MSME SuperPower:

In a pickle is a good thing for this business

Kanak Deka

Founder, Y Not Food Products, Guwahati, Assam

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As a young entrepreneur hailing from the vibrant city of Guwahati, Assam, I ventured into the world of flavors and traditions in 2019 with Y Not Food Products. My passion for the rich and diverse Assamese cuisine and a vision to bring it to every Indian household was the driving force behind this journey.

Our specialty lies in crafting traditional pickles – a culinary gem that not only tantalizes taste buds but also brings forth surprising health benefits. Each spoonful is a burst of proteins, vitamins, antioxidants, and probiotics, essential for a healthy gut, thanks to the unique fermentation process we employ.

I take pride in sourcing the finest ingredients directly from local farmers, including tribal communities, adept in fermenting bamboo shoots at home. This approach not only ensures the authenticity and quality of our FSSAI-approved products but also strikes a chord with customers across the nation. However, the dream was bigger – to scale up and reach a wider market.

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Empowering the Local Community through Walmart Vriddhi

This aspiration led me to join Walmart Vriddhi in 2022, a program initiated by Walmart in India to empower small businesses and fuel job creation in local communities. The program provided me with the knowledge and direction I needed to help Y Not Food Products evolve into a more organized and professional entity, ready to conquer greater heights. With the invaluable support and guidance from Walmart Vriddhi, I was able to list our products on Flipkart in November 2022. The response was overwhelming, with sales rapidly increasing. The future of our authentic pickles, infused with flavors of king chilies, ginger, and bamboo shoots, looked promising as our products started gracing dining tables across India.

My aim was also to create a sustainable business model while offering tasty treats to our customers. Direct engagement with local farmers and a commitment to a women-centric workforce were pivotal. The women who became part of our journey found employment, dignity, independence, and a flexible working environment that harmonized with their roles at home.

This wave of empowerment and sustainability, while initiated independently, resonated with the ethos of Walmart Vriddhi, further strengthening our bond and mutual goals. Every step was a testament to the positive change a small business can bring to the community.

A Sustainable Future for Y Not Food Products

As I reflect on our journey, the roadmap ahead looks encouraging. With over 70 diverse and unique products, including the distinctive “bhoot salt” and natural mouth fresheners under our brand, the goal is clear – to continue expanding our culinary footprint while staying true to our roots and values.

My mission is not just about business growth, but also about touching lives. I aim to reach every household in India, offering flavors along with opportunities and support. One impactful lesson from this journey is the transformative power of community impact. An example that stands out is the story of Manju Choudhary, who, after the demise of her father and with her mother’s failing health, found independence and mentorship at Y Not Food Products, turning it into her family’s primary source of income.

The journey has been immensely fulfilling, particularly witnessing the empowerment of women and the positive ripple effect in local communities. Leveraging programs like Walmart Vriddhi and embracing the digital revolution have been key catalysts in this journey.

With every step, we are not just creating flavors but also crafting stories of empowerment, sustainability, and community welfare. As I steer Y Not Food Products forward, I carry with me the lessons learned, the lives touched, and the flavors that connect us all.

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