Mrida, a Social Business Venture committed to upliftment of marginalized and underserved rural communities at the Base of the Pyramid, has formally launched its FMCG brand Earthspired. As with everything to do with Mrida, Earthspired – Inspired by the Earth, also owes its origin to “Soil” – Mrida in Sanskrit!
Earthspired is envisioned as a “Health & Wellness Initiative”. It will be a “healthy”, “wholesome” and straight from “Rural India” business. Through Earthspired, Mrida seeks to build distribution channels for products such as millet based ground flour (‘atta’), cake mixes, cookies, healthy snacks and other similar products offering health benefits to the end user.
Besides providing healthy, wholesome offerings that come straight from the heart of rural India, this effort would help create much needed sustainable livelihood opportunities in remote rural areas and underserved communities – spreading smiles and transforming lives. The raw materials for Earthspired will be sourced directly from farming communities: cooperatives, farming federations and other farmer groups.
“Mrida’ in Sanskrit means ‘Soil’. And that, in a single word encapsulates what we stand for. Our product offerings emanate, literally as well as figuratively, from the soil. Mrida is all about business models for transforming lives, and Earthspired is an offering that fits well into the core philosophy and contributes to the larger Mrida story”, says Arun Nagpal, Co-Founder, Mrida Group. “Through Earthspired, Mrida also empowers rural farmers and village folk to create a self-reliant, progressive and sustainable economy”, he adds.
Earthspired will focus on ‘More Millets’ and therefore ‘More Health’. Millets have long been recognized as magic seeds. These highly nutritious grains with short growing periods under moderate and high temperature conditions are suitable for growing in local soils. They require less water and are hence also more environment friendly.
Earthspired Millet Based Flour/Atta Mixes represent a judicious blend of millets and amaranth to provide healthier options to the regular rice and wheat based offerings.
Ease of preparation and use, and painstaking sensory evaluations to ensure that good health also means good taste, are some of the other qualities that Mrida seeks to bring to consumer’s kitchens, tables and plates through Earthspired.
Earthspired products are currently available in different categories like Attas/Flour Mixes and Cookies, and the entire range is FSSAI approved. The Attas are available in 8 different mixes including two Gluten free variants. The range today comprises the Healthy, Healthy High-Protein, Northern Spice, Southern Spice, Mediterranean Spice, Healthy Unrefined Multigrain (useful for diabetics), Gluten-free and Gluten-free High Protein variants. The Cookies are healthy, nutritious snacks available in three ‘Crunchy Bite’ variants – Honey Almond Crunch, Choco-Chip, and Coconut Crunch.
Earthspired products are also available in a range of gift packs with different combinations of Attas and Cookies. Products in the pipeline and to be launched in the near future include Gluten Free Cake Mixes, Sweet and Salted Snacks, Amaranth Cookies, and Coffee Flavored Crunchy Bites. Moving forward, a range of other health and wellness related food products based on plants, herbs and spices such as Aloe Vera, Amla, Ginger and Turmeric is under various stages of development and testing.
Earthspired range of products are today available online on Amazon and Snapdeal at MRPs ranging from Rs.120 to Rs. 360 for a kilogram of Millet based Atta. The cookies are available in two pack size – the 100 gram pack is available for Rs. 155-Rs.170, while the 300 gram assorted cookie packs are available for Rs.430/-. Mrida is in talks with other eCommerce platforms to increase the reach and availability.
As part of its global outreach initiative, Mrida hopes to develop markets for Earthspired products in the Middle East, EU Region and the US. Other plans include promoting rural artisans by bringing a range of handicrafts and locally made products under the Earthspired brand over time.
A Social Business Venture incorporated in February 2014, Mrida (Sanskrit for Soil) seeks to build sustainable and scalable, financially viable business models aimed at holistic rural development. Mrida has chosen to work only with underserved rural communities, which have by and large been forgotten and neglected even as the rest of the country progresses. The focus is on sustainable development, as opposed to grants or charity.
The group comprises business entities working on financially viable business models revolving around energy access, agricultural interventions, and processing of plants and herbs – businesses that are designed to create win-win situations across the spectrum of their association.
Since commencing business operations in February 2014, Mrida has worked on a variety of initiatives with individuals, village level entrepreneurs, self-help-groups, rural communities, and Corporates. With about 50 interventions on-the-ground, including many in remote, difficult to access areas and benefiting hitherto underserved communities, Mrida provides energy access, and facilitates education, livelihoods, better agricultural yields, and women’s empowerment. These interventions have shown for the large part, how mentoring, entrepreneurship and education can make a tangible, holistic difference. They have so far, already made a significant dent in, and impacted/influenced thousands of lives in villages and hamlets spread across the States of MP, UP, J&K, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.
Mrida has partnered with leading business houses in India like Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. (IL&FS), Hero Motors Group (AG Industries and Rockman Industries), Mahindra & Mahindra and The Reliance Foundation, for integrated Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, and is currently also engaged in active discussions with others in this regard.