A startup with a conscience: Letcetra Agritech

India’s demographic dividend is often touted as one of the country’s strengths. More than half of its 1.25 billion population is younger than 25. In the coming decades, India is expected to be one of the few countries where the working population will exceed the number of retirees. Even so, India is struggling with a huge problem: The country has the world’s largest population of malnourished children. A government report titled, Children in India 2012 — A Statistical Appraisal notes that “48% of children under age five years are stunted which indicates that half of the country’s children are chronically malnourished.” According to UNICEF, one in three malnourished children in the world is Indian. It is estimated that reducing malnutrition could add some 3% to India’s GDP.

To solve the malnutrition problem we need to grow good quality food, but producing food nowadays is becoming a real challenge. With the population growing at intensive pace, water and land are becoming scarcer every day. After looking at all these problems, Ajay Naik who is a Software Engineer by profession decided to solve the problem by using technology and he founded India’s first hi-tech vertical hydroponics farm to grow top quality vegetables which are healthy. Thus, Letcetra Agritech came into existence and has been playing a strong role that is backed by passion and vision.

Founder, Ajay Naik

The startup is into growing fresh vegetables. Some of them include:

  1. Romaine lettuce
  2. Lollo green
  3. Rocket/Arugula
  4. Basil
  5. Oakleaf
  6. Mustard green
  7. Red amaranth
  8. Palak (Spinach)
  9. Cherry tomatoes

Other than the vegetables we also help home gardeners and commercial farmers grow healthy vegetables using this technology.

Some of the main advantages of the products offered by this unique startup are that they are pesticide free. Other advantages are:

  1. No soil needed
  2. Lower water consumption as it is recycled through the system
  3. Lower land requirement
  4. Lower nutrition requirements.
  5. Pollution free with the fully controlled system. Reduces the risk of plant dying
  6. Healthy stable plants that produce higher yields
  7. Ease of harvesting
  8. Zero pesticide produce
  9. Shorter growth cycle

When we asked them for the financial that they had in mind, this was the response, “Currently we are growing 3-ton vegetables per month. We are looking for investors to double our production by May 2017. We are also looking to start a farm to grow 150-ton tomatoes per year.”

Currently, the business is funded by two angel investors.  It plans to increase the production and help to grow good quality food using this technology.

Their response to the biggest hurdle was, “The main challenge was the market. As with this technology, we can grow food in a controlled environment, our production side risk is very minimal.”

The founders take pride in stating that the key ingredients to the success of their agritech startup have been passion, focus, discipline and the fearlessness of failure.

“My mother has been my biggest source of inspiration. She taught me not to get afraid of failure and never give up on your dreams”, says Ajay.

When asked what he wants to convey to the budding entrepreneurs, “You got only one life, live your dreams and help make world a better place for our coming generations.”

This wonderful interview has been extremely inspiring and wish that there will be several such entrepreneurs who will contribute to the society in a similar manner. Team SoS wishes Letcetera Agritech all the best for future endeavors.

— Team SoS

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