Sharing another entrepreneurial journey…the story behind SPICENATURA Foodtech (‘Lajawab Spices’).This is what Dr Suman Jyoti Deka co-founder 0f SPICENATURA had to say about
- What triggered his entrepreneurial initiative
- Support received from the eco-system
- Main obstacles faced in his journey
- His advise to young students /aspiring entrepreneurs
- Factors which triggered his entrepreneurial journey
I had started my entrepreneurial journey considering the following reasons in my mind in 2019:
- The lack of ready-made spice blends tailored specifically towards North-East Indian cuisine inthe current market. I identified the need of the North-East Indian customer after marketsurveys.
- MostoftheNorth-East Indianvarietyofspicesaresuperiorinaroma&flavorwhencompared to their counterparts from other parts of India. So, we saw it as a huge market opportunity to develop innovative spice blends using North-East Indianspices.
- Thereistheproblemoframpantadulterationintoday’sprocessedspicemarketwiththeaddition of artificial colors & flavors, which is a serious threat to the health of the general consumer. I always observed this and therefore had often thought if I could build a spices brand that could offer spice products in their pristine, natural, healthy form to theconsumer.
- Hugeexportpotential.IbelievedthatifwecandevelopinnovativeblendstailoredforNorth-East Indian cuisine, then we have the potential to export these products to the lucrative South-East Asian market, since the cuisine of South-East Asia is very similar to North-East Indiancuisine.
- IhavealwayswantedtobeanentrepreneurduringmyPh.Ddays.Istronglybelieveinthebuilding of Atmanirbhar Bharat and wanted to contribute my part in it. I strongly believed that the students passing out from Prestigious institutes of this country (I am an alumni of IITG) should establish themselves as job givers instead of being jobseekers.
- Lastly, spices industry is a part of Food-technology which is a sub-part of Biotechnology. Myself, being a B.Tech and Ph.D in Biotechnology, naturally felt inclined towards establishing a spice relatedindustry.
Support received from the eco-system
Yes, I have received invaluable guidance from Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship, Guwahati. Also, we are an incubatee of RKVY-RAFTAAR Agribusiness Incubator (R-ABI) scheme under COLLEGE OF FISHERIES (CAU-I), Lembucherra, Tripura.
Main obstacles faced
- Financialobstacle.Wearebootstrappedandhaveonlytakenpersonalloansasofyet.Banksdeny to provide loan unless we show them a sufficient revenue. However, company is very young and it is difficult to generate that expected revenue especially during covid-19 times. Self-financed fundsareinadequatetodevelopinnovativeUSPproducts(whichwehavemanyindesignphase). Also it is difficult to run a proper advertisement campaign with lowfunds.
- Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdown which has wasted almost one year since the start of the company.Haltingofinter-districttransportedhamperedprocurementofrawmaterialsaswellas movement of finished products from thefactory.