The farming industry moving fast towards the age of depending completely on pesticides and insecticides is now leading to many illnesses in human beings. With a growing population with each passing day, the use of harmful chemicals for agriculture to meet the high demand is increasing by each passing day. The soil farming adds to the air pollution already in present in our environment. Although everyone is now well aware of the grave situation, very few people actually take up a sustainable initiative to decrease the factors contributing to the deterioration of air quality.
Here is a group of friends who did something, which inspired many lives. In October 2014, Dhruv and Ullas were looking to work in a field that could make a real work impact. Their research led them to Hydroponics, which they believed was something that needed to be done. “We just jumped into it and figured it out on our way”, Ullas says. A group of 3 friends started an eco-friendly sustainable method of farming without the use of insecticides and pesticides using Hydroponics. Hydroponics is the science of growing vegetables without soil. It uses an inert media that supports the plant and nutrition is provided directly through the water at the root zone. This technology is suitable for all crops that have a short gestation period, like lettuces, herbs, peppers, tomatoes. They are also working on making this feasible on other crops like radishes, potatoes, and onions.
They started as a bootstrap company after leaving their job to pursue what they believed in. One of the 3 founding members of Bootstrap startup, Ullas Samrat shares his story with us. He is an Economics graduate from Delhi University along with a PGD holder in Radio & TV Journalism. His entrepreneurial journey started at the age of 20 when he founded and successfully sold a Content Management company in college. In 2014 when Ullas discovered his mother’s diagnosis with ILD. Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a rare condition of lungs caused due to long-term exposure to hazardous materials, such as asbestos or coal dust, or it can be caused by an auto-immune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis. Finding out about his mother’s health due to the surrounding and air pollution, made a huge impact on him and he started researching sustainable ideas, things that could have real-world impact. As he couldn’t move to farms away from city life, as the soil present there may add to her problem. When he came across the idea of hydroponic, he was sold on the idea. He got together the business plan, the team, and the location to test out the idea in October 2014. He is responsible for Strategy and Marketing at Triton.
Another two Founders are Deepak Kukreja and Dhruv Khanna. where Deepak Kukreja Completed his Diploma in Digital Electronics and went on to work in IT in the system development and support team for 11 years with various organizations like Rolta India, EDS, Travelex, and Lehman Brothers. He wanted to pass on the next generation the gift of sustainability as well as something which adds to the welfare of society, this leads him to Controlled Environment Agriculture. Dhruv Khanna, third Founder of Triton FOOD Works, a Mechanical Engineer with an MSc in Technical Entrepreneurship and Innovation from NTU, Singapore. He founded a smart TV startup, during his formal education in Singapore. He always believed in solving real-world issues and his search for a solution never rested until he came across Hydroponics. After assiduously observing and learning from Comcrop, a Hydroponic startup in Singapore for 3 months, Dhruv decided to shift base to India and began his work on Triton Foodworks. Dhruv is responsible for running the day to day operations of the company and developing partnerships.
By changing the conventional method of farming and switching to Hydroponics, they have saved up to 95% water as compared to conventional land-based farming. They managed to save approximately 3 billion liters of water since their establishment. Hydroponics systems are maintained by adding nutrients to the water. There is no need to continuously pump new water into the system. Hydroponic growing uses only 10% of the water they would be needed to grow plants in traditional soil. Large amounts of foods can be grown in small plots of land; this system requires only a small plot of land since the hydroponics produce faster growth of plants. The areas produce more foods per acre plot of land than normal farming. Large amounts of foods can be grown in small plots of land; this system requires only a small plot of land since the hydroponics produce faster growth of plants. The areas produce more foods per acre plot of land than normal farming.
Triton food works are based on farming under humidity and temperature-controlled greenhouse, using Hydroponics and vertical farming systems. This helps them increase the production ratio to land compared to the conventional method of farming using soil. Which is an ecological sustainable profitable initiation? Their setup is spread over 150,000 sq. ft. of state of the art vertical farms. They have successfully cultivated chemical-free Lettuces, Leafy Greens, Herbs, Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, Aubergines, and strawberries. “We want to offer a reliable brand in the F&V category for our customers. A brand that they can pick up from grocery stores around the year, and getting what they expect from it. No surprises, consistency, and quality. We want to standardize this segment”, Ullas shares. They have launched a range of premium quality, pesticide-free produce ChopChop in Delhi, NCR. They plan on expanding their presence in Delhi, followed by an expansion in Mumbai and Bangalore.
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