Founders Shikha Prakash and Robin Nagar were appalled when they discovered that farmers in Uttarakhand were walking miles downhill to barter 5 kg Ghee for 5 kg salt because of pure innocence and sheer ignorance.
Hoping to make an impact on the lives of these farmers and also build a healthy sustainable lifestyle they created “Valley Culture”. An Agritech Startup based out of Dehradun, which works with farmers from across the state, ensuring fair prices & supplying pure, traditional and wholesome farm produce to the world.
Currently, with their offline presence at Taj Rishikesh, Ananda’s in the Himalayas, Hyatt Regency Dehradun, Greenr Cafe and many more and retailing the Valley Culture range online from Amazon and their own website. Consumers have been raving about the Valley Culture Jungle honey, Cultured ghee, Traditional Jaggery powder and many more products.
Shikha, who hails from a rich legacy of Ayurveda practitioners and as a 3rd generation Vaidya is pained that the traditional highly nourishing food systems of Uttarakhand are fast vanishing and being replaced by Maggi and Momos. Shikha adds, “Most lifestyle diseases like Diabetes are a factor of wrong food choices, which are being pushed our way as a result of modern-day marketing through FMCG giants and social media influencers.”
Having travelled the world and hailing from a very successful yet demanding stint in hospitality, Robin has himself battled Thyroid as a result of the lifestyle choices he made stemming from stressful work culture, while living and travelling between London, Japan, the USA and Hong Kong.
Choosing to take a break and return to his roots with a decision to live slow, Robin travelled to Dehradun in 2018 and reconnected with a long time family friend Shikha. Using his passion for photography and movie making, he moved and documented life around the city, only to discover the plight of the farmers and the impact of migration & he decided to team up with Shikha, and they created Valley Culture in 2019.
Persevering to build trust and relationship with farmers, it took overcoming a lot of hurdles, apprehensions and doubts for 3 farmers to associate with them. Valley Culture now works with over 4000 farmers across the state of Uttarakhand of which the majority are women and in that giving hope and a lifeline to more than 600 widows.
As any startup, Robin and Shikha learnt the ropes by working consistently for the last 3+ years with persistent efforts and trials and errors, till they were finally able to create an initial range of products. Incubated at Runway, an incubation program at UPES, powered by India Network, Valley Culture has raised their seed round of funding at a valuation of Rs.2 Crores.
They plan to build a complete Farm to fork ecosystem, to help Himalayan farmers get better prices, build market linkages & direct access to customers. Also, they are steadfast and determined to promote a healthy lifestyle by reviving the traditional foods of Uttarakhand. Their target is Rs.100 Crores turnover in the next 18 months and impacts at least 1 million Farmer’s Lives.