This female entrepreneur used ‘chakki’ to launch an organic food brand when her restaurant business was in trouble

Contractor Shivi Jawalia saw a lull in its catering businesses – based in Bangalore – as soon as the COVID-19 lockdown was announced last year.

“The hospitality industry was the first to be affected and will be the last to recover. It is not just fear and apprehension about the health and well-being of people. Bangalore is a city of migrants, but many have returned home as working from home has become a big part of the new normal, ”she said HerStory.

When she moved to the city in 2010 after her marriage, Shivi and her husband saw little to no options when it comes to North Indian cuisine. The two started a Rajasthan-themed restaurant NH10, first in a 2,000 square foot area in Indiranagar, followed by a cloud kitchen and two other restaurants of the same name at Orbit Mall, Whitefield and Sahakara Nagar.

The business kept growing until COVID-19 hit. With just the cloud kitchen working and only the online deliveries to deal with, Shivi suddenly had a lot of free time.

For the part-time academician teaching MBA at various institutes and entrepreneurs, this became just another opportunity to start another business. she founded Chakkiwalein May 2020, a company that offers organic flours, hand-ground spices, millets, dried fruits, legumes and more.

The beginning

Shivi herself has been using a chakki (mill) and grinding flour for consumption at home instead of buying at the store for some time. She also hand-hammered spices and masalas at home. So whenever his friends came, they would always tell Shivi that his food at home tasted very different.

This is also one of the reasons she started Chakkiwalle. During the pandemic, she also took advantage of their farmland on the outskirts of Bengaluru – which had been inactive for so long. Starting with attack, she started making half-kg packages in very simple bags with just a phone number if customers want to order more.

Initially selling in their apartment complex, she shared a Google form and asked them to add their orders to it before developing an e-commerce website.

When messages started pouring in asking how the products were made, Shivi set up WhatsApp and Telegram groups to share video clips educating people about the process.

“We don’t source these and advise against doing the same and encourage them to order every seven days. Thus, we only grind once the orders have been placed to guarantee fresh products, ”she adds. Word of mouth through friends and family has also played an important role in building brand awareness.

Navigate the market

As people have become more health conscious, the demand for and consumption of organic food has increased dramatically in recent years in India, where the organic food market is expected to grow from $ 177.14 million over the past few years. fiscal year 2020 to $ 553.87 million in fiscal year 26. Organic Tattva, Down-to-Earth Organic Foods and 24Mantra are among the key players in the same market space.

However, while most brands offer packaged organic food, Chakkiwalle prides itself on making flours, spices, and other products in small batches only after orders are placed.

Shivi is optimistic about maintaining the quality of the product compared to other features such as packaging. “Our packaging is also very basic. It was initially because we didn’t have much to spend, but we also didn’t feel the need to entice people to buy something with fancy colors and packaging. Why not invest in adding real value to the product instead, ”she said, adding that a meager initial investment was also limited to the packaging.

In fact, she says customers have expressed pleasure in connecting with the entrepreneur and learning about the processes behind organic products more than just ordering online.

Shivi was recently selected to be part of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Entrepreneur Program which offers advice and mentoring, networking opportunities and access to capital, among other benefits.

At present, Chakkiwalle only operates in Bengaluru on a B2C model and has gained a good understanding of which products work and which do not – out of its business. 240 products.

In the future, Shivi hopes to expand NH10 to other cities through the franchise and purchasing all of its ingredients from Chakkiwalle.

In this way, she says, NH10 and Chakkiwalle will also venture into the B2B model in the future.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta


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