Deepak Rajmohan and Vijay Anand founded GreenPod Labs in 2019 intending to minimise fresh produce loss by introducing cost-effective packaging solutions which are an alternative to expensive cold storage systems.
Chennai native Deepak Rajmohan was working for a company in the US when he stumbled upon an article detailing food waste statistics. Deepak, who did his Master’s in Food Science and is employed in the food industry, was disturbed to see that India loses 40 per cent of its fruits and vegetables even before reaching the consumer.
In mid-2019, the 29-year-old returned to his home country to work on innovation to minimise food spoilage. “I always wanted to get back to India and felt that it was the right time with a perfect aim. I travelled for about three months through the villages of Tamil Nadu to meet and speak to farmers, distributors, shopkeepers and whoever is involved in the chain of food supply. This made me realise several matters,” says Deepak to The Better India.
Firstly, he understood that many do not use a cold storage facility because of its expense and maintenance. Therefore, only a cost-effective and convenient alternative can save produce. Secondly, he has seen successful innovations in the US that solve food spoilage. “The product we are developing is unique for the Indian perspective and not looking at the solution from the US,” clarifies Deepak.
After three months of research, a prototype was launched in May 2020. He used natural plant extracts to activate the inbuilt defence mechanism, which slows down the ripening rate and minimises microbial growth, thus extending the shelf life of fruits and vegetables.
A European based company called Rockstart AgriFood invested in his idea, and one year later, Deepak got a co-founder, Vijay Anand, a long-time friend of the innovator.
Thus, GreenPod Labs, an agri-biotech startup, began its work officially with the dream of creating a zero food spoilage country.