"Where there is chaos there is opportunity." - Sriram Chitlur, Hosachiguru
Hosachiguru is a Bangalore-based startup by a team of the trio - Sriram Chitlur, Srinath Setty and Ashok Kumar. They have developed a product that can be an attractive alternative investment vehicle to help a savvy investor diversify away from the standard stocks, bonds and real estate portfolios into the next big global revolution that is farming.
Hosachiguru is a commercial farming venture launched with an aim to generate long term and substantial passive income to investors with 30-40% per annum returns on average. Hosachiguru also allows investors to contribute to greening and rural employment generation in a meaningful manner
and embraces and promotes scientific and large scale farming to and uplift the potential of India's agricultural sector.
In an exclusive interview with CrazyEngineers, Sriram talks about Hosachiguru, the source of inspiration that led to this startup, the various ups and downs in the journey of building Hosachiguru and their productivity secret. Sriram also talks about the best advice he ever received and how it helped him and his startup.
Please read the following interview to know what Sriram has to say.
CE: Could you please tell our readers about Hosachiguru?
Sriram: There are scores of professionals, business owners living in cities and have a craving to own farm land that is supposed to be the most valuable asset (In 10 years’ time…own a good tract of land that produces food and in effect own possibly the most valuable asset (other than water) on the planet - by DGC Asset Management Company) and grow something that is productive to themselves and man kind at large. Population is growing at breakneck speed with huge migration into cities. At this population growth rate, we are adding one India every 15-20 years putting severe pressure on farm productivity and increasing the food commodity prices big time. But it is extremely difficult to get the right land parcel at the right location at the right price that is suitable for agriculture. Let us assume for a moment that one has got the right land parcel, then they will be faced with challenges of how to maintain the farm, what to grow, Labor management, low production, difficulty in selling the produce and more importantly legal hassles, etc.
So, Hosachiguru is an answer to all these problems. We cherry pick large land parcels that are in the outskirts of cities, logistically well connected, and satisfy 18 other critical points and then develop them into Orchards & Plantations of global standards along with club house for week end recreation and then sell them as smaller developed land parcels. Hosachiguru will maintain the orchards with best crop management specialists and agronomists for better yield and share the profits with the land owners.
Thus all Hosachiguru customers get 'The Triple Whammy' -
a. Real estate investment - Entry point is low and appreciation potential is extremely high
b. Scientific & Precision farming with global standards giving yearly tax free income
c. Investing in a green venture and making this planet a better place to live in.
CE: Could you please tell us about your entrepreneurial journey, the start and the ups and downs?
Entrepreneur journey is always a roller coaster ride. Identifying the right land that meets our strict specs needs a lot of capital and perseverance.
On top of that we need more capital to develop them to an Orchard/plantation of global standards. It was a herculean task to develop first two projects and hiring the right skilled people to develop and maintain the orchards . Also unlike other industries Agriculture is vulnerable to various factors such as climate, pest attack, labour shortage, pilferage and shortage of rainfall and we have pretty much faced all challenges in our initial years of operations and built a model to minimize uncertainties in the future. Now things appear to be relatively easy and quicker. But fortunately for us, customers have liked our offering and we have got good response till now.
CE: What was the source of inspiration behind Hosachiguru?
Sriram: All founder Directors (Ashok Kumar & Srinath Setty and myself) are all engineers by education. We were all in good jobs with international experience.
Taking a good monthly pay cheque was may be not what we were made for. We wanted to do more and contribute in this highly unorganized sector and make a difference.
In Israel, farm labor rates are about USD 1200 per month + accommodation and Insurance charges. Farmers in Israel have to pay for Water by the meter reading, there are no subsidies and they are taxed too. Needless to mention that most part of Israel is a desert with very little rainfall. Yet, we found the farmers there are very successful and profitable and export 90% of their produce that are grown in extreme weather conditions. While in India we are blessed with good rainfall, exemption from taxes and low cost of labour and we thought there was a great opportunity for us to start Hosachiguru.
CE: What is your productivity secret? What keeps you going when the going gets tough?
They say, when going gets tough, the tough gets going. Besides this we are crazy too. We have a vision of achieving 2000 acres of orchards under precision farming in the next three years. It’s simple we love what we are doing, so our productivity is always high. Nothing can give you the kick of being with nature.
CE: What will be your advice to aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking forward to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams?
Sriram: Just do it. If you follow your heart and put an active mind to support it, you will never fail.
CE: What is the worst business advice you ever received, and did you follow it? What lessons have you learnt through these experiences?
Sriram: Don’t think of crazy numbers the agri sector is not organized. Be practical – these were a few bad advices… But we would say where there is chaos there is opportunity.
CE: Tell us about a time when you felt your leadership was wrong. What did you do?
Sriram: We have a great team, we discuss ideas very constructively. We also have broad guidelines that will get us back on track if we are drifting slowly.
CE: How did the team (Mr. Srinath Setty, Mr. Ashok Kumar and you ) come together?
Sriram: I think the power of attraction or law of attraction helped us to come together. We are all of different age groups, backgrounds and strengths. But together we make a perfect team. Ashok & I were colleagues at L&T before we started Hosachiguru. While we were working towards taking Hosachiguru to a totally different level, we met Srinath Setty who was a successful entrepreneur and had a lot of passion towards Agriculture and real estate. The chemistry was great amongst us and we brainstormed the new idea and made it happen.
CE: Thank you for your time. Any message for our readers?
Sriram: We all realise the inflation and shortage in food, water problems and the global warming that’s happening. It’s our duty and obligation towards mother nature that we bring the green cover back on. Do plant trees, conserve water through rain water harvesting and spread the message. Do visit www.hosachiguru.com to learn more about the community farming and how you can invest and generate passive income.
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