahadi Story.

How these couple-turned-entrepreneurs are shining the spotlight on women farmers in Almora, Uttarakhand

Wednesday March 31, 2021,

3 min Read

Pravin and Shweta Shah have not just been avid adventurers, but have also been eco-conscious consumers. They made several trips to the hilly town of Almora in Uttarakhand, where they did not find much room for gender discrimination as women manage the fields.

Pravin tells HerStory when they interacted with women farmers, starting a business involving them felt imminent. This paved the way for their latest venture, The Pahadi Story.

It is an online marketplace to buy natural and organic superfoods grown and produced by women farmers in the Himalayan valley.

Women entrepreneur

Pravin and Shweta Shah, Co-founders of The Pahadi Story

“We wanted to create an enterprise that is not just profit-driven but purpose-driven, and started The Pahadi Story in October 2020 purely due to two reasons: the purity of chemical-free and organic products, and the determination of women farmers in Almora,” Shweta says. 

“It was also a moment of truth when we were in Uttarakhand, seeing the natural produce grown in high altitude with hard work. The women farmers were very inspiring and were more determined than us,” Pravin adds. 

The journey

Through The Pahadi Story, the couple entrepreneurs hope to bring organic wellness products, including a range of Kadha haldi mix and herbal drinks, to urban consumers while ensuring access to market for farmers.

Operating on a B2C mode, the products are available on its website and Amazon at Rs 575 to Rs 999.

However, as the farmers are located in hilly areas, stabilising the supply chain was a challenge initially. To address this, the startup onboarded consultants to educate them on various types of organic cultivation in addition to their usual practices. 

The venture also serves as a platform to put women’s stories in the spotlight. Having worked with 15 women farmers since its inception in October 2019, the duo is in the process of measuring the impact created so far.

Women entrepreneur

Navigating the market

The couple says their marketing and business acumen as well as experience as the co-founders of marketing and advertising firm BigBrandTheory has helped in building The Pahadi Story. 

Bootstrapped so far, they invested close to Rs 60 lakh to grow the marketplace, creating products and focusing on research and development. Pravin says they are not looking for investors for at least the next 18 months. As a young brand just five months into operation, the startup declined to share its revenue.

Focused on online retailing at present, they target consumers who are willing to spend to live and value a sustainable lifestyle. 

“We were primarily focused on the Tier I market but have been receiving inquiries and amazing responses from Tier-II cities as well,” Shweta adds.

The startup hopes to launch about 20 new products within a year and venture into the international export market in the next 15 months. The entrepreneurs are also in talks with distribution partners in the UK and the US.

Edited by Kanishk Singh