By Karthik Pulugurtha
(Pictured above: Yogesh Joshi, Director, Rapid Organic Pvt Ltd (left) with a Korean buyer)
With an impressive portfolio of more than 65 products harvested from 4,000 acres of organic certified land, 20 national offices, 100 concurrent agricultural projects, and multiple awards for agricultural excellence, Rapid has made expeditious progress, with its 5,000 farmers riding pillion through the successful journey
Rapid Organic Pvt Ltd, located in Sanchore of Jalore district in Rajasthan, has emerged a distinguished member of the Indian Organic Food industry. With a network of 20 national offices, 100 concurrent organic agriculture projects, and 5,000 farmer associates encompassing 4,000 acres of certified organic land, Rapid offers 65 products—chiefly cumin, fennel, psyllium, coriander, fenugreek, carom, sesame, groundnut, mustard, castor, amaranth, green gram, barley, wheat, pearl millet, sorghum, moth bean, organic honey and organic salt.
Dominantly a B2B provider, Rapid offers its organic food products to business to business clients in India, as well as, in the global export fraternity in USA, Canada and Japan, and is equipped with all requisite certifications at par with global quality standards. With key domestic clients, the company’s voluminous production of organic cumin (3,000 MT per annum) has led it to be dubbed ‘King of Cumin’ in both the domestic and export markets. In fact, the enterprise was the first Indian company to have introduced cumin to the international market.
“Three things set Rapid apart—superior quality that is second to none, being the largest producer of cumin in the country, and the fact that it offers its farmers premium prices, which not everyone is doing. As buyers we often enquire from farmers how much premium they are paid. We learn from the horse’s mouth about which company is ethical and fair. Being in this trade ourselves, we know the actual cost of processing on each commodity. We are also aware of how much premium should have been paid to the farmer. These things go a long way in establishing the company’s ethical credibility”
Rajiv Sharma, Director, Masala India & Founder, masalaindia.in
Growth & Operations
Having expanded its domestic network beyond Sanchore, Rapid is currently steering its 100 organic agriculture projects across Barmer, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Nagur, Jalore, Sirohi, Pali, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Nagaland, amongst other locations.
With the larger goal of providing high quality organic food to the public, Rapid’s motto is “Business with farmers’ happiness”, a core philosophy that is homogenously manifested across facets of its operation.
Equally steadfast in its commitment to clients and suppliers, besides sale of organic foods, Rapid also provides supplementary services such as laboratory testing of products and logistics, third party sampling, packaging and even contract farming on lease to both domestic and global parties. Equipped with a research and development laboratory staffed with qualified botanists and agriculturists, as well as, cutting edge devices, Rapid also offers efficacy and evaluation facilities to clients for organic, herbal and nutraceutical products as per the latest guidelines of testing and clinical trials.
“Rapid Organic’s director, Yogesh Joshi, is a young second generation farmer, who is also business forward and has field experience—this is a desirable combination in a business associate and we are happy to be working with the company”
Praveen Varier, Senior Manager, Procurement, AVT McCormick Ingredients Pvt Ltd, Kerala
Having excelled in the field of organic foods and farming since its inception in 2009, Rapid has been a recipient of many an award over the years. In recent time, the company was awarded the prestigious Quality Mark Award in 2015, which recognises exceptional entrepreneurial excellence in industries and is supported by eminent national personalities including Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
Rapid’s commitment to excellence has inspired confidence in its loyal base of clients. “Rapid Organic’s director, Yogesh Joshi, is a young second generation farmer, who is also business-forward and has years of field experience—this is a desirable combination in a business associate and we are happy to be working with the company,” says Praveen Varier, who has been procuring cumin from Rapid since many years.
Although today Rapid is an extremely successful enterprise, which considers its 5,000-strong circuit of farmers its biggest USP, it was a challenge for the company in the early years to convince farmers to convert to organic practices. “Those days, most farmers were entrenched in chemical based farming and our journey started with just 7 farmers in our clique,” recollects Joshi.
