Securing futures with a cup of green coffee

A 10-member student team from Laurus Institute for Logistics that has successfully developed, produced, packaged, marketed, and distributed a unique product — green coffee.
Akshay, Chaithanya, Sunoj and Akhil V V who are part of the 10 member team that developed Laurus Green Coffee with their product
Akshay, Chaithanya, Sunoj and Akhil V V who are part of the 10 member team that developed Laurus Green Coffee with their productPhoto | Express

KOCHI: The education system in Kerala is evolving. Unlike in the past, when students focused solely on academics, today’s students are immersing themselves in all aspects of their chosen professions. A perfect example is the 10-member student team from Laurus Institute for Logistics that has successfully developed, produced, packaged, marketed, and distributed a unique product — green coffee.

It all began in 2020 when the Kalamassery-based private institution recognised a gap in the job market: companies wanted skilled workers, not just fresh graduates. “Freshers were not looked upon kindly, so we decided to launch a programme that involved students starting a project from scratch,” says Abhijith M V, the institution’s manager. That year, the 30-member batch split into groups to explore various concepts.

A 10-member team — Abhijith M V, Sunoj E S, Akhil V V, Aravind Suresh, Afthab, Harikrishnan, Shiyana Liss, Nima Pradeesh, Aswathy, and Sreyas — decided to focus on FMCG products. Tea and coffee were the obvious choices due to their global popularity.

“While seeking the best suppliers in Palakkad, the team chanced upon green coffee beans. They brewed and tasted it, and soon settled on developing health-friendly green coffee, leveraging the rising trend of health consciousness,” said Abhijith. The supplier mentioned that sun-dried green coffee pods were not in high demand, but the students were eager to learn about green coffee.

After weeks of research, the team confirmed that this would be their project. With financial aid, suggestions and other assistance from Dr Ajay Sankar, the institute’s chairman, the team moved forward with their product development and brought the otherwise overlooked green coffee beans from Coorg and Palakkad to Kalamassery.

“In the second phase, we experimented by grinding the beans into different sizes. Multiple laboratory tests were conducted to determine the product’s shelf life. Finally, we decided to grind Arabica coffee beans into small granules and pack them,” said the team.

Packaging the product was no easy task and required constant follow-ups with the printing press. But the biggest challenge before them was finding buyers.

“Despite its many health benefits, the taste of green coffee is not particularly appealing, and this concerned us. Attempts to enhance the flavour with mint, cardamom and rose were abandoned as they reduced the shelf life of the product,” said the team.

Though the product, Laurus Nature’s Green Coffee, was showcased to health clubs, gyms, medical shops and business groups, initial attempts to sell it were unsuccessful. Eventually, customers were found by meeting each one personally and explaining the benefits of green coffee. “As products started to sell, the students grew in confidence. The entire exercise has certainly improved their placement prospects,” added Abhijith.

While the 2020 batch graduated successfully, subsequent batches continue to improve Laurus Nature’s Green Coffee through ongoing research.

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