Courtesy : Feritta Artiste Feritta

Jackfruit 365

Posted on: 30/06/2016

Biryani, masala dosas and galouti kababs made from jackfruit ? Their creator is an ex-Microsoft director who is showing the world that jackfruit is truly the jack-of-all-fruits !

James Joseph did something few are brave enough to do. He quit his high-paying job as a Microsoft director to start a venture based solely on a fruit. Taking his love for jackfruit to a whole new level, he started Jackfruit 365, a company that sells the fruit in a packaged, freeze-dried form, and aims to promote all things jackfruit.


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Talking to CrowdStudio about the eureka moment when he came up with the idea of Jackfruit 365, Joseph said:

“At the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai, where I was hosting a dinner for my clients, Chef Hemant Oberoi had made a spectacular dish called the Varqui Crab along with its veg version, the Varqui Mushroom. It was delicious, but I couldn’t help thinking why the chef didn’t use jackfruit, which is more nutritious than meat and mushrooms.

Perplexed by the utter absence of jackfruit at the five-star soirees I attended, I asked around and all the chefs said the same thing: Too sticky, too smelly and too seasonal.

When jackfruit season finally came, I took some to a chef I knew. He used it to create a jackfruit burger coated in jackfruit seed crumbs that was delicious and much crispier than the aloo burger at McDonald’s. The actual eureka moment happened when we created a jackfruit pie, spectacular and more delicious than the apple pie and pecan pie I had in the US. That was when Jackfruit 365 truly took off.”

So Joseph began to investigate and found that despite being acknowledged as a super food, huge amounts of jackfruit are being wasted every season. According to an article on the state government’s website, Kerala alone wastes an estimated 35 crore jackfruit annually, which is about 75% of the harvest.

There are several reasons for this. The weight of a jackfruit, which is typically in the range of 3-5 kg, makes transportation in bulk difficult, while storing this highly perishable fruit is difficult. Cleaning jackfruit is also a tedious process, with the large ungainly fruit throwing prickly wedges, sticky sap, and a strong odour one’s way before offering its rich, bulbous flesh.

Concerned about the collective disregard for jackfruit, Joseph left his cushy job with Microsoft  to return to his native town Aluva in Kerala and set up Jackfruit 365 in 2013. He wanted to make this undervalued and underrated seasonal fruit available for consumption 365 days a year.


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Plunging headlong into the pursuit of his passion, this graduate of the Thiruvanathpuram College of Engineering decided to first address the challenge of making the jackfruit available 365 days a year. On learning that 80% of the fruit is made up of water, he hit upon the idea of freeze-drying jackfruit.

Freeze-drying reduced the weight of the fruit by 82%, cutting down the huge costs of transportation and storage. A 180-gm pack of freeze dried jackfruit can be stored at room temperature for 365 days and, when soaked in lukewarm water, yield one kg of jackfruit.


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Joseph soon hired Amalgam, pioneers in setting up food processing factories in Kerala and Bangalore, to procure jackfruit and process and sell the freeze-dried fruit in packets of his brand, Jackfruit 365.

A stickler for perfection and quality, Joseph insists on farmers supplying unopened jackfruit, as opposed to the traditional practice of storing opened jackfruit in plastic packets, to ensure food safety.

His company also sponsors five midday meals for school children under the Akshaya Patra Foundation, for every pack of Jackfruit 365 sold.

The Microsoft Circle of Excellence award winner wants to create an organised market for jackfruit because its health benefits are numerous. Since the glycemic load (glucose level) in unripe jackfruit is almost half that of rice or wheat, the fruit makes a potent carbohydrate substitute for diabetics. Jackfruit’s high potassium content helps lower elevated blood pressure and its high anti-oxidant and flavonoid content protect against cancer. Jackfruit also increases the human body’s capacity to absorb iron, making it extremely effective in preventing and curing anaemia. Since jackfruit blends beautifully into most recipes, it can also change the way we look at health foods and gluten-free foods in particular.

Determined to demonstrate that dishes made from jackfruit can be mouth-watering irrespective of cuisine type, Joseph has also designed signature dining experiences for his clients with several internationally renowned chefs. His interesting and unique jackfruit-infused recipes include galouti kabab, biryani, masala dosa, kathi roll, panna cotta, and payasam, all made from dehydrated jackfruit!


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In his tryst with the jackfruit, Joseph also realised that the indigenous tree is as good for farmers as it is for consumers. Drought-resistant, evergreen and environment-friendly, he believes this tree can act as climate shock absorber for farmers:

“I don’t even consider it a crop. It just grows. When other crops fail, you can always count on the jackfruit tree.”

The techie turned entrepreneur is also the founder of Professional Bharati, an online platform that is a one-stop shop for NRI professionals wanting to relocate to their hometowns and still earn handsomely. Through his own experience, he knows that the opportunities in India’s non-metros, small towns and villages are endless and this venture is his attempt to persuade others to return home too.



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We can debate on whether entrepreneurs are born or made. But we can’t debate on the fact that successful entrepreneurs are wired differently. They possess traits that others can learn from. Their leadership skills are impeccable. They treat failures as a step to success. They see opportunities in risks. They are visionaries. They are what role models are made of.

