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Name: Nidhi Pant

Business: DesiVDesi Foods

Location: Mumbai, India

Industry: Food and Beverage 

Reason for starting? Change is the only thing that is constant today. All my life I have wanted to usher in change, to be at the Archimedean fulcrum where I am able to effect change that will benefit humanity at large. My childhood was spent camping out in open fields and helping my parents rebuild our community. I grew up in an environmentally unstable land where the fight with nature never stopped, rebuilding everything from scratch was second nature to us.

Having seen how communities were impacted up close, pursuing social change was something that came naturally to me. All my projects and internships focused on providing a permanent solution rather than addressing the symptoms. It was during the floods of 2013 in India, while spearheading the relief campaigns, that I realized that I wanted to drive the social change that transforms disparities into better, sustainable balances. The feeling of satisfaction and the sense of accomplishment that I get even after making small difference to the lives of people, is immense.

Desi-V-Desi, aims to provide financially viable business models to farmers and through the use of sustainable and innovative technology. Our brand -Desi-V-Desi provides market access to dehydrated products by the farmers to the consumers, thereby facilitating higher income levels and hence development. Our specific focus has been on fruits – fruit candies which are in our snacks. Kokum amla, papaya, pineapple, musk melon, and kiwi are all handpicked to give the best quality of raw material and processed using our Solar Conduction Dryers to give the best quality. This not only results in better remuneration for the farmers, but also provides health benefits to the consumer.

How do you define success? I want to be where things are developing, changing, and growing. Solving a problem which requires not only analytical abilities but creativity. I like a team driven work environment which requires accelerated learning, provides leadership opportunities and above all learning, sharing and awareness. Learning from every situation is success for me. To learn from people from every hue and background.

Biggest success: Even after 67 years of independence, nearly half of India’s 1.2 billion people have no toilet at home, but ironically more people own a mobile phone, according to the Census 2011 data. India is a country where millions have access to cutting edge technology and consumer goods, but paradoxically a large number of our poor lack access to even basic facilities like food, water and sanitation. By employing innovative techniques with Desi-V-Desi and integrating a unique blend of natural organic ingredients, I have made a difference in the lives of 10,000 suffering kids with my enriching line of affordable products. Tailored to cater to the needs and rights of the less privileged sections of the society, my efforts have improved the lives of many and I have significantly helped combat malnutrition and help eradicate hunger in India. This is my biggest success to date.

What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? Just by being persistence and having an eye for detail.

Who is your most important role model? Muhammad Yunus is my role model. I believe in empowerment and giving the farmers a chance to grow and develop. Allow them to make a life by providing them with skill set. As Muhammad Yunus believes that poverty means being deprived of all human value, he regards micro-credit both as a human right and as an effective means of emerging from poverty: Lend the poor money in amounts which suit them, teach them a few basic financial principles, and they generally manage on their own.T his is exactly what I am doing. Helping them find their direction.


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Edited by The Story Exchange