Somveer Anand is the Co-Founder of Pindfresh. Pindfresh is aiming to solve all this in one go by encouraging urban farming using small local hydroponic units.
Pindfresh and Hydroponics
Pindfresh was started 6 years ago in 2015. Pindfresh inspires people to eat healthier by helping them grow pesticides free vegetables at home by the use of a technology called hydroponics.
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil. You can cultivate it all year long. The technology uses less water as compared to traditional soil-based systems. It offers faster growth and higher yields. It is a sustainable form of farming.
Pindfresh has designed a simple to use hydroponics setup. The vegetables are grown in an eco-friendly way hydroponics set up. The biggest advantage of this hydroponics is it uses no pesticides.
Somveer adds, “Hydroponics is a great thing to do in small homes, flats, and balconies. Hydroponics is best utilized where you cannot grow leafy vegetables outdoors because of unfavourable climatic conditions and requirements like Goa, Ladakh, and Leh. Hydroponics is a great technology provided you know how to use it.”
“Around the world, there are two major countries that use this technology at its best. Those are Dutch who grow hydroponics vertically and the second is Israelis. The technology gives extremely different outcomes with controlled cultivation.”
Prime USPs of Pindfresh
Somveer emphasizes, “We are India’s largest makers of hydroponic kits. Hydroponics is very good for case studies. This type of kitchen garden is appropriate as a case study for use in metros where there is a shortage of space.”
The startup is completely bootstrapped. On being asked about the plans to raise funds, the co-founder informs, “It is something we do to destress ourselves and not to make money.”
Revenues of Pindfresh
Somveer mentions, “During FY 21, we did around 1.4 crores, last FY we did approx 66 lacs. So, we are going down in revenue. The real fun is in teaching people which I enjoy doing. And you don’t get paid to teach.”
Zero pesticides in hydroponics – The biggest advantage
Exposure to hazardous pesticides and chemicals can seriously affect the health of an individual. It can affect physical and neurological developments in children, the body can develop allergens. The advantage of this technology is there are zero pesticides used if hydroponics is used indoors. There is no requirement for pesticides as the facility is fully covered. And if at all they (pests) come, it is easy to control them.
Disadvantages of hydroponics kit
Somveer adds, “It is very important to start but at a small scale/level. Get your hands dirty. Know your market. We should be very careful while investing our money in products that serve only the top one or half percentage. So, invest wisely, invest a small amount.”
Learnings for the budding entrepreneur
Somveer concludes, “If you want to start something, start with the basic principles. About hydroponics, you will get lots of information on the Pindfresh website and other websites also. Find your interests. Do what you are best at. Do something you are passionate about. It will really help.”
(Edited by Renu Gupta)