Roopa Vaitla ( Wife of top director Srinu Vaitla) ’s glistening skin says it all and it is an open secret. She has been eating, talking and thinking about her venture Awrganics for the past few years now. She doesn’t use sugar, has no white products at home and her kids don’t eat chips and junk. The entire meal and snacks baked, cooked at home is organic. She has pulled down the movie posters at her hubby’s office in Yousufguda and re-designed it to suit her needs, Awrganics is set to go functional this month. Independent, enterprising and ambitious, Roopa has already set her foot in the business sector a couple of years back when she started designing costumes for movie stars; but then she didn’t like the idea of having to take support from her husband. In no time she came up with her farm house that grows organic products. In a chat with Telugu360.com she talks of her plans to spread the concept of health and that money is just a by-product and nothing more.
“I always wanted to become an entrepreneur. Earlier I was running a business and was the only woman in the entire south doing camera business. I began with 3 or 4 cameras and lenses. I then moved to designing but it didn’t quench my thirst. Movies was all a set platform for me. I wanted to build a brand and take it further. I had got offers from many franchises but didn’t take it up. I did not like the idea of taking ahead someone else’s vision. When I went to USA, I visited the whole foods market and wanted to come up with a similar small store in Hyderabad and spread it. But that meant nothing unique. So, I wanted to home deliver the products.”
“I started the organic sector but was clear about not establishing it and calling people to me. I wanted it to reach them. They think organic is tasteless but growing veggies, fruits, millets without pesticides and chemicals comes with a lot of advantages. We started with organic school lunches. A few people including my friends owned those schools and were happy with my work. They instantly took it. I take the people to those farms as we tour, take a video and give it to you. We have taken seven to ten farms in and around Hyderabad and that’s where, we get our produce. From honey, green tea to brown rice, you name it and you’ll get it. “
“A conventional grocery is priced 120 and we sell it at 150. The difference is very small and we even promote farmers in the process. No amount of cleaning vegetables will help and the chemicals get into your system. I see how they use urea, pesticide from falling out. From the root, we ensure it is organic. Since the past five years, we have been organic. We in turn use neem cake and organic fertilisers. Our forefathers never had unknown diseases. The life style is basically what you breathe. Skin is a result of what you eat. You can’t control what you breathe. You can do Pranayama, and if you watch what is going into your system, you don’t have to visit doctors regularly. The money you spend on them should instead be spent on good food. We also have a nutritionist on board.”
“We at AWrganics have tied up with four or five kitchens close to schools. The entire meal, calorie count is programmed by a nutritionist. Varying from 30 to 60 days, they repeat the programme. They order breakfast, lunch and snacks from us. The schools conduct health camps but don’t realise that these health problems arise from eating wrong food. This is a lot of work but I have been lucky to have an association with like minded people. Everything has fallen into place. We are also coming up with a magazine and a website. In the magazine, you will get to read our activity and in turn see us creating awareness about this amongst people. As of now, we have perishables. We are making cereal bars, weight loss protein bars and meal substitute bars with organic ingredients and certified by government licenses. We make unique products which will get into retail market. We have clothing too made with natural vegetable dyes which is one of my passions.”
“Organic is not about food alone, but also being close to nature. You can wear any material without using chemical dyes. We are tied up with weavers too. The next on my agenda is corporate lunches and I am working out the module. I just can’t do business without applying on my family.Think positive and do what makes you happy and that happiness shows on your face. My kids don’t eat chips. They eat stuff those are all baked and I also give them a lot of millets. It is glutten free and you lose weight. There is a myth that organic items are heavily priced. If you see the value added services, we give a complimentary farm tour and we digitally market it, have an awareness exchange programme and given an introduction to healthy eating habits too. We show you how it is done and what happens when you eat maida, junk, chips etc. We give you an alternative and you won’t have the craving to eat junk.”