Cambodian grapes and millet muesli

A practising CA-cum-food entrepreneur, two friends who built a muesli startup, a truck driver who found success in millet entrepreneurship, and a pharma professional who grows exotic fruits in his backyard are all part of our newsletter this week

Rashmi Pratap
New Update
Cambodian grapes and millet muesli

Cambodian grapes and millet muesli

Dear Reader,

Do you have any hobbies or pastimes? I believe that we all should have some hobby to break the monotony of life – be it studies or work at home and office. Often, these hobbies can do more than help us relax. And the results can be sweet, as has been the case with Ashal PH.

Extremely fond of gardening and experimenting with exotic fruits, Ashal began their cultivation during the lockdown in 2020 at his home in Aluva, Kerala. He procured saplings of gac, a Vietnamese fruit from the melon family, from a local nursery. The plants gave good quality produce, and the success motivated the pharma professional to grow more unique fruit plants, writes my colleague Chandhini.

Now, his backyard is home to Terengganu cherry, sundrop, purple forest guava, baraba and other exotic fruits. His Cambodian wild grape plant yields bunches of 600-1000 berries and Ashal uses only sesame powder and cow dung manure! Do read this interesting story of a backyard gardener.

My colleague Riya spoke to Jayashree Krishnamurthy last week. Jayashree is a practising chartered accountant in Chennai and also a food entrepreneur. What started in her kitchen as healthy recipes for her son led to her food startup Rasa Wellness, which offers 30 millet-based and gluten-free porridges, snacks, and other items across India. Founded in July 2022 with Rs 1 lakh investment, it is set to close this fiscal with Rs50 lakh in revenues.

Jayashree says she is well aware of the challenges of being a mom, entrepreneur and CA, all at the same time. But she is navigating the journey well and hopes to double the food business sales to Rs 1 crore in FY25.

We have another story about a food startup set up by two college friends. Poojitha Turumalla and Keerthi Kabra launched Millet Mantra in January 2020, just before COVID-19 hit. The bootstrapped startup sells millet-based muesli in multiple flavours both in India and abroad and is also set to cross Rs1 crore in revenues next fiscal, writes my colleague Anu.

These women entrepreneurs are a testimony to the silent changes underway in the Indian startup ecosystem. As women increasingly become founders and run their businesses successfully, they also drive innovation through their fresh perspectives and create a dynamic work environment. Kudos to them!

My colleague Chandhini has put together a web story on Veer Shetty, who has been a school dropout, truck driver, general assistant, millet chapatti seller, farmer, community leader, and now, a millionaire millet entrepreneur.  His journey of transformation is inspiring indeed.

Our Sunday story is on Kalavantin Durg in Maharashtra, about 70 km from Mumbai. It is one of the highest summits in western India and a favourite with trekkers with its 80-degree rock-cut stairs.

In the Money section, my colleague Karan has listed five ways for startups to raise money without knocking on the doors of angel investors or venture capital firms.

Happy Reading!




This 29-year-old grows organic exotic fruits in his backyard, gets bumper crops


How this CA set up Rs 50 lakh food business with Rs 1 lakh investment


How two MBA friends built a millet muesli business


Veer Shetty: The truck driver who became a millet millionaire