The UN-award winning grassroots movement serving small-scale farmers and other top stories of the week

This week, SMBStory brings for its readers the inspiring stories of Mumbai-based UN-award winning Taru Naturals, Kolkata-based Rupa, and one of Delhi’s most famous ice cream brands — Giani Ice cream.
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India’s small, medium and large businesses have proven — time and again — their resilience and capability to scale mountains. 

This week, SMBStory brings for its readers the inspiring stories of Taru Naturals, an FMCG brand that bagged a UN award for its vision to help small-scale farmers graduate and become microentrepreneurs. 

Then, we map the journey of legacy innerwear brand Rupa, which not only survived the pandemic but thrived and ended up clocking its highest-ever turnover in FY21. 

Taru Naturals

Ruchi Jain, Co-founder, Taru Naturals

A grassroots movement of 10,000 tribal and small-scale farmers across India, Taru Naturals was recently among 50 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from the world over to clinch the ‘Best Small Businesses’ award in the “Good Food for All” competition held in conjunction with the UN Food Systems Summit. 

Mumbai-based Taru Naturals was started by Ruchi Jain in 2016. The business, which initially sold jaggery, today manufactures and sells a host of products like turmeric, pulses, spices, nuts, seeds, oils, khapli wheat flour, sourdough flour, black rice, etc. 

These products are manufactured in the company’s own unit in Mumbai itself. The company currently has a team size of 10.

Ruchi says it was her larger vision for the community and the whole ecosystem that clicked with the jury members. In a conversation with SMBStory, she highlighted more about the competition and its plan to relaunch itself as a D2C vertical in the coming times.

Read the full story here.

Rupa

From L to R: Kunj Bihari Agarwal - Managing Director, Prahlad Rai Agarwala - Chairman, Ghanshyam Prasad Agarwal - Vice-Chairman

PR Agarwal and his brothers started Binod Hosiery in 1968 and eventually launched brand Rupa under it. Later in 1985, Rupa took over Binod Hosiery. 

Selling undergarments for both men and women, and other innerwear for kids and children, Rupa’s brands — Frontline, Softline, Euro, and others — have now become household names.

Over the years, the company also set up four manufacturing facilities located in Domjur (West Bengal), Tirupur (Tamil Nadu), Bengaluru (Karnataka), and Ghaziabad (NCR), with a capacity of seven lakh finished goods per day.

Considered one of the biggest and most well-known brands in India, Rupa was able to survive the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When several Indian businesses experienced slowdown and drop in revenue through FY21, Rupa recorded its highest ever net sales turnover of Rs 1,261.22 crore and profit after tax of Rs 180.90 crore.

Despite the adverse impact of multiple lockdowns across states, FY21 sales exceeded FY20’s net sales turnover of Rs 941.4 crore and profit after tax of Rs 80 crore.

Read the full story here.

Other top stories of the week:

Giani Ice cream

Taranjit Singh, Director, Giani Ice Cream

There are numerous ice cream brands in the market — Amul, Mother Dairy, Kwality, among others — but Giani holds a special spot in the hearts of Delhites. 

A brand with a  legacy across more than six decades, Taranjit Singh, Director and third-generation entrepreneur of Giani Ice Cream, in an exclusive interaction with SMBStory, explains what differentiates the brand from the mass players.

“People need to understand that there are two markets — ice cream and frozen desserts. Ice cream is made of milk, cream, and butter, unlike the latter that uses vegetable oil,” he said. 

Giani Ice Cream was started in 1956 amid the busy lanes of Fatehpuri, Chandni Chowk in Delhi after Giani Gurcharan Singh migrated from Pakistan. The business was started in a small shop with a handful of money, and by making rabri faluda to satiate sweet cravings. 

Today, the brand has more than 210 stores across India – 40 of them in Delhi-NCR alone. 

Read the full story here. 

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta