Beauty of the un­pol­ished

The mar­ket for un­pol­ished pulses shows prom­ise

Down to Earth - - NEW BUSINESS - RA­JESH­WARI GANE­SAN |

HShekhar says OMEMAKER SAVITA she grew up eat­ing un­pol­ished pulses. The 60-year-old woman laughs when she says that un­pol­ished pulses was one of the few things she in­tro­duced in her new house when she got mar­ried 38 years ago.“My pa­ter­nal un­cle was a doc­tor and he said con­sum­ing un­pol­ished food was al­ways healthy,”says the res­i­dent of Delhi’s Mu­nirka area. But In­dia’s pulses story changed af­ter the 1970s when the mar­ket started get­ting flooded with pol­ished pulses.The pol­ished va­ri­eties be­came a hit be­cause they looked cleaner and shinier. “It be­came im­pos­si­ble to get un­pol­ished pulses in Delhi. So I used to bring my stock di­rectly from my ma­ter­nal home near Nashik ev­ery year,”she says.

The story is slowly chang­ing again—and this time in Shekhar’s favour—as com­pa­nies are en­ter­ing the 18-mil­lion-tonne pulses mar­ket through un­pol­ished pulses.They say their prod­ucts are healthy and taste bet­ter than pol­ished va­ri­eties.

Rough start

In Novem­ber 2010,Tata Chem­i­cals be­came the first na­tional-level player to launch un­pol­ished pulses in the coun­try.But the com­pany’s un­pol­ished pulses brand “i-Shakti” failed to make a dent in the first two years be­cause re­tail­ers re­fused to stock and sell the prod­uct. The com­pany,which till the end of 2013,had not even cap­tured one per cent of the mar­ket share,then started an ini­tia­tive called “Dal on Call”.A cus­tomer could buy di­rectly from the com­pany by call­ing on a toll-free num­ber and the pulses were home de­liv­ered within 48

Delhi-based I Say Or­ganic sells un­pol­ished or­ganic pulses through its web­site

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