Growing up in a farming family, 38-year-old Chandana Gade ate homegrown vegetables all her childhood. She wanted her husband and children to experience this too.
In 2014, after the birth of her daughter, the Hyderabad resident decided to look for native seeds to grow vegetables, only to find a lack of a proper dedicated market for indigenous seeds.
“We could only find hybrid seeds, which are not good for health. We found some native seeds on e-commerce websites, but their quality was not good,” Naveen, her husband says.
Capitalising on this gap in the market, Chandana and Naveen decided to start ‘Seedbasket’ in 2016.
The startup provides native seeds of vegetables, fruits, flowers, grow bags, and cow dung cakes. They have nearly 200 products that are helpful for home gardening.
Before starting the venture, Chandana took a six-month course to learn the right procedure to prepare the potting mix, natural ways to control pest attacks, how to make compost from kitchen waste etc.
The couple used their balcony and one of the rooms in her home to grow spinach, coriander, and mint.
To procure good quality seeds, she went to her native Khamman district in Telangana and tied up with various farmers.
They sell at least 150 native seed varieties of exotic fruits and vegetables such as fenugreek, broccoli, beetroot, white bitter gourd, ash gourd, sorrel leaves, alpine strawberry, yellow cherry tomato, and red okra.
From two orders a month, they now receive over 1,000, and clock an annual turnover of up to Rs 50 lakh, says Chandana.
They have catered to over 25,000 customers across the country including in states like Karnataka, Telangana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Rajasthan.