NewsX was recently joined by Aakanksha Kapoor, the CEO of “I Say Organic” in its special series called NewsX India A-List, she shared her journey of working in the fashion and retail industry and how all that led to “I Say Organic”.
Sharing about how candid and unpredictable her journey has been, Aakanksha said,”I landed in I Say Organic very unknowingly but I’ll start from the beginning, I went to undergrad here and then I studied a little bit in New York. I was there for about two and a half years, I studied marketing at Parsons and then I worked in fashion, moved back to India in 2012 and continued working in fashion in the luxury space as a brand consultant. While all of this was happening, I Say Organic was growing on the side, it launched in 2012 and Ashmeet started the organization and was looking to hire somebody in the marketing team, the company become what it is in front of me.”
Aakanksha added, “While having unofficial work-related conversations and seeing this opening in the space, I realized what I Say Organic stands for- clean eating, responsible consumption, and production was very aligned with how I led my life like eating well, overall interested in the well-being and personally dealing with minor health issues but having overcome them through regular good food habits, I just thought it was a very interesting time in the startup space and my personal vision aligned with the company so it was a great move.”
Kapoor moved to I Say Organic on full-time basis in the year 2014 and joined the marketing team. Since then, she has been working with the company in leading marketing and eventually leading their retail in 2015, setting up their offline stores and taking on as a CEO as of 2020.
Throwing some light on how I Say Organic works, Aakanksha said, ” I Say Organic essentially started as a home-delivery company and as an e-commerce platform providing organic certified farmers across the country a platform to sell their products directly to the consumers. Getting into the offline space was just like one of the things that we wanted to experiment and it ended up being a really good space for us as well. The whole vision of I Say Organic is to provide the safest and the purest form of food that’s available out there to the consumers, making it very easy for anybody to go completely chemical free in their living and get that option of eating safe food.”
Aakanksha further said that a person can order seven days a week from their online website across Delhi NCR, they deliver seven days a week. Their portfolio is primarily fresh produce to grains, lentils, spices, oils and they’ve also ventured into value-added products like healthy snacks and savory items that they manufacture on their own using their produce. According to Kapoor, I Say Organic has a huge variety of products needed to run a kitchen.
“A few years ago, when organic really came into being, the biggest question was that what really organic is and will this stay. Clearly we have been in the business for the last 8 years, the chemical free living is here to stay and is the way of the future, it is how one should live their life but the biggest concern, what I see happening is that there’s a big misconception on what is organic and what is farm fresh. So, you’re hearing the word ‘farm-fresh’ a lot, newer companies are coming in this space and using that term. So I think, the consumer is a bit confused and probably not fully aware that farm-fresh not necessarily means organic and that’s what sets us apart,” said Aakanksha.
To give more clarity on farm fresh and organic, Aakanksha expressed, “Farm fresh doesn’t necessarily means it’s chemical free, organic means that it’s completely chemical free, without the use of pesticides and how nature has intended it to be. You’re growing produce without any external chemical inputs into your agriculture, that’s what sets us apart. As an organization, our goal is to get the most genuine and the most authentic practices to the customer’s doorstep. We want to work with farmers that are dedicated to growing produce that is good for the environment and good for us. So that sets us apart and our full portfolio, I think any customer that comes to our website and sees our product range can turn around and say that with this, still I can’t go 100 per cent chemical free, we have everything under the sun that you need to go completely chemical free. Our transparency, we are very authentic, genuine and transparent about who we work with, where our products get lab tested from, which farmer is certifies, which farmer is in the transition period. We share this information regularly with our customers, specially if they ask, we have all the certifications to show to our customers about our farmers.”
Talking about the future goals of the organization, Aakanksha said that until now, I Say Organic has been a Delhi NCR specific brand, they are yet to explore it pan India. They want to do it with their dry produce and their snack items. In the next 5 yers, Aakanksha expects I Say Organic to start making an appearance in different cities whether its through their own home delivery model, through different retailers or their offline stores which are their branded stores.
“I get very motivated when I hear other successful women entrepreneur stories and honestly if there’s anything that has pulled me back, it’s just doubting myself. So if you’re just able to start having the conversations with the right people, start identifying people that you want to network with. Just go out there and start, you don’t need to fully set up a company, if you have an idea, just start piloting it and then eventually it brew into something,” said Aakanksha.