One of the most important discussion that happens at each household, what is tomorrow’s breakfast ?
A 3 years old brand in Ireland is helping people with an option of having one of the healthiest breakfasts.
Natural Batters Inc. rolled out idli/dosa batter under the brand name ‘Pure‘ in 2018. With a tagline, Healthy Foods Made Simple, Pure is solving one of the major issues, especially for Indians in Ireland. Idli (Indian rice cake) and Dosa (Indian sour crepe) are the go to option for people from South India and now equally adopted by people from across India.
In this edition of PAC Talks with VJCV, Santhosh Sankaranarayanan, the person powering this Pure brand, shared his inspiring journey of completing his engineering from Kerala, India in 1995 to working in Ireland and how he ended up starting Pure.
Santhosh completed his Electrical and Electronics engineering education in 1995 from Government Engineering College, Thrissur. He worked in a company in Chennai before spending one year in UK and then relocating to Republic of Ireland in 2001. The initial days were spent at Donegal working with one of the biggest insurance companies. Fast forward the years, he was working as a contractor for SAP and thanks to the glitch in contract renewal, the idea of making Idli / Dosa batter was born.
I always had an inclination towards food business. When I was working with SAP as a contractor consultant, due to a temporary glitch in contract renewal, I could not work for a nearly 2 weeks . At this time, I had a thought that I needed another option. I came across so many families where both husband and wife were working full time in Dublin. For them making their favorite breakfast was unimaginable as making batter for dosa/idli requires planning and process which was not always possible. I spotted the gap in market that ready to cook batter was not available here like it was in India. This is how Pure Dosa batter was born. Our tag line healthy food made simple conveys are philosophy behind this venture”
Santhosh added “We wanted to build a brand with a difference. Usually ready to cook meals have preservatives and other synthetic elements that is not advisable for long term use. So we wanted to make sure that our batter did not have any preservatives and that it was “Pure” – hence the brand was born.”
For the first couple of years, Santhosh along with his wife Srikripa were working during the week and then literally had to grind on weekends to build the brand.
“My wife and myself had a 9-5 Monday to Friday job. We used to grind batter on Friday night after work. It was an early start usually on Saturdays. Depending on the numbers we used to wake up at 4am to start packing so I could leave the house around 7.30am to start my delivery. My wife managed the grinding while I focused on route planning and logistics of collecting order and delivering.
He decided to take a break after completing the two years contract with SAP. The focus was to increase the production of batter. Santhosh said “After nearly 2 years of working in SAP, my contract ended I decided to take a short break to increase production of Pure. I have not looked back ever since. We initially started with door to door delivery in and around Dublin. Now we are able to distribute Pure batter all over Ireland and Northern Ireland.”
The journey so far has been a mixed bag of experiences. There has been many challenges faced by Santhosh. He added “Companies in Ireland do not manufacture the essential equipments, so all of them had to be imported from India and China. We were running this business from home for about 1.5 years and then it was very difficult to keep up with the orders. So finding a suitable place was the first major challenge. The machine for grinding was purchased after a lot of research. Packing was completely manual. Finding a suitable tub for packing where some of the initial challenges. In between we had faced an issue where our grinder had stopped working and we had no backup. We had to stop production until back up came from India. Most recently our issue has been that we are not able to get consistent ingredients so we can maintain our quality. This has been an ongoing challenge.”
For any brand, customer satisfaction is the yardstick towards success.
I supply to most Asian stores in Ireland. Working families who look for an easy and healthy option are my primary customers. I have had many parents who have commented that their kids love idlis made from my batter, this gives me great satisfaction.
The brand has been growing steadily from selling a few kgs to friends every week in 2018 to currently selling 750 kgs + every week and even helping startup restaurants like Dosa Dosa with the required supply. Talking about the expansion plans, Santhosh mentioned that they working on some brand extensions and will be sharing the details in the coming months. He also wants to take Pure brand to UK and European markets.
Santhosh understands the significance of investment required for achieving the future plans and is open in regard with discussing this with potential investors.
For now, Pure brand of idli / dosa batter is creating its own ID in Ireland. I feel it just a matter of time before investors will start putting money in this brand. Hope to see Santhosh becoming the go to Idli Dosa man of Europe.
On a side note: Santhosh will make sure that the investors, suppliers and customers are always happy as the meaning of his name itself is Happiness.
Link to Pure Batter Facebook page