IIM Kashipur announced that it has entered an MoU to partner with the Artha Access program. The association announced its first deal with the Dehradun-based FMCG brand Himshakti which has raised ₹17 lakhs in its pre-seed round.
The round also saw participation from angel investors Anand Kumar of Pier Counsel and Varun Agrawal of StarClinch.Himshakti plans to use the funds towards marketing, sales, and improving the packaging quality of its products.
Artha Access is an Artha Venture Fund (‘AVF’) program through which AVF co-invests with accelerators like India Accelerator, Huddle, and IIM Calcutta Innovation Park.
Founded in November 2019 by Harshit Sehdev, Himshakti’s purpose is to provide the best quality, healthy, nutritious, and pure food products from the Himalayan region of India. In addition, Himshakti wants to expand its footprints in international markets like France, ASEAN countries, and other European countries, aiming for shelf space in 200 premium stores and expanding its marketplace presence.
Himshakti products are 100% organic and offer vital health benefits like improved immunity and digestion because of naturally sourced herbs and spices. The products are fit for consumption and are widely welcome in the market; this gets reflected in the higher acceptance rate in the last 12 months at premium hotel chains and organic stores. Himshakti is currently applying for international certifications to launch its operations in Europe and ASEAN.
Harshit Sehdev, founder, Himshakti, says, “Himshakti was born out of a pure vision to support the remote Himalayan villagers. The brand has a fascinating story of how a social movement took the form of a startup and how prestigious people and organizations serendipitously supported it. Himshakti was born in a small village on Gangotri National Highway and truly had the divine blessings of the Holy Ganga. Our mission is to bring you the best Himalayan Agriculture with zero compromises on quality. We are going to make this Indian Himalayan brand a global success.”
Gauri Kuchhal, principal, Artha Venture Fund, says, “We believe there is a big untapped market for organic FMCG products available at an affordable cost; Himshakti is tapping into this segment. We have backed several brands from beauty to the F&B industry, and believe that we can help Himshakti scale up faster to have a pan India and a strong international presence.”
Himshakti has launched new organic products like Hemp oil, Hemp flour, Hemp seeds, Nettle tea, and Chamomile tea, among other teas. The brand aims to support and empower the local villagers and farmers by providing them with a consistent source of income.
Safal Batra, director - Foundation for Innovation & Entrepreneurship Development, IIM Kashipur, says, “Himshakti is one of the most promising Uttarakhand-based startups that is doing a phenomenal job at the grass root level to stop rural migration and provide job opportunities to the farmers of Uttarakhand. We were impressed by the quality of their products. It’s been three years since we have been associated with Himshakti. Harshit Sehdev is also a mentor at our Institute and regularly provides training sessions.”
According to an IBEF Report, the Indian D2C FMCG market is expected to touch $21 billion by 2025. The Indian FMCG market, on the other hand, is expected to reach $220 billion, growing at a CAGR of 14.9%, giving hyper-growth opportunities to Himshakti in both online and offline formats.