Build Your Empire
I Say, You Say, We Say Organic
On 01 November, 2017
Aakanksha Kapoor of I Say Organic talks about the organic food movement in India, that is slowly but steadily growing its roots, and also of the roadblocks that exist along the way.
I started working with I Say Organic a year and half after moving back from New York, where I was studying at Parsons. The reason to work with I Say Organic for me was simple - I wanted to help create a brand that aimed at providing a healthier lifestyle to consumers. I Say Organic was started in 2012 with a vision of making organic farming more viable for farmers across India. It fully aligned with everything I believe in and towards the end of 2013, I came on board as Head of Marketing and Retail. I Say Organic was first started as an e-commerce portal, bringing certified organic produce from farmers across the country, directly to customer’s doorstep - delivering 7 days a week, across Delhi-NCR. We now have a physical retail store in South Point Mall, Gurugram.
How important is organic food for the Indian consumer as of today?
Extremely important. I’ve talked about this before and there are studies that show, an average vegetable has 77 different types of chemicals in them. Other than that, with the way our lifestyle has become - we are all constantly stressed, working late, binge eating, alcohol consumption is on the rise, processed foods are booming in the market and in our homes. It’s really time, we look at what we are putting in our body. Food is more important than we think it to be and most of us take it for granted. Simply put, if you will feed your body goodness, it’ll function better and you will be healthier.
What are some of the challenges the brand faced initially?
The biggest challenge was to convert people and make them aware of what organic truly is. It’s very common for consumers to think if something says natural then it automatically is organic which is not true. However, since the beginning we've seen a great response to our products.
The market has evolved over time. How has the mind-set of people changed?
It’s changing but at a slow pace. When I just started working in this space, the biggest challenge was to convince people whether we are truly what we claim to be. Today, the customer knows what’s in the market, understands the importance of organic food and is curious to know more.
I Say Organic Retail Store at South Point Mall, Gurugram
Biggest achievement so far?
For me, it was when I randomly ran into a customer and they turned around and told me we were helping them lead a better life. This is why I joined I Say Organic and it reaffirmed my cause.
We're in the process of developing and launching a range of wholesome and additive free snacks and condiments,. You'll soon start seeing these alongwith our other best selling products, at retailers across the city, and nationally over the next 3 years.
What's your regular day like?
It starts with an early morning work out, short nap after and then the usual work hours till about 7pm. My regular day also involves a lot of driving in traffic these days!
Any advise to other women reading this?
Don’t let stereotypes get to you.
A junk food item you can't stay without? And something you avoid completely?
Pizza. I have to eat it once a month. But I steer clear of packaged juices, anything with preservatives, chemicals, added sugar and foods that have a shelf life for more than 3 months.
Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
Anne Frank. I have loved her since the first time I read 'The Diary of a Young Girl'. The book has such a positive perspective on life. For someone to have had that at such a young age, just amazes me, intrigues me and pushes me to be grateful, happy and learn from my experiences.
What tops your work wishlist?
A project I’m working on, that’s extremely close to my heart and will launch soon, hopefully.