In 2008, Dehradun’s Gurpreet Kaur got to know that her seven-year-old daughter had celiac disease. Before this, she had never heard of it.
“The disease made her allergic to gluten. The doctor told us that the only treatment available was to put her on a completely gluten-free diet. A person diagnosed with this disease should not consume wheat at all,” she says.
The incident pushed her to look for various alternatives to offer her daughter. She would cook besan chillas (chickpea flour pancakes), poha, idli, and dosa for her, but she craved something filling, like wheat chapati.
In 2019, Gurpreet’s husband got to know about the Technology Transfer & Collaboration programme of BARC. The team developed a formulation using millets, chickpea, and psyllium husk to prepare gluten-free chapati flour.
“When I cooked it for my daughter, she relished it. Finally, I had something tasty, soft, and nutritious to offer her. The proportions in which these ingredients are added makes all the difference,” she says.
In 2021, Gurpreet signed an agreement with BARC and got the formulation to mass-produce gluten-free chapati flour.
Being in touch with numerous families struggling for gluten-free alternatives motivated her to formally launch her company – Geggle – which makes gluten-free, millet-based flours, cookies, breads, and snacks.
She offers tea cakes, celebration cakes, pastries, breads, and even snacks like samosas, pizzas, kulchas, and pastries for patients with specific allergies.
The business helped her generate an annual revenue of Rs 18 lakh. But for Gurpreet, the real success was to be able to help other mothers like her.
“Parents thank us as their futile search for such products ends with us. When I see those smiles, it gives me immense pleasure,” she adds.