Sachin Darbarwar, CEO Simply Fresh interacted with Swati Solanki from Food Marketing & Technology Magazine, India. Simply Fresh Pvt Ltd has a firm located in Hyderabad that produces different food and medicinal plants by using latest technology. He enumerated about their achievements, latest technologies and their future plans.
Please talk about “Simply Fresh” and share the remarkable achievements in recent years?
Simply Fresh Private Limited was founded in 2010 by two Indian software engineers, based in Australia, Sachin Darbarwar (CEO) and Shweta Darbarwar (CMO) who were studying modern Agri tech, i.e. plant-profiling and R&D.
With a strong understanding of technical processes associated with farming techniques, the duo shifted back to their hometown Hyderabad, where they started latest farming techniques that are inspired by the Australian and New Zealand farm practices.
It all started in 2013 at Shamirpet in a 9-acre farm that catered to Retail and HoReCa segments in local markets.
In 2014, Simply Fresh commenced its export operations. It is then that the team realized the demand for fresh products and the need for safe and traceable agricultural produce.
In 2018, the company raised close to USD 30 million through private equity investors. r, Simply Fresh then expanded its farming with a 150-acre facility in Arjunpatla, Siddipet. Simply Fresh was started with the aim of making available nutritious food free of chemicals and pesticides. Using soil-less farming technology, the farm presents inventory readiness, consistent quality and freshness of produce.
With the motto ‘Affordable Food Safety’, Simply Fresh’s mission is to bring fresh, clean, traceable and technologically assisted produce through sustainable farming, adhering to the best standards of food safety.
What are the technologies used by your firm and how are they different from others?
We use global technology in farming based on European standards using precision farming techniques. The farm uses AI technology in farming for growing, nourishing, picking and processing; along with sustainable practices that do not exhaust natural resources. Simply Fresh Farms produces a full line of Medicinal plants and fresh produce year-round at our greenhouses located in Hyderabad; which are grower-owned and processed adhering to industry leading food safety and quality standards.
Our farm is digitally controlled by an AI Platform called Farm in A Box (FiAB), which determines and detects climate conditions and requirements for the plants and alters the environment to suit their needs.
Sachin spent three years learning the process in Australia and later developing the technique
To make sure that their customers have confidence in their produce, each package has a QR code. When scanned, this code will showcase the whole history of the product including when the seed was sown, who harvested it, how many days it was in the system, and so on. Their Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) ensure trust and transparency to consumers with the unique QR code printed on each product package. Simply Fresh also sources the highest quality Non-GMO seeds from across the globe; which are nurtured and harvested using precision farming techniques.
What are the issues and challenges that you are facing nowadays?
The biggest issue we are facing right now is making sure our farms are operating at optimum capacity, and we meet the demands of the orders we are receiving from our retail, corporate and HoReCa clients. We are working closely with our clients, vendors and logistic partners for smooth operation. We have taken necessary steps for our staff at farm. We have sanitized their living quarters, and are providing them basic essential food requirement on a daily basis. Also, making sure they are maintaining hygiene. We have arranged for doctors to visit our farm every alternate day to brief our staff and check any symptoms of health issues.
What are the future plans of your Company? What are the steps that you are taking to achieve this?
With our new 150-acre farm ready near Siddipet, Hyderabad we intend to spread our reach to more retail, corporate and HoReCa clients in various cities in India.
We also grow a variety of Nutraceutical plants. We plan to expand more in the Nutraceutical segment and focus on exports as there is a huge demand around the globe for safe and traceable produce.
How was the growth of your Company in last few years?
In 2018, Simply Fresh raised close to USD 30 million through private equity investors.
Soon after, Simply Fresh expanded its farming with a 150-acre facility in Arjunpatla, Siddipet. With this facility, we are the largest hydroponic farming company in India today.
In the last couple of years, we have expanded our supply to various cities such as Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and Chennai.
We have developed and maintained a strong retail presence in Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. We also supply many corporations and HoReCa clients in various cities in India.
In which national and international events do you participate?
We recently participated in “Aahar Expo” in Delhi – which is one the largest food expo event in India. We received a lot of leads and many new probable clients showed their interest in our produce.
We also attended the “Gulf Food Festival” organized in Dubai and the “Fruits Logistica” Expo held in Berlin. These helped us spread our network and understand the requirements from various countries.
Do you export your products in abroad? If yes which are the countries?
We do export our products to other countries and have exported our fresh produce and nutraceuticals produce to Gulf Countries, Maldives, Mauritius and USA.
With a huge demand for safe and traceable Nutraceutical products globally, we will be exporting to various European countries and USA in future.
Tell us about the plans to broaden and maximize your geographical reach?
With our new farm, our production will increase ten folds. We will be coming up with new varieties and range in the market. Our focus will be on safe, traceable and continuous supply of fresh and nutraceutical produce.
In the coming days you will see us growing very aggressively in retail corporations and HoReCa markets. We are closely working with new clients, vendors and logistics partners and will be spreading our wings in other cities in India and as well as exports to various other countries.