As a food company founder, Iqbal answered
What inspired you to start your brand?
We already had our conventional ready-to-eat curry’s bagged in pouches doing well at the retail level, but I could see the trend shifting towards organic food. Delivering what is best to my customer is most important and hence a 100 percent organic line of Food Earth was born. Also, I wanted to give an ultimate experience of convenience and taste which has been delivered in the form of a full meal pack in a microwaveable tray. These are shelf stable, totally natural, gluten free and takes only 90 seconds to heat up and completely hazard free.
What is the most rewarding part of running a small business?
Although, our business is not small, Food Earth is just under 2 years old. Running a small business is rewarding in many ways from being involved in every stage of growth to getting an opportunity to truly listen to the needs of customers and try to fulfill them.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to start a business in the vegan food space? Or challenges nobody talks about?
The challenge for any food company is to make a product that tastes good. My advice to any entrepreneur coming into the food space would be to not rush and take time to create a good recipe without compromising taste of the product. The fact that we don’t use certain ingredients and keep our product dairy free and gluten free should not have a negative impact on the final product.
What are some lessons you’ve learned from starting a business from the ground up?
There are several lessons that an entrepreneur learns in the journey of coming up. Some of the key lessons of starting a business from ground up is that one has to be open to learning and be able to adapt to change. It is important to listen to customer feedback and incorporate them in the product. It takes time to establish a brand and build trust for your loyal customers but if you have a good product progress is inevitable.
What are the biggest challenges you faced during COVID?
COVID has thrown a lot of challenges to several industries in the world. For us, the biggest challenge what the supply chain management, getting the raw materials during peak COVID became a concern and caused production delays. Logistic was a nightmare too and we are still struggling to have a smooth and consistent end to end logistic network.
What is your vision for Food Earth in the future?
Our vision for food earth is very simple, for us it is to become a household name in today’s modern life where time equals luxury it needs to be invested wisely. Food Earth gives everyone: families, professionals, college students, seniors and importantly not only to eat hearty healthy and hazard free melas but also to give time to spend with their loved ones and to pursue their passions and hobbies. With Food Earth you don’t only eat organic and stay fantastic, but you also gain time.
Which flavor from Food Earth Meals is your favorite?
This is a tough one, at present we have six flavors at Food Earth and each one is unique and different, they have different spice levels and different textures to meet with every customers preference. My personal is the chickpeas curry with rice because I like it spicy. At times it is also the vegetable peri ani which is again also awesome.
As the founder of Food Earth, what makes your brand stand out from competitors?
The key point that makes Food Earth stand out is that it is 100 percent organic. The meals are packed in compartment trays that are microwaveable and recyclable. The meals are packed and ready to eat and shelf stable, it does not need to be refrigerated so it can be carried easily. Food Earth offers a complete organic meal that is gluten free dairy free vegetarian non-GMO and made from authentic organic Indian recipes, and yes you have guessed correctly whenever I travel, Food Earth travels with me.