Iron Kettle

Of the 580,000ha land being used for tea cultivation, 65% is managed by large estates and only 35% by small tea growers. Average land holding of these small tea growers is less than 1ha. At the same time, they face considerable challenges, such as non-availability of finance, pest and disease attacks accelerated by climate change, poor agronomic practices that lead to low quality tea leaves, very limited access to high value markets and hence low share of the consumer rupee. 

Iron Kettle is a unique business model that challenges the notion that small growers have inherent and unsurmountable diseconomies of scale. It starts with the premise that a small grower can deliver superior quality that the market will reward with higher prices. 

Iron Kettle aims to establish a leading front-end tea brand, providing premium tea grown by small tea growers using sustainable tea practices. The market position is centred around small tea growers with end-to-end traceability and premium blends to cater to high value tea consumers.

Farm Folks

India is the second largest producer of wheat and rice – world’s major food staples. India is also currently world’s second largest producer of several dry fruits, agriculture-based textile raw materials, roots and tuber crops, pulses, farmed fish, eggs, coconut, sugarcane and numerous vegetables. 58% of India’s population depends on agriculture as their primary means of livelihood. 85% of India’s farmers cultivate in less than five acres of land, half of which, in many parts of India, may be rain-fed. Small farmers contribute 51% of agricultural output with 46% of operated land. However, these farmers face severe challenges such as low productivity, natural calamities, perishability owing to poor cold chain logistics, and weak access to higher paying markets. 

Farm Folks procures fruits and vegetables from smallholder farmers at their farm gate. It provides residue-free fresh produce to online and offline retailers, and offers on-farm advisory from sowing to harvest for select crops. Farm Folks also educates farmers in globally accepted agronomic practices (GAAP) to help them realise a better price for their produce.


India’s diverse climate ensures it can produce a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. India ranks second in fruit and vegetable production in the world, after China. As per the National Horticulture Database 2020-21, India produced 102.48 million metric tonnes of fruits and 200.45 million metric tonnes of vegetables. The area under fruit cultivation stood at 9.6 million hectares while vegetables were cultivated in 10.86 million hectares of land. 

Aibono is a farm-to-retail platform dealing in high-value and perishable hill vegetables. It provides high quality seeds and other planting material in advance to farmers, based on projected retail demand. AiBono procures the produce at the time of harvest, right from farm gate and sells to neighborhood retail stores in the city of Bengaluru.