Re‘engineer’ing baking: Engineer turns baker to promote healthy eating 

Techie-turned-baker Sanjib Das, who lost his father to colon cancer, wanted the residents of his village to eat healthy.

Published: 29th January 2023 08:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th January 2023 11:09 AM   |  A+A-

Sanjib Das

Sanjib Das

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: Life’s events turned Sanjib Das from an assistant professor of engineering into a do-gooder baker.  The 30-year-old, who lost his father, Tarun Ch Das, to colon cancer, said almost every household in his Nathkuchi No 1 village in Assam’s Nalbari district has a cancer patient and he wanted the villagers to eat healthy.

With this aim he quit his cushy job at the ICFAI University, Nagaland in 2017 after a three-and-half-year stint to experiment with the GI-tagged Joha rice. The locals in his village thought he was crazy but he remained unfazed and set up his unit M/S TC Bakery at his house the next year. Today, he has got a market not just in Assam but also parts of the Northeast.

Born into a family of six, Das is a B.Tech (IT) who completed more than 15 certification courses from various institutes and universities in India and abroad. His 11 research papers were published in national and international journals.

Das was not happy with his profession and wanted to do something on his own. When he set up his first-generation food processing unit, his family, particularly his mother and sister Dr Banalata Das, supported him wholeheartedly in the venture.

“I got enough time to do research during the Covid pandemic. I learnt that indigestion is a cause of many diseases. I thought I would start making cookies from rice, which is healthy. There are several rice varieties and I chose the GI-tagged Joha,” Das said.

Popular for its excellent taste, the aromatic Joha has flavonoids, polyphenolic constituents, volatile oils and provides several nutritional and health benefits. Assam is its largest cultivator. Joha and other items used in the cookies, including jaggery, milk, cream and natural herbs, are locally available.

After his products were officially launched at the “Rongali festival” in 2021, some Assam government officials connected him with the Industries and Agriculture departments. “Some senior government officers helped me promote my products in expos and exhibitions.

They also helped me with advanced training and encouraged me to do some more research so that I can develop a unique product. In due course, I got selected in COHORT2 Assam Agribusiness Growth Lab (an agricultural programme) and it helped me prepare for marketing and mentoring,” the innovator said.   After he was selected in the National Level Agri-Innovation and Business Plan challenge as a finalist, he underwent training for two months in Manage (National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management) Hyderabad. Soon, he developed “diabetic controller cookies” that are made from Joha and natural herbs. His cookies come in containers of 250 gram and 1 kg, priced `100 and `400 respectively. He has applied for the patent of his idea and process.

“Test results showed these cookies can reduce sugar levels within an hour. Government officials purchased our products in bulk for their promotion and market linkage at national and international levels. We are the first to develop Joha cookies in Assam.

These are handmade,” Das said.   He trains rural women for generating livelihoods under various government programmes and encourages them to buy Joha from local farmers for the growth of the rural economy. He has employed five villagers and they earn Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000 a month.   Success, however, came after a lot of struggles. With a meagre salary, his father, who was a Gram Sevak in the Agriculture department, had to move heaven and earth to run the family.

 “I want people to eat healthy Joha cookies. My goal is to expand my venture and make my products available all over the country within the next two years,” he added.  MD Hazarika, who is the general manager of Nalbari District Industries & Commerce Centre, said the government is helping Das in whatever way possible.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp