In Conversation With… Anant Poddar, Founder, Poddar Farms
Can you please help us know about your professional background?
I have a B.Com. Honors degree from Delhi University. I have worked with Siemens for more than one and a half years in different job roles. Thereafter, I left my job to pursue Hydroponics as my full-time career.
Can you please tell us about your venture ‘Poddar Farms’?
Poddar Farms is a hydroponics-based farm-to-fork company that delivers fresh, residue-free and nutritious farm produce direct to tables. We also provide do-it-yourself (DIY) hydroponics kits, and offer professional consultancy and training for full-time hydroponics projects.
What is the USP of your business? Why should consumers choose you over the competition?
We are a one-stop-shop for all hydroponics related needs, be it consultancy, training, farm supplies or DIY kits. We ask customers what they like the most about our business and their answer is always the same – hygienic packaging and fresh, healthy vegetables.
What is one thing that you would like to change immediately about your venture ‘Poddar Farms’?
After pruning and cleaning activities in the farm, there is a large pile of leaves and fruit leftovers. We have thought of setting up a composting unit in the farm premise itself. This is one of the most immediate changes that is on top of our minds right now. Hopefully, within some time we shall be able to do so.
How do you think the industry niche in which your business operates has evolved over time? In what direction do you see the industry moving in the future?
With people’s preferences shifting towards cleaner and residue-free means of consumption, this industry landscape has evolved quite a lot. People are now focusing on healthier and fresher alternatives to the traditional chemical-adulterated vegetables. For many consumers, quality is definitely a priority over money.
This has created a niche in the traditional vegetable space and thus hydroponics fits here perfectly.
How do you plan the next growth phase of your business?
Currently, we indulge in B2C sales in our district Bulandshahr (in Uttar Pradesh) and B2B sales in Delhi-NCR. The next step for us is to expand our operations and provide services to the customers in B2C space in Delhi-NCR as well. We are expanding our production capabilities to achieve our goal of serving 500+ families by the year 2022.
Kindly describe a typical day at work. How do you ensure efficient and effective time management?
A typical day starts with a huddle meeting with the farm staff, where we discuss about the progress of work on farm, any hurdles faced. Post this meeting, we plan the day and assign responsibilities to all the team members. A proper log is prepared for each staff and that ensures that all things are completed in time.
What is the biggest challenge that your firm is facing at the moment? How do you plan to overcome it?
Lack of skilled workforce is the biggest challenge right now. There are not many people who are skilled enough to take control of the farm operations; thus, sometimes it creates a void of Human resource in this business. To overcome this, we are currently training unskilled farm laborers in hydroponics and are also getting them acquainted with working in farms.
*All views are that of the interviewee. UdyamGyan does not promote or endorse any claims.