However, the company has succeeded in converting thousands of farmers by diligently conducting workshops and seminars to educate them on the ill effects of pesticides on both human and land. Additionally, the company ensures farmers 100 percent buy back with premiums and instructs them on preparation of herbal sprays and vermin compost, as well as, demonstrates innovative techniques on yield increase.
Having captured the export market for seed spices, in an endeavour to gain more market share for its farmers, the company has been practising quinoa farming since the past two years for both domestic and global sale. In keeping with its record of setting pioneering trends, Rapid is the first Indian organic food company to be doing so. “Quinoa is in high demand in the domestic market but most people find it too expensive because it’s imported. The domestic market will appreciate indigenously cultivated quinoa, as it can be availed at INR rates and the global market also can purchase it at competitive rates,” says Joshi.
Ethos & Farmer Support
A farmer meet hosted by Rapid in Sanchore to educate farmers on the ills of pesticides and the virtues of organic farming
Rapid Organic’s vision is to help its farmers gain mastery over the art of organic farming with the limited resources available to them, so they are consequently able to rise economically and branch out into individual entrepreneurship if able. In view of this objective, the company renders assistance to its farmers to the greatest extent possible. Besides providing premium prices, it also renders farmers additional succour through medical camps, reverse osmosis water distribution, technology and agricultural training and support, and education for their children—all in an attempt to curtail their expenses. In adherence to its motto, the company has also decided to go fairtrade in the near future for the welfare of its farmers.
Furthermore, Rapid’s farmers are also provided with input for sowing and harvesting purposes, and are also assisted in all certification related activities. The company harbours a soil and water testing laboratory, situated in Rapid’s organic farming centre, which the farmers can use free of charge to determine the kind of fertiliser that would suit their soil type best.
Not content with only farming and certification facilitation, Joshi, an erstwhile farmer himself, also regularly entreats with policy makers at the state and central level to make conducive allowances for farmers. “I have requested the government to truncate the certification waiting period for by-default organic farmers to 1.5 years from the current 3, as 3 years is too long a waiting period for them. I have also requested policy fabricators that the government bear 50% of the organic certification fee for farmers,” says he.
Having refrained from entering the retail segment till now, Rapid has now decided to enter the market with its brand new offering, Mahiya Multigrain Meal, a multigrain daliya (cracked wheat) mix, which has been strategically developed to be delicious, as well as, mitigate risk of diabetes and cholesterol. Mahiya will be available for retail across India in all cities.
Rapid’s latest offering, Mahiya Multigrain Meal, is designed to keep diabetes and cholesterol at bay
Furthermore, the firm has launched a farm management app developed inhouse for the convenience of its farmers and buyers. The android app will aid farmers in crop mapping and field tracking and will allow buyers to monitor farming activities through their mobile phones. Additionally, it will permit field officers to check upon farming activities remotely and the need for setting up physical offices in every district will become redundant.
Rapid Organic believes a propitious future lies ahead for organic farming and products both in domestic and international markets. It intends to continue its journey towards excellence by constantly offering new and diverse organic products to its clients and the global populace, while also simultaneously fostering its farmers to achieve success and excellence in organic production.
Rapid Organic’s community inclusive ideology is the reason for its rapid success. “Three things set Rapid apart—superior quality that is second to none, being the largest producer of cumin in the country, and the fact that it offers its farmers premium prices, which not everyone is doing. You see, we as buyers get ample opportunity to interact with farmers and we often enquire from them how much premium they are paid by companies. Therefore, we learn from the horse’s mouth about which company is ethical and fair. Being in this trade ourselves, we know the actual cost of processing on each commodity. We are also aware of how much premium should have been paid to the farmer. These things go a long way in establishing the company’s ethical credibility,” says Rajiv Sharma, who has been a regular customer of Rapid since 4 years.
This article appeared in the October 2015 issue of Pure & Eco India