Serving more than 260 cities across India with free home delivery of organic foods and grocery, Gurgaon based Farm2Kitchen is the first online organic food stores in India. Seema Dholi, Founder, Farm2kitchen talks about brand's inception and growth.
Organic food is the latest fad in the market though there is also a few difference of opinion regarding the same. Please tell us in detail about your journey from its inception till now?
The idea of Farm2Kitchen was born during my struggle to get quality foods/ grocery for myself and my family. When I was expecting a child, I had come across organically grown foods during my stay in US during 2006-07. Then I did a deep study about the same and came to know about the benefits organic food over conventionally grown foods. It later on became a passion for me.
After I gave birth to my son, I seriously started working on this model, which will help the farmers to connect with consumers in India. Though, India is the largest number of certified organic farmers in the world, the domestic market is lacking with the presence of organic foods. So, I built up Farm2Kitchen – a platform where Indian consumers can shop certified organic foods and lifestyle products. Today, we deliver in almost every state in India.
Fram2kitchen being an online outfit, how do the concepts of franchising fit into it?
Farm2Kitchen has strategically decided to use multiple platforms to reach out to consumers across the country. I have friends who are well versed with internet/ ecommerce, but they do not buy everything online, at least grocery. The consumer needs to be reached in multiple ways in India. Farm2Kitchen will do omni channel retailing of organic foods across India and that’s where we have decided to go for the franchisee model, so that Farm2Kitchen can reach to not only metros, but also tier-I & II cities.
What is your franchise model?
Ours is a very simple and affordable model with good RoI. We have opted for the FOFO (Franchisee- Owned Franchisee- Operated) model. This is because we want to focus on building a good back end supply chain for the organic produce and want to focus on it. With FOFO model, the franchisee will solely look after business in his/her area of operation and focus on customer service. For us, we will take care of maintaining the highest quality of the organic products that will be offered through the stores.
What are the challenges in selling organic food?
Majority of Indians believe that organic food is 'too expensive.' But in a present-day culture where less than 1 per cent of the farmers are doing organic farming, there is a huge demand supply gap. So, the major challenge is people’s perception about organic food price.
What are the criteria to get a franchise of Farm2kitchen?
We are looking for people, who are aware about the future of organic foods in India. The person/ business that we want to associate with for franchisee stores should be ready to accept the challenge of spreading awareness about the benefits of organic foods over conventionally grown foods. They should be ready to learn everything about organic farming and foods, which we will provide them with training.
What benefits do you offer to your franchise partners?
We provide a long term opportunity for everyone, who joins us. We call franchisees as our partners. They will grow with us in long run. I want to make Farm2Kitchen the number one destination for organic foods in India in next three to five years. I want everyone to eat organic, so working on it to make it affordable. All these factors will help the franchisees to do a good business for life.
What are your expansion plans?
We plan to extend our stores across India. Starting with Nashik (already have three stores in Nashik), Mumbai, Pune and rest of Maharashtra, along with Gujarat. For expansion, we need a strong supply chain and backward linkages. At the same time, we have already worked on this.