Aalok Rajput launched a vegetable and fresh fruits online store in 2020. Here’s how Aalok build Khalihaan, which now clocks a turnover of Rs. 1 crore.
In March 2020, Aalok Rajput started Khalihaan, a vegetable and fresh fruit internet store based in Patna. The company presently employs 42 people and has roughly 7,000 subscribers.
Farmers in the Bihar districts of Bhojpur, Ballia, Saran, and Katihar provide them with vegetables.
“Despite the pandemic, we generated Rs 85 lakh in revenue in the first year (FY 2020-21).We have already crossed Rs 1 crore in the current fiscal year and want to reach Rs 4 crore,” says Aalok.
Aalok’s parents, like millions of other families across the country, moved from their village to a metropolis in search of a brighter future for their children.
About 25 years ago, Aalok’s father left farmland and moved to Patna, the state capital, to open an automobile spare parts shop.
Aalok has made his parents and family proud by founding Khalihaan, which has helped create jobs for youth while also providing a steady income for over 100 farmers in the surrounding districts.
“My mother sold her jewels and provided the money to my father so he could start the spare parts store,” according to Aalok.
His family is from Sitabdiara village, which is located roughly 100 kilometres from Patna.
In 1996, the family relocated to Patna, where the children attended a convent school.
Aalok’s parents returned back to their village from Patna when he was studying, and his father resumed farming.
In order to provide Aalok with the best education possible, his family chose to send him to the United Kingdom for further study.
He received his bachelor’s degree in Business Studies (Finance) from the University of Bedfordshire (2013-2016).
Aalok says, “My father and uncle had started banana farming by the time I went to the UK, and they could afford to spend roughly Rs 20 lakh on the course. I was able to cover the remaining costs by instructing other students in business disciplines.”
His profits not only covered his living expenses in the UK, but they also allowed him to save money when he returned to India and began looking for business opportunities.
He arrived in his village in 2016 and began visiting other villages in various districts of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, and Jammu & Kashmir over the next few years to gain experience in the farming sector.
Aalok says, “I would stay at the houses of villages, and tried to understand the difficulties farmers had in selling their produce.”
While vegetables are pricey for consumers, producers are also hurting since they are underpaid due to intermediaries
Farmers sell their produce to traders, who then sell it to mandis, who then sell it to retailers.
Every stage of the shift raises prices, and fruits and vegetables lose their freshness in the process.
Aalok chose to launch Khalihaan with the USP of providing fresh vegetables to consumers after considering all of these issues.
He claims that “our vegetables reach customers the same day they are gathered from the farms.”
Khalihaan is a frequent phrase used in Bihar communities to refer to the storage area for gathered food grains.
In 2018, he created a website under the name Khalihaan, then in March 2020, he formed Indiplus Foods and Beverages Private Limited with a Rs 35 lakh investment.
He obtained the vegetables from farmers in the regions of Bhojpur, Ballia, and Saran, and sold them directly to Patna clients.
In the beginning, they ran ads on Facebook and Google, which resulted in orders.
He said, “We also distributed over one lakh pamphlets throughout Patna to inform people about our website’
In the past, Aalok says, he earned around Rs 40,000 in three months. He said, “In the same time span, I now earn more than a lakh rupees. He now intends to spread his company to other locations, with plans to begin operations in Noida soon.”
Aalok Rajput said, “We’re growing month by month because our clients like our vegetables and fruits, and the farmers trust us because both their sales and income are increasing, he says enthusiastically.”