My brother and I are from Hassan. We came to Bangalore for his education and I needed a job to support him. I worked as a car driver, but the late-night shifts were stressful, so I quit. At that time, my friend had a small vegetable store that he wanted to sell. He offered it to me and I decided to try my luck and took it over. This small shop was my big break.
Owning a vegetable store meant I had to wake up by 4 a.m. every morning, come heavy rain or cold weather, and walk 3 Km to the nearest bus stop to go to the market and buy produce. Being sick wasn’t an excuse either because we couldn’t afford to shut down our shop. To make things worse, some people created problems and got violent simply because we came from a different city; I still have those scars. But, I stood my ground for my brother and my family.
Back then, it was difficult to calculate the right rate to sell to customers. Every day was a gamble since market rates varied a lot and we’d randomly set a certain amount and hope we could turn a profit. It was highly unpredictable - sometimes we’d make profits and the other times we’d face losses.
I took care of the shop in the mornings and my brother would help me out after college. We had many ideas for our business - one such idea was investing in a swiping machine and a billing system to make weighing and billing easier for us and our customers. We were the first store in our area to introduce this system and it was greatly appreciated by our customers. They even set our store as an example and asked other nearby stores to implement the system.
I still remember the day a Ninjacart executive came over to pitch for us. It was raining heavily and neither of us could properly understand each other. I spoke Kannada and he, Tamil. Somehow, we had an hour-long conversation after which I was convinced to install the app. We were the first in the area to work with Ninjacart.
With the app, we had a clear idea of prices and the margins we had to set. We now sell at an average price which helps us turn a profit. We expanded to this bigger store just a month ago. Here, we sell vegetables and groceries. We won’t close our old store because that’s where we started and we do not want to let go.
A year ago, we had the idea to build our own app that would help Nature Fresh customers order from our store directly, but we did not have the investment to implement this idea. My brother and I have still held on to this dream.
We started out with nothing and after putting in great effort we have come this far. Today, we own two bikes, a car, and a home. In the future, we plan to convert this store completely into a vegetables and fruits store because we believe it will fetch us good business. We have many ideas, but still have a long way to go in achieving our vision.
Narrated by Mahesh H.R, Owner Nature Fresh Fruits & Vegetables