Women Initiative Network (WIN): Winning at Wingreens
Tender hearts always try to make things better. As we know, not every human is equally fortunate, and the conditions of some of the underprivileged make many hearts tremble. One such heart was that of Anju Srivastav- the founder of Wingreens Farms Private Limited. She used to volunteer at an ashram before school as a teenage girl. But when she saw the women’s dreadful conditions on the streets, those heartbreaking sights moved her deeply, and she decided to do her part in making things better. In 2008, she set out on the journey along with her husband, Arjun, to start the fabulous Wingreens Farms as Women Initiative Network (WIN) in Gurugram. They started out with a capital of Rs 10 lakh only. Earlier, the couple used to work in the US for several years in the advertising and marketing sector but eventually returned to the motherland. They were shocked when they saw the condition of vulnerable farmers in India even though the economy is predominantly run by agriculture. In one of the interviews, Mrs. Anju once stated, “The idea was to work in the area of farming. The toughest industry in my mind was agriculture, but I knew that this is where the need is. I knew nothing about farming, but I was determined to learn it.” And true to her word, she started a never-seen-before venture and rented half an acre of land from a farmer in Gurugram. They sowed and raised culinary herbs like parsley, thyme, and marjoram and sold them at Rs 150 per pot at exhibitions in and around Delhi. Later, Anju Srivastava stepped up the business and foray into the value-added products business with their mouth-watering products with basil dips with chips. This proved to be an important turning point in her venture. “In 2012, winter was about to set in, and we had an extra stock of basil. Since dew kills basil, we decided to make basil dips with chips that became a hit,” she said. And for marketing and taste tests, she approached Spencer’s in MGF Megacity Mall in Gurugram, who gave them the opportunity to showcase the delicious basil as a dip. With the overwhelming response they received, it was indeed a ‘hit’. Similarly, when they had an extra stock of garlic in March and April of the following year, they were quick to figure out the right now. Hence, they rolled out their garlic dip. Following similar events, the company now offers an incredible range of 150 products. The best part is the fact that products are purely handmade. They are prepared by underprivileged women who received all the training in the highest food safety and hygiene standards. The recipes are also very fondly put together by Mrs. Anju herself. As the sales soared, Wingreen increased the land they rented. And now, the company manages to bag an annual revenue of Rs. 8 crores. Apart from this, the farmers who used to toil hard to earn just Rs. 10,000 per annum now manage to earn approximately Rs. 1,00,000 per year. And the amount actually increases each year slightly. All thanks to Wingreens Farms Private Limited. Also, the women employees are also encouraged to be financially independent; Mrs. Anju personally makes sure the same. For the near future, they are planning to further increase the land under rent and to roll out yet more amazing flavors for the customers. They believe that in the FMCG sector, constant revamping and experimentation is very important for survival. The company surely is a love child of sustainability and social good with the way it supports farmers, empowers women, and grow herbs sustainably.
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