Nutrition and food: Nourish the thought

Nutrition and food: Nourish the thought

What’s cooking in our country’s kitchens? More importantly, is it making us healthy and strong? Apparently not. The 2019 Global Hunger Index ( placed India 102nd out of 117 countries. For long, India has carried the burden of being home to the largest number of the world’s stunted (having low height for age) and wasted (having low weight for height) children. According to the National Family Health Survey-4 2015-16 (, the percentage of stunting is around 35%, and 21% for wasting, among children under the age of five.

More recent data from the Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS) 2016-18 ( reports some improvements. But the picture remains dismal. Half of India’s women remain anaemic, carrying over the problems of anaemia and undernourished babies into the next generation.

We have been a self-governing nation for over 72 years now. Nobody has been starving us. Clearly, we have more food available to us than what we had in the 1950s.

This was originally published in Economic Times. You can read the full article, here.

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A group of social entrepreneurs developing technology innovations to optimise water usage for food production were looking to take their idea to market. They wanted to develop a robust business model in order to create impact in emerging economies. In our role as advisors, we helped these founders take ideas off the ground supported by a right business model, go-to-market strategy, and execution to scale their efforts.

As advisors our primary role with these entrepreneurs, whose innovations were mostly at seed or early stages of development, was to develop an actionable strategy to grow their venture from idea to market. We worked with them closely to establish the best business model to validate their innovations as well as identify the ideal consumer base in every market. We designed a business model strategy for three to five years which included correct pricing to ensure a product-market fit for long-term sustainability. Our mission was to condition entrepreneurs with business thinking and this involved working proactively with them to zero down on the core value-proposition of their product. Once they hit the market we delved into specific capacity building around sales, marketing, operational planning, financial forecasting and partnership strategy for the foreseeable future. From June 2016 we have meticulously helped these entrepreneurs move through each stage of their journey to reach the ultimate end goal of impact on the ground.

We documented our actionable strategy for each aspect of business and entrepreneurship in a playbook which we believe can be customised for use by any innovator in the ecosystem. This knowledge material is a valuable asset for all players in the sector. Alongside, we contributed to change the mindset of social entrepreneurs to prove that innovations can lead to viable and sustainable businesses. Also, we were able to give them actionable strategies to survive and scale ventures, thereby boosting overall confidence in the sector. Innovators were able to strengthen their go-to-market strategy and capacities for next three-five years.

Number of entrepreneurs advised: 12
10 Regions covered: Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Kenya, South Africa, Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, Vietnam and Nepal
Innovations included: Seed tape, affordable green-house technology, contract farming, precision agricultural devices, and weather management phone service