By Mhevish Memon | Opening Doorz Editorial | April 16, 2020

Every young mind has an idea, an idea that could get transformed into a beautiful reality one day. Some give their idea wings, to reach a certain goal and some take a step back wondering if their idea is ‘good enough’ ignoring the fact that ‘everything started as nothing’. One should not be discouraged by the daunting task ahead just like Darpan Bendre, a young 21-year-old entrepreneur whose passion for food and a background of social work led him towards an exciting journey through various parts of Maharashtra which led to the establishment of Agrify Organic Solutions.

Darpan Bendre and his partners Urvish Baide and Himanshu Dighavkar (also 21 years of age) are final year engineering students at NMIMS who trusted their instincts and are now an inspiration for others.

In the time the country is reeling under the lockdown during the global pandemic, and people are restricted to their homes, Agrify Organic Solutions have stepped out, helping Mumbaikars with fresh organic vegetables and fruits sourced directly from the farmers, with no middlemen.

Opening Doorz to Agrify Organic Solutions and a chat with Darpan Bendre; this is their story…

From L to R: Himanshu Dighavkar, Urvish Bhaide and Darpan Bendre gave flight to their dreams.

How the seed was sown…
We started Agrify Organic Solutions in May 2019 with the sole purpose of bridging the gap between the urban and rural community. We always wanted to be a link between farmers and the consumers and thus eliminate the need of various middlemen because of whom farmers don’t get a fair price for their produce. We’ve been doing B2B for the past eight months in which we’ve been supplying to supermarkets, restaurants and stores selling organic vegetables.

Startup and the initial teething problems…
We’ve been working tirelessly everyday to solve each and every problem and adapting everyday; we’ve delivered over 6000 orders and on an average we’ve been delivering 500 orders per day. As of now, we are looking to scale up and cater to as many customers as possible everyday and supply groceries and customized orders. We are also launching an app which will work as India’s first marketplace for all organic products. We are also looking to raise funds from suitable investors as a lot have approached us due to the traction we’ve received. Now due to the growing number of orders we had to scale up everything from supply, logistics to manpower in the space of a few days.

The link between farmers and consumers…
True to our ideology of being the link, we decided to empower our farmer group—Yuvakmangal Agrotech. We developed a system in which we make boxes of fruits and vegetables which have a range of 17 items. These boxes are packed near our farms in Nashik owing to the health scare in Mumbai. We take precautions there by adopting all possible safety measures. These pre-packed boxes are sent to our warehouse in Mumbai from where we dispatch them.

Opening Doorz Agrify Organic Solutions
Darpan Bendre and his team have been swamped ever since that Whatsapp message of March 26, 2020.

The Whatsapp message of March 26 and its impact…
We sent our first Whatsapp message on March 26, and we were prepared to deliver 1000 orders. But the message spread like anything and within a few hours we went from 100 to 5000 orders. And this number has only been increasing. Earlier, we were taking orders manually on Whatsapp, then we moved to Google forms then to a link and now in the coming days we are launching our own app which will have all essential products. It has been an absolutely overwhelming experience and the messages we’ve been receiving from people expressing their gratitude for helping them in time of need is absolutely amazing.

COVID-19 and its impact on Agrify Organic Solutions…
When the Covid 19 crisis hit India we identified two major problems.

1. It was unsafe for people to go out of their homes so we wanted to make sure that fruits and vegetables are available to people in the safest way possible.

2. Farmers had a lot of produce that was going to waste. They had no channel of selling it.

Also, we faced major problem in delivering so many boxes per day due to a shortage of manpower. There were a lot of undelivered boxes per day too because of certain areas that were completely sealed off. We donated these boxes in slums, migrant labour camps and to anyone in need. We’ve been giving preference to senior citizen living alone to help them out. We hope to retain a lot of these customers even after the lockdown solely based on the quality of our products and the service we’ve provided. As of now we’ve also been approached by MLA’s to make sure there is enough supply to cater their constituency.

Message from Agrify Organic Solutions
We are doing our part to keep everyone safe. And we hope this small effort goes a long way in India’s fight against the virus.

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