A Pune-based couple is setting career goals for young entrepreneurs with their inspiring story. Having worked for the IT sector for more than 13 years, Milind dartar Y Kirty dartar, decided to quit his well-paid job to start his own business, Canebot.
Necessity is the mother of invention
A few years before settling on their business, the couple were driving down a long stretch of road on a hot summer day. They realized that they needed a refreshing drink to quench their thirst. They stopped at many millennial cafes and where people enjoyed their mocas and lattes. That did not appeal to the couple at all.
They needed something natural that is not loaded with artificial sweeteners. The couple decided to keep driving and came across a local villager selling sugarcane juice not far away. While enjoying the refreshing drink in the little shed, Milind and Kirty recalled their childhood memories when they enjoyed sugarcane juice more often.
They realized that many of today’s young people prefer to have cold coffee instead of sugarcane juice because, on the one hand, the juice is not served in these fancy cafes, and second because the sheds and places that serve it. They are not very clean with the flies buzzing. in the mess out there.
Even while working at their IT companies, the couple enjoyed a hearty meal in their quirky cafeteria that had just about everything. But the sugarcane juice was still lacking. Mainly due to safety concerns about the use of the machinery.
Taking the next step forward
The couple soon felt the need to develop the idea of making sugarcane juice more accessible to people sitting in glassed-in offices or to millennials in their cafes. After all, everyone is missing something absolutely delicious.
Having no idea about their company, Milind and Kirty quit their job and decided to thoroughly investigate their business perspective. The couple wanted to know everything involved in juicing, from the technology to obtaining the raw material. They studied the market and the problems they may face while running the business and how to overcome them.
Their goal was to transform ‘less fresh’ sugarcane juice into a clean and hygienic lifestyle drink that millennials would want to flaunt. Since the machine and the process of squeezing a sugar cane seemed unsanitary, the couple needed to do something to change that.
To do this, they decided to design a new crushing machine together. Milind says in an interview: “The newly conceived machine had a better crushing capacity. The sugar cane did not have to be repeatedly crushed to extract the juice. A single crush ensured 95% extraction. Also, the machine was small, easy to move, and had a cover. “
The cover of the machine ensured that the juice did not spill or was not exposed to external contaminants. It also reduced the noise produced during crushing. The crushing unit was constructed of food grade stainless steel, as opposed to iron or other conventionally used materials.
The Internet of Things (IoT) machine could calculate the amount of sugarcane juice extracted per day. It made monitoring operations accessible through internet connectivity. This innovative machine could also skin the sugar cane before crushing it.
The couple identified farmers in Maharashtra who could ensure a consistent quality, quantity and supply of agricultural products throughout the year.
In 2012, the couple launched the proprietary company Canectar Foods Pvt Ltd, aimed at IT companies. Little by little, they opened 12 outlets in various companies to sell around 45,000 glasses of juice a month, earning around 2 million rupees a year.
Publish the pandemic
Although the business was thriving before the pandemic, the business took a huge hit during the shutdown. In August 2020, the startup returned to business with an energy drink, Ganna Panna, which offers bottled sugar cane and raw mango juice without preservatives.
In the first quarter of 2021, the business started to gradually recover and the profit increased by 25-30% and earned Rs 7 lakhs per month for Kirty & Milind.