March 2020. A multi-million dollar business delivering fresh fruits and vegetables to the hospitality sector in NCR came to a standstill. Our company would no longer get any new contracts. COVID-19 had changed everything, forever; at least that's what we thought then.
It is the Rising from this low that the next phase of my entrepreneurial journey began. 'All was not over, and the world continued to move on. We had to be hopeful' and convinced in our endeavours that lay ahead.
It was abundantly clear that items' requirements would continue to exist; the only difference to us would be the point of delivery for consumption, The Home. A new profile of customers WFH was awaiting a retailer to arrive and fulfil his choices. ’Who? Why not Us? Was the Q to myself".
The challenge would be to create a new paradigm. It had to start with me at the drawing board, as I knew the contours of the market best. My company's Strengths, Weaknesses, and Opportunities lay unexplored, now was the time to kick-in, and redraw the line -processes. It was hard work and sacrifice, but then that what a successful Start-Up is all about. Threats always remain in any entrepreneurial initiative; however, it has never held me back.
Going back, it was in 1998 that my entrepreneurial journey began. It was customary for me to be at work by 5 AM, and dawn had become my new friend. It was the time of the day for me to commence the despatches of the daily consignment of fresh fruits and vegetables to clients.
My small business, AT Enterprises, was growing and soon excelled due to our Quality and freshness of items. We started catering to the most affluent 1% in the country, and sometimes even celebrities. The profile of clients was niche'; the ultra-premium 5-star hotels and flight catering companies were counting on me to bring them the exotic variety and farm-fresh produce. Our reputation spread quickly. The then clients' list includes International Schools, Hospitals, popular restaurant chains, and the prestigious Formula 1 and Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
In 2016, we took a significant step to establish a Backward Linkage with the source, i.e. the farmer. It would ensure a steady and continuous supply of fresh vegetables to our retail chain and a flow of income to farmers. Today, our farms in Himachal Pradesh and Nashik are commercial and viable as stand-alone units. Their entire production is now being brought to you. The local bio-technicians regularly inspect and guide the farmer owner to grow the crop more productively and disease-free.
Ours is perhaps the fastest delivery chain, farm to table for the exotic bell peppers, broccoli, zucchini, basil leaves, avocado, and commonly used products like onions, coriander, potatoes, and green chilli.
The cornerstone to any success is the Quality of service. The need to know the client's requirements and preferences requires a robust media platform. As has been experienced by you, the new website is dynamic. One can see changes in inventory items and Discounts constantly; it is easy to use and complemented with real-time WhatsApp to chat with our agents.
The Happiness quotient is high, the customers appreciate the better Quality and are Happy, the employees have had no lay-off and are Happy, our farmers are secure with work and now comfortable therefore Happy. We, as entrepreneurs, are pleased that we were contributing each day to the environment.
Sep 2020 when Covid 19 was at its peak, we performed and my company was selected to receive the
Promising Start Up Award
There are people in the society for whom circumstances, lack of resources and setbacks are no hurdles. These individuals are people of strong will and dedication. Despite all odds, these champions polish their functioning in the chosen field of interest that they stand apart in society.
The Citation above shows our perseverance and acknowledges how we pivoted our business from Dust to Stars. It required patience and understanding of your preferences.
We are Adaptable, Resilient, and Unstoppable.
This is the story and ethos of Fast and Fresh Global LLP.