Since time immemorial, cardamom has been no stranger to Arab homes. Based on historical records, it has been cherished by families of the Arabian Peninsula for over a millennium. Cardamom formed the primary object of Arab-Malabar trade in the medieval era. And, however much the dynamics of the Arab trade with India may have transformed, cardamom remains a jewel in the India-Arab bilateral trade.
Even today, the cardamom trade continues to deepen the socio-cultural ties between India and the world. These ties are further subject to strengthening with the efforts of Prashanth Agro Processing Pvt. Ltd. and its mentor, Mr Ranjith B Raveendra. He has helped the company emerge as the sole player in selling high-quality, authentic Indian Green Cardamom to Kuwait. The fact that the Kuwaiti citizens adore the cardamom sold by Prashanth Agro is a testament to his credibility since the authentic green cardamom enhances the flavor and adds a splendid aroma to every sip of the traditional tea of the Arab world, Qahwah.
Born to a family of teachers in the Indian state of Kerela, Ranjith’s family placed the utmost importance on education. As such, since early childhood, he was determined to continue the illustrious legacy of education and social service initiated by his grandfather K.V.K. Unni. From early on, he was also strong-willed to make a name for himself in the business world. His business-oriented mindset prompted him to think and observe the nitty-gritty of market operations, functions, and their business administration. This ever-continuing search for ideas and research led him to conclude that the Food Processing industry is his calling – A sector that is likely never to collapse and would always have scope for new inventions and ideas.
“No matter where you are from, with a zeal and a bigger-than-life vision, you can bring your dreams into reality and help humanity prosper and grow by leaps and bounds.”
Initially starting with baby steps, Mr. Ranjith worked on developing his business flair into expertise in food processing. Coupled with struggles and sheer grit, his ventures in food processing ended up providing excellent value additions to the economy of India and Kuwait. His mentorship to Prashanth Agro resulted in the novel initiative of bringing the mechanized distribution of cardamom to Kuwait through the E-Lock Cardamom Machine, which vends loose cardamom in batches of 250 grams per order. This revolutionary in-house machinery was built with tireless research over six strenuous months that resulted in hack-proof features that ensure the aroma and flavors of green cardamom do not get lost during transportation due to unnecessary exposure of the produce. These features ensure that the product within the vending machine cannot be hampered and can only be accessed by Prashanth Agro officials in case of any refilling, maintenance, or development activities. These features and standard protocols ensure that the merchandise’s security and top-notch quality are maintained for Kuwaiti customers in every serving.
Simultaneously, he has revolutionized tomato pulp processing through his brand, Freshino, which aims to increase the shelf life of tomato pulp with reduced preservatives. The operations behind Freshino have prevented the hassle of multiple metric tonnes of tomato crop from getting rotten, ensuring long-term food security. He designed the proprietary tomato pulp manufacturing process with an R&D cost of INR 60 million, with patent approval underway. The design was developed by Adi India Foods Pvt. Ltd., a part of Adi Group, owned by Mr. Ranjith. The groundbreaking produce goes through a process of 3 stages – First, weeding out the impurities from the crop and bringing them under the accepted norms with the help of the proprietary D-Dome machine. Second, putting a break on the fermentation of the pulp prevents it from going sour, which eventually increases the quality of the pulp. Third, following established industry norms, a minuscule amount of preservatives is added.
The success of Freshino has also inspired Mr. Ranjit to deploy the Fly Digital with Freshino campaign that aims to establish a distribution network of Kirana shops with a Digibank and an E-commerce portal. This campaign seeks to integrate Kirana stores and give them more exposure on the Freshino homepage, resulting in visitors within a 20km radius to trace these stores online. In simple terms, this project geotags the Kirana stores and connects them to the end consumer. Taking inspiration from this project, a renowned Chocolate brand has also implemented this business model to grow its customer reach. The app’s primary features are UPI-enabled payments and an O.T.T. platform, which eventually will form a Meta platform that will include multiple domains under one roof.
When asked what keeps him going, he responded,
“I want to make Indian craft shine across the world and work to improve the Indian economy. I am ready to put in all the work needed to achieve that.”
His commitment to his work and inspirational outlook to change the food processing landscape to be sustainable and healthy has contributed to his trailblazing career. With Prashanth Agro being another feather to his cap, this pioneer knows no bounds.