Beejpaatra, an online business selling seed banks, was born out of a community’s quest to solve farmers problems, without any kind of exploitation – social or environmental. Each of their products tells a story of solving farming issues and about the environment. And this brand has grown from humble beginnings in a small village to selling across India.
We got in touch with Vedant, one of the founding members of Beejpaatra to know more about their inspiring brand.
A brand built on sustainability and farming
It all started with a small group called GramArt which is a voluntary group of farmers and artists in a small village of Madhya Pradesh who are spokespersons of organic farming. Coming from different backgrounds, all of them had one thing in common — the welfare of farmers. They are also strong believers in sustainability.
In 2016, they founded Beejpaatra, a brand that sells plantables such as seed phatakas. Women and farmers from the village contribute to the business.
Beejpaatra is a business based on farming which is explotation-free — both social and environmental.
The farmers of Paradsinga are strong supporters of organic farming. So, they farm natural cotton in the village. When GramArt discovered that gaining profit for cotton is hard, they tried to find out a way.So, they use cotton to make yarn which are used to produce rakhis in the form of plantables.
The initial funding for small businesses was put in by the members of GramArt. And they had no much hope that they’ll get it back. “It was a crazy business idea, which we all went forward with because we strongly believed in the cause. But we ended up making profit in the first year of business!”, says Vedant.
Every product Beejpaatra sells has a story behind it.
Another interesting plantable sold by Beejpaatra is seed calendar. Along with the seeds, they have planted stories in the calendars — stories on plights of women in India. The paper is made from recycling seeds and stories are spun in yarn! Each story behind the date is a reprise of moments in history that recognised the needs for women’s rights.
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Beejpaatra went forward to produce 50,000 seed banks in a year and sell it across the country. Other top organic brands have approached them for supplies. And they have succeeded in bringing together a community of farmers and artists united in a single cause — sustainable products that support farming.
So, what started as a conversation with farmers to solve their plights turned into an organic products brand with customers all over India.
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A business is more than just profit and loss. It impacts lives and a community at large. That’s how Beejpaatra has grown — impacting more and more people each year.
For producing the seed banks, Beejpaatra employs 150 women, all from their village. And, they have built a strong relationship with them over the years. Thus, they united their village with a common goal of sustainability and farming.
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The brand has built a community which is growing stronger each day. Beejpaatra has contributed significantly to spread awareness about the negative effects of inorganic farming and bursting crackers. So, their strong mission has helped them grow their brand.
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Challenges along the way
Beejpaatra introduced the idea of avoiding crackers during Diwali in their village, for environmental reasons. But, many villagers did not accept this because it goes against convention. So, they had to struggle to make them understand its importance.
Another challenge they faced is on funding. They had to take money from their own pockets to start their business. But eventually, they overcame this.
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– Vedant, Beejpaatra
Upholding ‘true’ sustainability
These days, sustainability has become such a cliche term. In fact, many products that claim to be sustainable are not true to the name. But Beejpaatra stands out by producing and selling products that are truly exploitation-free.
The bottomline is a brand built on strong principles will overcome challenges and reach heights, no matter how humble their beginnings are.
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