Flavoured Salts and Exotic Fruits

An engineer who became a salt entrepreneur, Kerala's hi-tech farmer reaping rich harvests, a journalist who started an adaptive clothing label after losing 80% mobility and Mehrangarh Fort's 500-year-old water harvesting system are part of this newsletter

Rashmi Pratap
New Update

Flavoured Salts and Exotic Fruits

Dear Reader,

Salt is one of the oldest food seasonings in the world. Have you tried spending a day without the intake of salt? Only those who observe strict fasting rules do it. The rest opt for ‘sendha namak’ or rock salt during fasting. 

This rock salt added a new flavour to the life of Sandeep Pandey when he hit the lowest point after losing his restaurant in Uttarakhand to a natural calamity. Wandering through some fields, he saw a group of women workers having lunch comprising rotis, onion and flavoured salts, locally called pisyu loon. 

They offered him some food and the first morsel gave Sandeep a business idea – commercializing flavoured salts of Uttarakhand. My colleague Partho writes that HimFla now produces 55 varieties of handmade and organic flavoured Himalayan salts sold in India and overseas. The Rs 1.5-crore enterprise empowers local farmers and women, who grind the salts on sil-batta to make the traditional pisyu loon. Most of these women, who earlier faced domestic abuse, are now breadwinners of their families.

My colleague Aruna wrote a heartwarming story on Zyenika, an adaptive clothing enterprise founded by Soumita Basu. Soumita was just 30 when she lost 80% of her mobility due to an autoimmune disorder and found it difficult and painful to get into clothes.

She started Zyenika in 2020 to make easy-to-wear yet trendy clothes for people with chronic illnesses, temporary or permanent disability, cancer survivors, and senior citizens. Slip-on sarees, kurtas and shirts with Velcro instead of buttons, and trousers that can be worn without bending are just some of the examples. The brand has now expanded to clothes for all body shapes and sizes, not restricting itself to adaptive clothing. 

Last week, I spoke to Biju Narayanan from Kannur, Kerala. His father passed away when Biju was in his first year of mechanical engineering. The responsibility of the family farm fell on his young shoulders. He managed the farm and studies simultaneously, worked in the corporate sector for ten years and then called it quits for full-time farming.

Today, Biju grows exotic fruits like rambutan, mangosteen, durian, Barbados gooseberry and longan apart from pepper, coconut, areca nut, cashew, and others. Along with other farmers, he cultivates over 95 acres of land in three districts of Kerala.

Biju follows high-density farming and harvests 6,000 kg of rambutan from just an acre, retailing it at Rs300 per kg (Rs18 lakh per acre). The story has the details of his farming methodology. If you are a farming enthusiast, don’t miss this one.

Our Sunday feature is on Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh, the fort with a 500-year-old water harvesting system that works even today even as our hi-tech cities face water crises every summer.

In the Money section, my colleague Karan has listed the top ten dividend-paying stocks. Listed companies are declaring their financial results and dividend payout for FY24 in the ongoing corporate earnings season. It is the right time to invest in stocks that can give generous dividends to shareholders.

Happy Reading!





How this engineer built Rs 1.5 crore business of flavoured salts in the Himalayas


How Soumita Basu overcame 80% immobility to build an inclusive clothing business


Kerala farmer harvests 6000 kg rambutan per acre with high-density farming


Mehrangarh: The fort with a 500-year-old water harvesting system