Green & Grains- An 'Organic Revolution' By Prateek Sharma

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”

Following passion and making it your living is the best job one can be employed at. But isn't’ it courageous to follow your heart and do what it takes? 

Prateek Sharma- Founder Green & Grains left his banking job and followed where his heart belonged to- “Farming”.

Prateek belonged to a farming background and spent his childhood days on a farm. He left the village and started his professional career as a Banker. But, the constant feeling of something missing in life kept hovering upon him. 

He was living a good life, making enough money but this was not his passion. 

In an interview with Agnito Today, Prateek Sharma and Prateeksha Sharma shared their experience and journey of Green & Grains.

Why did you come back to farming?

“ I come from a small village called Dhaba Khurd in Hoshangabad. I have lived and studied here in my childhood. I liked the lifestyle and culture of my village., This calmness and peace was missing in my life which brought me back to where I originally belonged.”

Prateek served for 10-11 years in the banking sector. In 2012 he sowed the seed of farming. However it took 2-3 years to enter and opt farming completely.

“I had my family and we were living a certain kind of lifestyle. So it took 2-3 years to opt out of my profession and give my time to organic farming”. 

“In 2015 I started juggling between my job and my passion.I tried to do both simultaneously to settle things. When I saw things working in the right direction so in 2016 I left my banking job completely.”

What Were The Major Challenges You Faced?

“We started up with a ‘polyhouse’ concept, the idea was to grow off season vegetables. The input cost was much higher and the return was not as expected.”

Three major challenges were

  • More input
  • More use of chemical products
  • Price discovery 

He expressed to his wife, Prateeksha that he wants to do organic farming and quit the stressful work life. He wanted to enjoy doing what he loved the most and live the life he always aspired. And that is when his life changed 360 degrees. 

‘Green & Grains’ is a model that has been prepared keeping all these factors in mind.

What Steps Did You Take To Reduce The Input?

Spending on chemicals and producing the crop which everyone was doing did not seem to be a convincing business model. Also, the cost of fertilizers was so high that it increased the input cost. To make this a sustainable model Prateek thought of doing organic farming which would build their brand value.

“We localised the inputs from our surroundings. The source of growing a seed undergoes a process. The presence of organic matter in our soil should be a must which enhances the quality of the crop."

"Soil should contain organic carbon and micro environment which includes colonies of bacteria that help in the fertility of the soil. We focused on organic matter to boost the quality of the soil.”

“Organic matter present in the soil provides nutrition to the crop and plays the role of home for these essential bacterias.”

How Do You Reduce The Use Of Chemicals?

To protect the crop, chemicals are used which are harmful for our health. Prateek came up with an incredible way to stay away from chemicals and produce healthy vegetables.

“We do not burn the by-products of the crops. This helps in making our own manure which reduces the cost and necessity of chemicals.”

Have You Taken Any Degree In Farming?

Prateek has been around farm since childhood and he had been actively observing the methods of growing crops. He has done a training called “Saket” which helped him learn more about the process of farming.

“To understand the farming culture I stayed around the farm and spent time. This made me grasp knowledge about the crops and their nature.”

Vision of Digitalising Green & Grains

Whatever we are doing today needs to reach every individual and social media platforms play a major role in spreading a word. Green & Grains has found its way to reach every consumer through various Whatsapp groups. 

“We have 27 Whatsapp groups that include various societies. We reach our consumers twice a week. We list the vegetables in the group and after receiving the order the delivery is proceeded.”

Once the crop is ready, it is loaded in the vehicle.

The vehicle reaches their godown where all the vegetables are procured.

After receiving the order the vegetables are packed. Prateeksha takes care of the entire process of procurement and delivery of the vegetables.

The Backbone Of Green & Grains- Prateeksha Sharma

Prateek's wife Prateeksha has stood behind him as a pillar and supporting him since all of this was just a mere vision. She is now an active memeber in the Green & Grains family and has her roles defined. 

“After taking a degree in MBA Finance and having a 10 year experience in Bank life took an interesting turn which brought me into farming.”

“When we were in Chandigarh in 2012, Prateek expressed his dissatisfaction in banking. His interest and heart was always into farming and he persuaded me into this field. We had a discussion that continued for 2-3 years.”

“We had a stable life and different lifestyle and quitting that and pursuing an altogether different profession was challenging. But we were looking for stability in our lives which came with farming.”

Remembering the incident from Chandigarh she said that in Punjab many chemicals are used in farming. We wanted to feed our daughter chemical free food but couldn't get it as there was no availablility and awareness.

That is when we decided to pursue farming with our years of experience and knowledge and prepare a sustainable business model.

Things headed in their favour and their hardwork paid off. Today Green & Grains provides organic vegetables at doorsteps in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. It is even planning to launch it's app to reach more people and serve them with best and organic vegetables and dairy products.

The start is usually the most difficult part but as we move ahead and the path is paved, the destination looks beautiful. Prateek and Prateeksha faced a lot of difficulties and setting up Green & Grains was not a cakewalk for them.

But their desire, dedication and desperation to achieve the life they aspired made this dream turn into reality.