Entrepreneur at 22: How Likhita Bhanu Started Terra Greens Organic
There have been numerous initiatives by various state governments in India to promote organic farming and the measures have surely prompted many to make organic food choices. Likhita Bhanu, a biotech engineer from Vellore Institute of Technology, is one such entrepreneur who has built a career in the agricultural sector inspired by her mother Padmaja Bahnu.
Likhita spent most of her childhood in Andhra Pradesh watching her mother grow organic produce in their small farmland situated near the outskirts of Hyderabad. Even when the family had to move over to Assam, Likhita’s mother made it sure to carry seeds of different vegetables from Hyderabad to grow in their backyard garden in Assam. As the weather there was conducive, she was able to grow most of the produce. Even after returning to Hyderabad, Padmaja didn’t stay away from growing organic produce in their farm land.
Today, Likhita recalls how organic cultivation became her mother’s hobby and how they were distributing the excess produce among their family and friends. Sometimes, the produce was so excess that they have to give it to the local organic shops.
During the time Likhita took off for a year after graduating, she happened to spend at her family farm and again noticed that the produce was excess. Only this time she wanted to sell it. As she solved the problem of excess produce, she turned into an entrepreneur without even knowing.
A real-estate firm set up by her grandfather was quickly transformed into Terre Greens Organic, the organic farming brand that now sells over 92 products in thirteen states in India. As her mother Padmaja was always working close with the famers in the region, she took care of acquiring all the necessary certification from the government while Likhita took care of everything from farming to distribution of the products both online and offline.
Initially started with around 300 farmers, Terra Greens now has more than 4,500 farmers working in the company and produces spices, pulses, beverages and even some breakfast mixes. It has distribution centers in five states and supplies its products to more than 500 retail chains and outlets in India including Bigbasket, Spencers, Foodhall, Heritage and Hypercity. Terra Greens also produces eight ready-to-cook products and the team is also working to revive ancient grains and make ready to products from them to popularize the use of grains.