They worked in the IT industry for 13 years before starting their own company. After that, he decided to start his own company. They are now making millions of dollars by selling sugarcane juice in Pune and Mumbai through their startup.
We’re going to tell you about a couple who started a business making sugarcane juice. From 1997 to 2010, Milind and Kirti Datar lived in Pune, where they worked in IT for nearly 13 years. He and his coworkers frequented the cafeteria in the IT park where they worked for tea and coffee and a variety of food. The branded coffee shops, on the other hand, left Milind speechless. To his mind, they looked like juice counters, with no customers or respect like coffee shops, and he frequently compared them.
Sugarcane juice, as well as other traditional country drinks, he believed, was experiencing the same issues.
Sugarcane juice, according to Milind, is still an unorganized business.
There is also a lack of cleanliness in the area.
Sugarcane juice was largely avoided by the general public due to concerns about its potential health effects.
His professional life was transformed after he came up with this idea.
Milind, 46, says he first broached the subject of sugarcane juice with his wife in 2010.
After a few years, the two of them decided to quit their jobs and start their own business.
His new company, Canboat, specializes in the sale of sugarcane juice, so he named it after that.
We want to know how you made it.
Milind told me that when he worked in the IT industry, people didn’t go to the sugarcane juice counters because they didn’t care about cleanliness.
Asked if “something could be done to promote this natural and nutritious beverage?”
When it came to starting their own business, Milind and his wife Keerthi were eager, but they lacked the necessary skills and experience. We studied the market and the issues surrounding this business and the potential solutions to these problems,” he asserts. Hygiene was cited as a major deterrent to drinking this particular beverage. Another factor was the traditional sugarcane crushing machines, which are mainly made of iron and are unsafe because of dust and other pollutants.”
A new crush machine was designed to address these issues.
Many benefits have come from Milind’s research, ingenuity, and production of the sugarcane machine.
According to him, a new machine had a greater crushing capacity.
For the extraction of the sugarcane juice, the sugarcane did not have to be crushed repeatedly, according to him”.
Almost all of the juice was released at once.
This small machine, which could run smoothly and had a protective cover on top,” was also convenient.
Covering the juice machine ensures that the juice will not spread or come into contact with external pollutants, according to Milind.
Additionally, the overall process was quieter as a result of it.
Stainless-steel was used to build the crushing machine.
Traditionally, iron or other materials were used to construct it.
In addition to ensuring that food is safe, it also prevents dirt.”
Keeping the machine clean doesn’t require any water because of its design.”
Sugarcane juice extraction can also be calculated using the machine’s Internet of Things (IoT).
The tasks were made easier by monitoring via the Internet.
In addition, he developed the sugarcane peeling machine.
Traditionally, cane peels are peeled by hand, says Milind.
Peeling 1,500 kilograms of sugarcane takes 20 workers eight hours a day. At the same time, our machine peels 1,000 kilos of sugarcane in an hour, and only two people are needed to operate it. This had a significant impact on lowering production costs.
The couple sought out sugarcane farmers in Maharashtra who could guarantee consistent quality and supply year-round. So much planning went into his decision to quit his job in 2012 and start his own company, Canectar Foods Pvt Ltd, which he launched in October and began approaching IT firms.
The glass juices were sold at around 45,000 per month, earning him around Rs 2 crore a year. He eventually opened 12 outlets in various companies.
A positive response was received because the taste and quality were consistent throughout the year, according to him.
Our sugarcane quality was unaffected by our hasty selection of sugarcane variety.
However, the COVID-19 epidemic began as soon as the startup decided to move forward.
All of Keerti’s outlets were in IT companies at the time.
We were forced to close our stores overnight because of the epidemic.
We were confronted with a crisis we had not anticipated.
Kirti, the company’s 43-year-old vice president, says that the outlets always serve fresh juice.
“Sugarcane juice spoils quickly,” she says.
We tried using canned sugar cane for a few years prior to the lockdown with no luck.
To extend the product’s shelf life, we were adamant about not using preservatives or other sugar or chemical additives.
Kirti admits that he had considered returning to the IT industry, but he had already gone so far down this path that he couldn’t go back.
Preservatives are necessary when bottling sugarcane juice, according to her.
Another natural substance was needed for this.
We’ve found that raw mango juice, or mango emerald, when mixed with sugarcane juice, can meet our needs,” says a researcher.
‘Raw Mango Panna is a common beverage in India,’ says Keerti. In addition, it is a nutritious food that is also good for you. Many people, however, choose not to consume it because of the high sugar content. Hence, we concluded that if we combined these two, the sugarcane juice and mango flavor would be preserved while retaining a natural sweetness.”
A Fresh Start
‘Sugarcane Panna’ was introduced by this startup in August 2020.
Sugarcane juice and raw mango juice are combined in this product, which is sold in cans with no added preservatives.
“We also launched an immunity shot by mixing turmeric, sugarcane juice, black pepper and other ingredients, which helps to create a strong immunity system,” she says..
As a result of widespread epidemics and logistical difficulties, we were forced to turn to online marketplaces like Big Basket to fulfill our distribution needs.
Rs 70 buys a 230 ml sugarcane emerald bottle, while Rs 400 buys 10 units of 30 ml immunity shots.”
Ruby Hospital and nutritionists in Pune, according to Kirti, have recommended she drink an immunity drink.
Cabot owns both of these beverages.
Antioxidant-rich turmeric in this energy drink makes it an ideal supplement to a healthy diet plan, according to Avanti Deshpande, a nutritionist and Nutriagnomics Counselor.
If you don’t like turmeric milk or other turmeric substitutes, black pepper can help you absorb the turmeric more effectively. “
The company has grown steadily in the last three months, increasing by 25–30% each month. Kirti and Milind are now making about 7 lakh rupees a month. There are now stores in Pune and Mumbai selling our products,” says Keerti. To reach customers outside Pune, the company has found success in bottling their products.”
With the exception of COVID-19, Keerti has had a difficult time finding customers for the product.
‘It was hard to establish a brand in the region,’ she says.
Because sugarcane is so heavy, establishing a reliable supply chain has proven challenging.
To develop a better business model, we spent eight years conducting research and experimenting. “
She claims that the company doesn’t receive any outside funding, loans, or funding of any kind.
He elaborated, saying, “We used our savings and invested it all at the beginning.
This startup has received a $1 million investment from us. “
‘AIM Catalyst’, a government program that supports early-stage and long-term startups, is linked to the venture by IIM-Bangalore, NSRCEL and the Atal Innovation Mission.
Customers will be able to purchase juice from the company’s new juice dispensing counter, Milind says.
When asked about plans for ATM-like juice delivery machines, he says, “We’re looking into it.”
Airports, hospitals, and other public institutions may need such distribution units.
However, recapturing the market and expanding customer reach through e-commerce platforms remain the primary goals.
“I want sugarcane juice to be as popular as coffee,” I tell myself.
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