MEET ANNU GROVER, FOUNDER OF NURTURING GREEN
Believing in "Gift A Plant" concept, Annu Grover, started and implemented the business of selling plants and green gifts.
Nurturing Green was founded in 2010 with a mission to make people realize the importance of plants in their everyday lives & today have physical presence in 16 cities and have an online presence in over 16,000 PIN codes.
Mr. Annu Grover, Founder of Nurturing Green, talks about his startup journey, his inspiration behind his creative and big idea and challenges in an exclusive interview with CLIQTAX:
CT: You have planted seeds of innovation in many minds. Please tell us something about Nurturing Green and what it does?
AG: Nurturing Greens started in the year 2010 with the idea of “gift a plant” to make people fall in love with gardening by bringing nature closer to them. This led us to not just transforming the existing industry informally organised around nursery and roadside shops selling house plants and gardening products into a more organized industry.
We also worked on innovations for bringing plants indoors, for example, we were the first company to bring plants indoors as decor products. In turn this led to multiple innovations around the idea of bringing the plants indoors in terms of products such as plants for desktop, plants for AC environments, air purifying plants etc.
Recently, to realise our vision of transforming the home vegetable garden scenario, we have launched a new category of potted herbs. Through this initiative, we are aiming to popularise the idea of “grow your own food” in this post Covid period, when health and immunity have become prime human lifestyle concerns.
Imagine for example that for the tomatoes and dhania you need for your kitchen; you have to go no further than your potted plant. During these tough times the potted herbs and vegetables of this category will be able to sustain and promote the idea of self-sufficient and self-sustainable lifestyle.
CT: How did you get the idea to start this venture and when this venture started?
AG: It started way back in 2010 when I was in Austria and I gifted my mother a bouquet of flowers on her anniversary and when I called her the next day she said “vo toh kharab ho gaya tha toh phek diya” And that is when the idea of gifting plants came to my mind.
Eventually Nurturing Green diversified into various other verticals such as decor, landscaping and potted herbs and grow your own food as the categories.
CT: What are your company’s goals & few names of your clientele?
AG: The company’s vision is make people fall in love with gardening and bring nature closer to them. In the current lifestyle in which we are living there are more concrete buildings and less of nature around us. Having plants around us will make a perfect balance between human and nature.
Our clients include Shri Amitabh Bachchan, Chitrangda, Fortis, Escorts, Oyo, and many more.
CT: Is Your Start-up bootstrap or funded?
AG: We were bootstrap until last year when we decided to raise money from Mr Vijay Shekhar Sharma founder of Paytm and other Angel investors.
CT: Tell us something about your Team?
AG: We have a diverse team. Our team’s average age is 27 years whereas the youngest is 19 years old. Most of our team comprises of either ex-entrepreneurs or start up founders who have done start up work in the past. We are now scaling up our business together.
CT: How do you connect to your customers & offer your product and services to them?
AG: We dream of becoming an omni channel brand so that we shall be available when and where our customer wants us. Initially we were focusing on retail and also with the home decor stores like Shopperstop, Home Central, Hometown etc.
We have our own outlets also like the one at HUDA City Metro station In Gurgaon which is a 15,000 square feet store.
We later realised that selling through online mode from our own website like Flipkart, Amazon, Milk Basket. And of lately, we realise that the customers want us to be closer to them, so we started with local partners such as Swiggy, Zomato and Milk Basket.
We’re also partnering with the supermarkets like Big Bazaar, Reliance Mart and right now we are present in 16 cities and have an online presence in over 16,000 PIN codes.
CT: Where do you get your plants from? Do you grow plants, on your own?
AG: When we started, we used to get most of the plants from China but slowly we started to spend lot of amount on research and development. Over the last nine years we have been able to grow about 60% of our production in-house.
We also have contract growing partners in Pune and Bangalore and post Covid we have started to be self-sufficient.
As our Honourable PM Modi wants us to be to be Atma-Nirbhar, we have decided that the remaining 40% planters be grown and manufactured through other source. From 2021 onwards, we are targeting to be 100% so sufficient.
CT: We certainly know your services are one-of-their-kind. Yet, we would love to know from you, which part of Nurturing Green would you call the best and the most unique?
AG: Every new innovation takes us to the next higher level of service and we move on. Our latest offering is that we are trying to change the way in which people consume vegetables and food on a daily basis.
We are literally creating a new industry where we are trying to launch potted plants and herbs so that people can grow their own food.
For example, if you are buying mint plan from us and you can keep growing it and multiplying it and using it in your daily delicacies and daily food.
Our idea is that if we are able to serve and are able to shift around 10% of Indians population to grow their own food and becoming self-sufficient and it will be a great achievement in itself.
CT: Are you planning to reach out to people outside of India too?
AG: Not yet. Though we have found partners in Dubai and Sri Lanka, but post Covid this has been postponed by six months to a year at least.
CT: What would you say to the world about building homes with green all around? What are the benefits of it?
AG: There are multiple benefits of building home with green, such as, it increases the human efficiency it also keeps your mind stress free and will also make you feel more alert.
We can also purify the air inside the house with air purifying plants Specially in cities like Delhi or Lucknow and Bombay where the pollution level has grown , we can also grow our own food and become more self-sufficient while having lot of green plants around us will give us a sense of having more organic food in house.
CT: If you had one piece of advice to start-ups just starting out, what would it be?
AG: We are entering into a new world where the economy is fluctuating due to the current situation and people are facing the worst time. I'm sure that many entrepreneurs have grown up during the time of adversity and when the market are falling.
During these times only the opportunity lies ahead. But it will take time for it to grow because of the current situation around one to two years but if someone is having an idea which can change human life then this is the best time to start it.
CT: At last, a few words you want to say about our CLIQTAX and your experience about it?
AG: We have had a good experience with the CLIQTAX team. Good job.
CLIQTAX extends heartiest wishes to Mr. Annu Grover, Founder of Nurturing Green for his journey as a mentor and entrepreneur. Kudos to him for such an amazing interview.