Karnataka: Post lockdown, cousins turn veg-preneurs | Hubballi News – Times of India

HUBBALLI: Shridhar Pawar, 30, and Sharad Kumar Suryavanshi, 29, were adversely impacted by the lockdown but spotted an opportunity in vegetables in the twin cities. The cousins floated a startup to help city dwellers get fresh vegetables at competitive prices and help growers secure a better deal for their produce.
They launched Suryavanshi and Pawar Pvt Ltd and initiated ‘freshbuy’ on wheels.

Pawar, a BCA who worked as a web designer with IT majors in Bengaluru for six years, ran a web design training institute in Hubballi since 2017. He said: “After the lockdown, the institute incurred losses and we had to shut it. We were inspired by the Prime Minister’s Vocal for Local and chalked out a vegetable business. When we approached a few nati onalised banks in Hubballi, they said they can’t give loans to sell vegetables. However, Sirsi Urban Cooperative Bank stepped in. We invested Rs 4.5 lakh for the vehicle and Rs 1 lakh to customise it. We rented a godown-cum-office and our total investment was about Rs 10 lakh.”


He added: “We studied the requirement of some apartments and the preferred timing to buy vegetables and fruits. Our venture took off on December 24 with a driver and a sales executive. Now, in the third month, we’ve paid all EMIs promptly and ensured our employees got salaries regularly. We managed a net profit of Rs 35,000 per month which may not be much. However, the response of customers and growers keeps us going.”

Suryavanshi, who had been accounts manager in an international tourism company in Bengaluru, said: “We buy vegetables and fruits from farmers who used to pay commission, transportation and loading charges at APMCs. We meet them at Indi Pump and Bankapur Chowk to procure vegetables. If we buy at 7am, we deliver to consumers by 11am. We work six days a week, and take orders on WhatsApp. If the order is over Rs 200, we deliver it free of cost. Currently, we sell 25 types of vegetables and five types of fruits. We plan to buy another vehicle.”
“We’re also getting queries from hotels but we need to expand our capacity in terms of vehicles and staff,” they said.
Siddaraju S Lakkundi, a resident of Gandhinagar, said: “We’re spared the trouble of going to the market and coping with parking problems.”

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Sagar Biswas

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