IN CONVERSATION WITH CO-FOUNDERS TANVI AGARWAL AND ANKUR AGARWAL
- Tell us a little about yourself and your previous working experience?
Bombay Greens, a brand of Danke Group was co-founded by us – Tanvi Agarwal & Ankur Agarwal. Both of us have an MBA degree in Marketing and have worked for some of the biggest brands over a couple of years. I, Tanvi Agarwal am 32 years old with an MBA in marketing, am an ex- employee of Unilever & Marico and a graphic designer & illustrator too! On the other hand, Ankur Agarwal is 33 years old with an MBA in marketing and an ex- employee of Times Network. We both quit our high paying jobs in marketing and launched a brand called Regor in 2015.
Regor deals in high quality unique electronics and mobile accessories. It has a range of 30 products and is currently listed as one of the top 5 brands on Amazon. After the huge success of Regor, we decided to launch Bombay Greens during the COVID pandemic around May 2020, as we saw a huge need for people to learn to grow vegetables at home.
Currently I handle the marketing and B2C sales for Bombay Greens along with the design element of the brand and collaterals. Ankur on the other hand, handles R&D, the new product development as well as the supply chain, inventory management and B2B sales.
- How was the idea of ‘Bombay Greens’ born?
Our journey started a few years ago when we decided to eat fresh & healthy vegetables. Our love for salads prompted us to buy exotic vegetables which were difficult to avail. Furthermore, the produce we received at times was not fresh and to the mark! Hence, we decided to grow our own vegetables at home. But while doing so we faced a lot of challenges since we had no prior knowledge or help from anyone.
During this COVID pandemic we were very lucky that we had our own vegetable garden and hence we never faced issues like shortage or unavailability of vegetables. This made us realise the importance of being self-reliant & independent. Hence, we thought of creating products that can help amateur gardeners grow their own produce easily and quickly. We have created these unique DIY KITS for growing different vegetables, herbal teas and edible flowers as well as microgreens at home. Our kits contain everything you need along with instructions to grow it easily. These kits are so simple that even children can be encouraged to use it.
- What is the concept of Bombay Greens?
The concept of Bombay Greens is to basically grow your own produce at the luxury of your home, so very easily. With the easy DIY KITS, growing vegetables couldn’t get any easier. Our kits contain everything you need along with instructions to grow it easily.
The strategy which we have implemented is to create a box which contains everything that you need to grow vegetables, fruits & teas. Since a lot of people are not aware of gardening basics like which soil to use, how & when to fertilise it, etc we wanted to offer a simple & small kit with detailed instructions so that even a child can learn to grow it easily.
- Who is the target audience of Bombay Greens?
Our target audience is people across the country who would want to eat fresh, organic and poison free food. Our audience is essentially environmentally conscious people who are interested in living a healthy lifestyle and want to learn the art of gardening. Our products also serve as unique gifts for all occasions. Bombay Greens offer them easy solutions like a DIY KIT from which they can easily learn how to grow vegetables and plants at home.
- With an apartment style of living & lesser space, especially in cities like Mumbai – how successful do you think is the idea of indoor gardening?
Indoor gardening is one of the best ideas for homes with lesser space especially in cities like Mumbai. Our concept focuses on taking the 1st step in gardening via these kits. For people with less space in their houses, we offer the DIY Microgreens kit, which you can grow in a very small space. We also offer DIY grow kits like – the Herbs kit or Edible flowers which occupy less space. Additionally, we offer a range of seeds which can be grown outdoors for people with more space or in their balconies with limited space.
- Take us through the process of using one of your DIY Grow Kits and how easy or difficult it is?
Our DIY Microgreens & Grow Kits come with a manual which has all the details and steps to use them.
There are 4 main steps to the kit:
- Take cocopeat discs and expand them by pouring water. Add fertilizer in case of Grow kits.
- Fill the container with this mix and sow seeds as per instructions.
- Sprinkle some water and use the naming sticks to identify the different plants.
- Keep them in sunlight and water daily. In case of microgreens you can start harvesting after 5-7 days. In case of Grow kits, you need to transplant the seedlings to a bigger pot after 3 weeks.
- Bombay Greens has done really well during the lockdown period. Would you mind sharing your financial investment and the turnover you have earned?
We invested our own money around Rs 30,000/- as seed capital. Our turnover in the past 4 months has been around 9 Lakhs. We have sold 3000+ kits in 4 months.
- A start-up business can be majorly successful or dauntingly unsuccessful. How did you decide to take the plunge and chose to start your own business?
We quit our jobs in 2015 to start Regor. Regor markets high quality mobile accessories and electronics. With a range of 30 products, Regor quickly grew to becoming among the top 5 brands on Amazon. Riding on the success of Regor, we took the plunge with Bombay Greens during the lockdown in May, 2020 when fresh produce was difficult to get hands on for everybody. Under the aegis of Danke Group, we put our marketing, and strong corporate experience to bring these quick and easy kits to people’s homes.
- What is the plan ahead for Bombay Greens in terms of growth, investment, new products, etc?
- Introduce a range of products related to gardening which are organic in nature like fertilizers, potting mix etc.
- Introduce a range of Organic Bread Flours from Ancient Indian Wheat Varieties which are healthy & Nutritious
- Introduce a range of Organic Spice Blends which are 100% pure and non- adulterated.
- Launch our store on our website and on Instagram.
- Would you like to share some advice to budding start-ups or to someone that has a business idea and is contemplating it?
The insight that I can share is- identify a need that you are struggling to satisfy for yourself, do a market research on how many people share a similar opinion, try to offer a simple solution to the need and above all, make it pocket friendly.
Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2JwbqMB