Purva Naturals has a very interesting story behind it.
In 2010 Raja Sankar, our founder was working as a Director in Cognizant Technology Solutions, Coimbatore. Although he was making a lot of money and had an enviable life by normal standards, he felt a vacuum in his heart and wanted to do something more meaningful. After much deliberations with his wife and daughter, he decided to become an organic farmer. He bought an 8 acre coconut farm in near by Pollachi and started off as a week-end farmer. The farm he bought was a conventional chemical farm with around 400 + coconut trees and was yielding 40,000 coconuts per year.
Raja, boldly went organic from day 1 and the yields dropped by 50% yielding only 20000 coconuts in the first year.
However he persisted with his organic vermi-compost, and the coconut trees slowly recovered from the shock and started yielding better. In the third year he was able to get 40,000 coconuts as organic yield. He also invested on some cows to provide manure for the trees.
Once the farm became completely sustainable, Raja tried asking for a premium price for his coconuts (as the farm-gate price of coconuts was pretty low from mandi traders). But since there is no practical way to sell organic coconuts at a premium to conventional oil mills, Raja decided to try and create value added products (coconut oil). He tried making organic copra and crushing it in expellers in near-by power ghani, but the output was not satisfactory. He tried bullock chekku near-by but felt that it is a really raw deal for the bullocks pulling those ghanis.
So with his friend Ravi (an excellent mechanical engineer) he studied various methods of oil extraction and Ravi designed a slow moving rotor that would crush oils at a very slow pace, making sure the temperature will never go above 50 degree Celsius.
The Hindu Article on Purva Naturals' Cold Pressing Technology
With this proprietary technology and subsequent FSSAI certification, he decided to market his coconut oil in the brand name of Purva. Raja and Ravi created 4 such rotors and they also started proselytizing local farmers to go organic. Raja also networked with various farmers , who had taken to organic farming through G Nammalwar's influence, and started procuring genuine organic raw materials for oil - Sesame and Groundnut.
At first it was a lot of hard work and Sriram Foods was steadily losing money month on month. The market driven pricing was simply not affordable for unadulterated oil. But Raja persisted with his vision, quit his day job and threw himself fully into the business to establish Sriram Foods. It is still a small business ,but it is now growing purely through customer gets customer.
With a production capacity of 10,000 liters per month, Purva is now launching into eCommerce to augment its customer acquisition.