So, here’s an anatomical infographic that will help us understand what makes a successful entrepreneur.


So, aspiring entrepreneurs, now you know what your body should communicate.


Tech-Backed Platforms Ease Fund-Raising

An early-stage startup usually struggles to raise funds. Founders typically have to run after multiple angel investors, spend considerable time and effort explaining the idea, and negotiate with investors on the termsheet, the formal agreement stating the terms and conditions of the investment.But now, as the startup and angel investing universe has expanded, a host of technology platforms have emerged to bridge the gap between startups and investors, and ease the whole process of investment. LetsVenture, founded in 2013 by IT professional Shanti Mohan, was one of the earliest in the space and is by far the biggest today , but there are others like Termsheet.io, Enablers, VentureCatalysts and Angle Paisa.

They screen the startups and do a certain amount of due diligence so that investors know they are dealing with reasonably eligible candidates. They have tie-ups with legal entities that both sides can go through, saving a significant amount for resource-constrained startups, and some have standardized termsheets that reduce a lot of the headaches and cost.

Neha Khanna, founder of Enablers, says the company spends around three weeks trying to understand the founders and the business before they list it on the platform. “We replace advisers who would usually charge a high price and would want to be on the board of the company ,“ she says. Enablers, started in March last year, has over 40 startups and 100 odd investors listed on its platform and has helped close 7 deals so far, all transactions between Rs 1crore and Rs 5 crore.

Once the founders and their product-market fit have been evaluated, the platforms help the startups and investors gauge the fair valuation.“Traditionally , after the entrepreneur shakes hands with an investor, the lawyers of both parties come into the picture and there is a lot of uncertainty involved till the last minute. The legal and financial evaluation may take up to six months,“ says Vivek Durai, founder of Termsheet.io.

Termsheet replaces that process to an extent with a pre set ready-to-sign termsheet that is prepared once a startup has put together the necessary data to launch a funding round.The documents are sent to all parties involved and leaves no room for negotiations. With this, deals are often completed within a week. Termsheet’s first deal was the one in which electric scooter maker Ather Energy closed a million-dollar funding round with Flipkart’s founders Sachin and Binny Bansal.

While most platforms focus on high value investors, Angle Paisa’s USP is its lower investment bar. “Usually , in other platforms, the minimum ticket size is Rs 2 crore.We connect companies with individuals who are ready to invest as low as Rs 50,000,“ says founder Himanshu Kumar.

Sharad Sharma, co-founder of software product asso ciation iSpirt and an investor on the LetsVenture platform, said that funding platforms operate in a winner-take-all market. The platform that has more active investors will attract more startups, creating avirtuous circle, he says, indicating that LetsVenture, with over 1,600 investors, will have an advantage.

Sharma expects LetsVenture to do 50 deals this year and the other platforms to collectively do another 70 deals. Given that around 250 angel invest ments are expected to happen this year, the platforms would together account for almost 50% of the total deals.

The platforms make money by charging a fee or a commission on the transaction.Angle Paisa takes 5% of the profits that its investors make. Termsheet charges a 1% commission on deals. LetsVenture charges investors a membership fee and charges startups a deal fee.

And although the current funding slowdown might be affecting late stage investments, Khanna of Enablers says platforms like hers are gaining momentum. “A startup and an investor value us more now than ever, since both the parties are looking to connect with the right set of people,“ she says, adding that they get interest from over 600 startups every month.

Shalina Pillai & Anand J
Times of India 10 June 2016



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Achievers 6

India’s ‘Plastic Man’ and His Incredible Innovation


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Did you know that an Indian has already invented a method to convert hazardous plastic waste into roads? Unfortunately, his achievement has neither been appreciated nor remembered by our government.

R Vasudevan, the ‘Plastic-Man’ of India is a Maduari-based chemistry professor. He came up with an innovative method to reuse plastic waste to construct better, more durable and very cost-effective roads. The roads also show greater resistance to damages caused by water during rains.

Sadly, our own country did not take him seriously, and now the Netherlands is testing his idea and constructing roads using his patented technology. The technique will involves molding of plastic waste using blue metal into pre-fabricated bricks. These bricks help to build roads quickly.

This system will not only help to use up dangerous plastics for a good cause, but also allow roads to be built quickly. The plastic also provides durability to the roads as well as lightens the surface load as plastic is lighter than traditional road material. The maintenance cost will also be lower compared to asphalt roads. As per The Guardian, these roads are also hollow, making it easier to install cables and utility pipelines below the surface. Sections can be prefabricated in a factory and transported to where they are needed, reducing on-site construction, while the shorter construction time and low maintenance will mean less congestion caused by roadworks. Lighter materials can also be transported more efficiently.

India needs such innovations to tackle its mounting environmental and infrastructure problems. It is surprising that no mainstream media channel has tried to highlight this novel innovation yet.


Source : http://thelogicalindian.com/story-feed/achievers/indias-plastic-man-and-his-incredible-innovation/

Courtesy : Tusna Park


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