India, a diverse country which has different food habits at every few hundred kilometres. It has a wonderful culture within which different aromas waft in the air as we travel from one state to other; a food journey it is.
Each state has something different to offer in terms of food. To give you the best of all worlds, two 14-year olds from Mumbai have come up with, The 12 States, a unique snack box that satisfies diverse cravings for snacks from all over the county.
A unique idea to reconnect
Two students Jiya Rathi and Anya Kotecha from The Cathedral and John Connon School, Mumbai say that unique subscription box of snacks will help reconnect with the distinctive tastes and different cultures of various states of India.
Anya explains “India has rich culture heritage that is demonstrated through its diversity in language, art, festivals and most importantly- food. Many of us have childhood memories of our grandmothers lovingly cooking our favourite snacks. But as we move away to different states in search of education and jobs, we lose touch with these snacks and memories.”
The 12 States subscription facility makes sure the customers receive a box of snacks at their doorstep every month from 12 different states of India. The customers can also sign up for 3, 6 or 12-months subscription. The gift subscriptions are also available.
The two young likeminded entrepreneurs have made sure to curate these boxes with local dishes and have handpicked flavours from the best and the most famous stores of that particular state. To pick up the best popular stores the two entrepreneurs had to work hard and research the popular snacks and stores of that state. This research work proved to be a major learning lesson and experience for these girls. Not only that they have also conducted a considerable customer survey which has helped them to pick up the authentic snacks which would appeal their target audience.
For instance, the Gujarat box includes popular dishes such as Chavanu, Methi khakra, Lilo Chivda, Dry kachori, Gathiya and Fulwadi.
Riya says “In addition to the snacks the box also has a booklet interesting
trivia about the culture of that state recipes and other fun activities. This is a great way to get everyone familiar with the rich history and fun facts of that state.”
6 to 8 snacks in a single box
The 3-month subscription facility costs Rs. 700, the 6-month subscription facility costs Rs. 1200 and the 12-month subscription cost Rs. 3600. The snacks included in this box are from Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, and Arunachal Pradesh.
The emergence of the idea
The young girls got this idea during their Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) classes.
Anya says, “The teachers at YEA taught us about many different aspects of setting up a business, including marketing, sales and finance. We had many interesting entrepreneurs share their stories with us that taught us a lot of valuable lessons most importantly, the YEA programme helped us create a business plan, which continues to be our compass is the expand and scale.”
These girls received good positive feedback at their stall in the Academy trade show. This boosted their confidence towards the future of this venture. So far, these girls have distributed over 100 boxes. They could do this from the prize money they won at the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Investor Panel.
Jiya says, “working in a team has been a challenging and gratifying experience. From dividing responsibilities to jointly thinking through every big decision, it has been fun having a partner in this venture. We are glad we learned the nuances of working in a team this early in life, through our hands-on experience rather than a self-help book.”
Further, Anya and Jiya are looking to form and hire a small team which can source and ship snacks from different states to Mumbai, wherein they can assemble the boxes and ship them over to the other parts of the country.
Digitizing the business
These two young minds are planning to invest more largely in digital marketing that is Facebook, Instagram and other online sites especially food bloggers and influencers) to get more and more customers and go on board to the E-Commerce sites as well. After some point, the entrepreneurs would like to extend their business outside India too.
Both girls belong to a family of entrepreneurs and have had a dream to become an entrepreneur themselves. They say, “Working on a venture that we feel very passionate about and fulfilling this dream has been one of the best experiences and we look forward to an exciting journey ahead.”
Anya and Jiya are certainly excited about presenting “These experiences of India” through their venture and “promote local entrepreneurs” who “will hopefully get a global platform through The 12 States.”