New Delhi: Pickles are one of the most commonly enjoyed home delicacies in India. This is mainly because they can be enjoyed with just about anything. Great pickle recipes are hard to come by; they are often passed down from generation to generation and are kept and protected within a small circle.
Nobody wants to lose what makes them special, do they? At the heart of these circles is Prakrity, one of Northeast India’s favourite pickle makers.
A perfect pickle recipe is the foundation on which Prakrity was built. Dipali Bhattacharrya, the owner of Prakrity, has been doing exactly that since 2007 when she started Prakrity. Her business was founded on the principle of delighting her customers with homemade pickles and snacks, deliciously served with love and second to none. Bhattacharrya is assisted by her daughter Suditree Devya, who is fast becoming a master in the craft.
Bhattacharrya’s journey into running a homemade snack and condiment business is one that inspires. Her journey began when she was selected by the Coconut Development Board to undergo a training program at Kochi, in Kerala. After her training, Bhattacharrya was offered the job of master trainer for the coconut convenience food, based in Guwahati, Assam, by the Coconut Development Board. Ever since her appointment till date, Bhattacharrya has been a source of inspiration to many individuals and self empowering groups across Northeast India.
She notes that even before Prakrity was fully launched in 2002 she operated a food van. This goes to prove how passionate she is about winning hearts of her customers with scrumptious treats. After the death of her husband in 2003, her business took a great hit and eventually crumbled.
She then relocated to Kerala in 2006, and then in 2007, began the Prakrity business. Bhattacharrya reveals her initial investment into Prakrity was about Rs 10,000, and since it began, Bhattacharrya has seen great strides in the business.
For her business to thrive, Bhattacharrya focused on the rich pickle market in India. She describes Assam in particular as the center for quality ingredients and resources used in the production of pickles. “Assam is blessed with surplus fruits and vegetables that if not properly preserved, could go to waste. Pickles are a great way to use these ingredients, and create something wonderful and simply delicious,” she says.
Businesses can sometimes prove difficult to run, especially when it just starts out. Revealing how she managed to navigate through the first few months, Bhattacharrya says; “It was quite a struggle, but my determination and focus on what I wanted to achieve helped a lot. As a business owner, you take on the responsibility of the different sectors of a business; you must be ready to fully face the challenges that ensue.”
The positive feedback Prakrity has gotten ever since its inception is a pat on the back for Bhattacharrya and Devya. They haven’t made any drastic change to the taste or quality of her product for lack of necessity; they, however, improved the labelling and packaging to ensure it meets market standards.
Despite their current success in the pickle and snacks business, the mother-daughter duo still ensures they input higher levels of creativity into the pickles, formulating new recipes with peculiar taste and additional health benefits. Some of their bestsellers, most cherished by her customers, include; Methi Pickles (fenugreek seeds), Raw turmeric Pickle, Fish Pickle, Chicken Pickle, King Chilli Pickle, and Bamboo Shoot Pickle.
These trying times have had a negative effect on the growth and progress of most businesses. Devya says she manages to cope with the bad situation by making efficient and progressive business plans so as to resume business with full force once the lockdown has been lifted. She plans to double up sales once the government gives the go ahead.
Devya ensures her business remains progressive by occasionally launching new products. Some of her new innovations include more ‘ready to eat’ foods. “Prakrity has already launched ‘ready to eat’ Assamese jolpan, homemade cakes, toast pithas, and has received positive feedback from customers. We also have started shipping products to customers all over India in a bid to increase our reach,” she chuckles.
Devya understands the power of the Internet in the 21st century and is taking advantage of its benefits. “Online patronage of our products works just as well as offline patronage. It all depends on whether it is executed flawlessly,” she says.
Some of the offline shops where Prakrity products are sold include; Wireless Guwahati, Dollop, Mandakini sweets, and Ganeshguri Guwahati. Prakrity also owns a private outlet at Wireless Guwahati where their products can be purchased. Prakrity delicacies can be purchased online from this website for more widespread customers.
Even amidst the uncertainty in the business world right now, Bhattacharrya is not slowing down. She and her daughter are working hard to ensure that after the storm settles, customers can continue enjoying tasty delicacies from Prakrity.