India: College reunion inspires duo to grow 70kg veggies per month

“My husband and I were looking to eat food that was lighter on the stomach and salads seemed like a great choice,” Sindu Pandalai tells The Better India. She adds that she decided to shift to healthy eating because she was getting old.

She goes on, “However, the salad leaves that we got in the market were usually limp and without any texture or flavor. What I missed in my salad leaves was the crunch and no matter how much we looked, we were not able to find that.” Instead of lamenting about it, she decided to dive deep and find ways of growing her own salad leaves. Little did she think that a personal quest to find the right salad leaves would gently nudge her into entrepreneurship.

While an idea was brewing within Sindu, it was a college reunion that gave the idea its shape and form. She says, “Amarjeet Pardhi (Amar) and I have been friends for long and his interest in growing his own food was far more well-researched than mine at that point. It was a casual evening meet up and we were at a restaurant where we ordered a salad. The minute we put it into our mouths we knew we were served inadequate food. This led to us talking about our desire to grow our own food, and before we knew it we were discussing the possibility of starting something on our own.”

Armed with a lot of research and enthusiasm to grow their own food, the duo started their own venture called Si-Mar Vertical farms in Gurgaon. “In doing my research before we took the plunge, the notes I had made were as good as an entire book on the subject. That book became my ready reckoner and I would constantly go back to it,” says Sindu.

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