Lyfepure is a novel concept. Please tell me how was the idea conceived?
The quality of food we consume has been detoriating since past few decades. It is worse in metro cities with packed food and multiple inferior quality options to choose from. From the late nineties, I started getting my groceries such as oil, pulses, spices and grains from our home town. We recognised our privilege to be able to source high quality groceries and other goods from our village. I believe, everyone should have access to good, nutritious food, but a majority of our middle class population can’t afford organic goods. That’s when we decided to bring the high quality food products into the market at affordable prices. We did extensive market research, in hypermarkets and local grocery shops; we took customer feedbacks from friends, families, in housing societies and realised there is a gap in the expectation and supply and took the plunge.
Is Lyfepure self-funded or did you receive any funding? How do you plan to use it and grow the product?
We started with our savings, passion and rock solid familial support. We were self-funded till last month, however recently we signed our first Non- Binding MOU funding with a Dubai-based global firm called GROVER & COMPANY ENGLAND LTD ,and not only fund but with their expertise in global market we will soon be going global. Right now we have 38 products, and with the help of the funding we aim to expand our product range and reach out to wider markets.
Where do you source/process your products? What cities are you catering to? What channels of distribution and marketing are you using?
Our facilities and processing units are based in Noida. We procure products from all across the country depending on quality. For eg: We source tea from Assam, some spices from Kerala. We are processing our own mustard oil and multi-grain aata among other things. We are supplying to Delhi-NCR and have received a great response from Uttar Pradesh. Our products are listed on Amazon, Modern Bazaar and Spencer and we have been garnering positive response through all these channels. Our aim is to penetrate markets across the country, especially where we see quality and purity compromised.
My father, Mr. Ramashraya Rai, always encouraged us sisters to chase our dreams and made us feel important. He is truly the wind beneath our wings.
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Even in the 21st century, there are very few women entrepreneurs. Walk us through the initial days, the courage and the struggle it took.
My father, Mr. Ramashraya Rai, always encouraged us sisters to chase our dreams and made us feel important. He is truly the wind beneath our wings. We grew up in Lucknow and our heritage and culture played a huge role in who we are today. It is true that we see women in jobs and as professionals, but very few as entrepreneurs because there is lack of support and agency of investment for them. We wouldn’t be able to execute the idea without the support our family, especially my husband, who is equally invested in my dream.
Your organisation has 90% women staff and I don’t think many companies across the world can claim that. Kudos to have achieved this feat. Was it a conscious decision or grew organically?
Through Lyfepure, I wanted to address the quality issues in food produce but also bring a change in the society in my own small way. Women are natural multi taskers. They are efficient and work progresses with a diverse and women led/run team. It was a conscious decision and a wise one to lay the foundation and values of our company on. It was quite easy for me to hire women and get work done with them. Since it is a manufacturing unit, we need men for some jobs and have hired them for those positions. I initially thought to make it a women-only organization. We want to continue supporting and encouraging women to get commercial work experience to gain financial freedom and stability. It was a non-negotiable decision.
Parting thoughts for consumers or aspiring entrepreneurs.
Your health is important and valuable. What we eat goes a long way to ensure how we will live. So choose wisely and opt for pure – Lyfpure. For budding entrepreneurs, just believe in your dreams, be ready to work harder than you think and take the plunge.