Bengaluru: Start-ups smell big business in millets

The craze for millets has not merely caught on among Bengalureans. Business start-ups are now waking up to the huge potential in this sector owing to its popularity.

Published: 22nd January 2018 03:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd January 2018 10:52 AM   |  A+A-

Millets image used for representation (File Photo)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The craze for millets has not merely caught on among Bengalureans. Business start-ups are now waking up to the huge potential in this sector owing to its popularity. Muniraju, organic consultant for 14 co-operative organic farmers federations in the state, has been a busy man during the three-day Organic and Millets Fair 2018.

Visitors got an opportunity to
savour various dishes made of
millets and other organic products
during the ‘Organic and Millets
Mela-2018’, which concluded
at Bengaluru Palace on Sunday
| S Manjunath

“A total of 25 start-ups have expressed keen interest in pursuing their business in organic products and millets and have sought my technical and marketing guidance,” he says. This was up from 14 start-ups which sought assistance in November 2017 during a similar fair, Muniraju adds.

Among them is an ambitious five-member team of childhood friends, four of whom have quit well-paying jobs in the software industry. The team which set up their professional website a month ago, spent three days scouting for knowledge as well as identifying different angles for their business here.

K N Vinay says, “This was a fantastic opportunity for us as we spent the last six months working on our start-up. We have left our jobs and are keen on taking up something which makes sense business-wise and is beneficial to others. The health benefits of millets are enormous and the 100 crore-plus population in the country is a very big market.”

Two members have parents who have an agricultural background. Vinay himself is raising crops on four acres of land in Tumakuru and Kollegal. The team has built a large number of professional contacts during the event, he adds. “A distributor from North India spoke of how little is known about millets in those parts. This is going to be a very big market for us,” Vinay stated.

Jay Kumar R, CEO of Grami Millet Superfoods, a start-up based in Whitefield, which had set up a stall here, spoke of seven distributors across India and two from abroad who have expressed interest in tie-ups with his firm in future during the fair.

“A concern from Abu Dhabi and one from France want to supply millets in their parts of the world. Our millet cookies and the organic jams really caught their fancy,” he adds.

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