These days everyone is health conscious and everyone is interested in eating healthy food. In that microgreens are one. Microgreens are not only a healthy food, but also a profitable business that anyone can do. These little greens are basically micro varieties of fully mature plants. Even they grow easily at home.
Today in this article, we will see about Ajay Gopinath, who is a resident of Kerala, and look at how his interest in microgreens provides him lakhs of money.
How Ajay Gopinath Got to Know About MicroGreens
Microgreens are very nutritious and also they are called superfoods. These are the seedlings of vegetables and herbs, taken at the young of the plant and they are more nutritious than fully grown vegetables.
Gopinath is a former bank employee, he did not know about microgreens until he found them on his plate while dining at a Bangalore restaurant. After seeing them, he got some interest to know about them and started doing research on them.
After some research, he got to know that they are not seasonal and they are highly nutritious, and not only that it is also a food garnishing ingredient.
Then he got an idea to start a business in Microgreens and left his bank job to try his luck in Microgreens.
From Former Bank Employee to Successful Entrepreneur
Ajay left his bank job to move back home to Kochi, and he decided to try his hand at the microgreens business he started to grow microgreens on a small scale as an experiment in the year 2017-2018.
After two years, he eventually figured out the right methods, even though he was not sure about the right procedures. But he was growing without stopping.
By 2022, Ajay Gopinath has grown around 15 types of microgreens in 80 square-foot rooms. And he started harvesting 5 kgs of grees per day and got the sale of Rs.2 lakh to Rs.3 lakh per day.
Success Story of Profitable Business
Ajay started his microgreens journey by watching YouTube videos on how to grow. In starting he tried to grow microgreens with tissue papers. But the outcome fell short of his expectations. By that, he got to know that most of the videos that are on microgreens are fake.
He researched more for the right procedure. With a friend in the UK, he contacted a microgreens specialist in the UK. As he is a farmer of microgreens in the UK, he has enlightened Ajay on how to grow microgreens.
Then by listening to all of his words, Ajay said there is a lot more with the microgreens than he saw online. And even the farmer in the UK has suggested that all microgreen seeds are not good to grow.
He started taking seeds from Pune, Bangalore, and Chattisgarh. The cost of the seeds that he bought was around Rs. 600 per kg. Ajay says that even though the price of the seeds seems costly, the results that they give are three times the cost of the seeds.
It took two years for him to come up with a successful method of growing greens within his house under controlled conditions.
At first, he started with just two trays of microgreens, and he never thought of expanding it commercially. But after harvesting them when he gave them to his friends they appreciated them as it has the best quality then he got the idea that “Why dont we start a business with this”.
It has been three years now, and so far he tried 30 varieties of microgreens to grow. In the world, there are 150 varieties of microgreens available.
Some of the varieties that he grows at home are radish varieties like sango purple, china rose, yellow American mustard, red, white, and green mustard, beet, bok choy, sunflower, corn, and others.
How To Grow MicroGreens Easily
To grow microgreens Ajay uses his bedroom at his house in Chittoor. And that bedroom has an area of 80 sqft. And he always maintains a temperature below 25 degrees with 40 to 50 percent humidity.
Ajay says that the best method to grow microgreens is to use Low EC cocopeat. Grow the microgreens in the same cocopeat medium placed inside the food-grade trays with holes.
Once the seeds are distributed onto the medium, containers are sealed and kept in a well-ventilated area with low lighting. As they germinate after two days, the trays are kept open under certain light settings for proper growth.
According to his experience, Ajay says that it takes 7 days for the seeds to grow into microgreens that have a short stem and two leaves. As soon as cotyledon leaves are out, they need to be harvested by cutting above the roots.
Only the stems and leaves need to be used for eating. And they should be consumed only in raw form, like using them in salads or eating them just like that then there will be use in eating them and getting all the nutrients.
By cooking those microgreens may lose their nutritional value. And he is selling these microgreens, for Rs. 150 for 100 gms under his brand name called “Grow Greens”.
Even Ajay has franchises across Kerala and in all the cities like Chennai and Bengaluru. Right now, he is delivering 20-25 kinds of customers, such as hotels, hospitals, gyms and many others.
Ajay says “ Even though there are a lot of benefits, through microgreens, people are still unaware of the true potential of microgreens. But people need to understand that nurturing microgreens is not that difficult.
And microgreens are a good source of nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Vitamin B12. They are also rich in minerals like zinc, potassium, iron, and many others.