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Harvesting a sweet success story

Chayaa Nanjappa with her business partner Rajappa.

Photo caption: Chayaa Nanjappa with her business partner Rajappa.

    She has the distinction of being the first woman in the country to run a modern honey-processing plant. With a sheer determination to challenge life’s twist and turns, she decided to do something. But she wanted that something to be connected to our homeland Kodagu. Meet and hear, woman entrepreneur Chayaa Nanjappa’s distinctive success story. She is today the managing partner of Nectar Fresh – the brand name that has created a niche in the world of honey and portion packs of preserves, natural jams and sauces.

    Share with us the Nectar Fresh story. How did it come to be? What inspired you to start this business?

    When I thought all was lost because of life’s twist and turns, Nectar Fresh was launched in the hope of surviving the turmoil of life. The proud Kodavathi that I am, I decided to get into business but I wanted to do something related to my hometown Kodagu. Quite spontaneously, honey came to my mind.

    I set up a small-scale unit, backed by the ‘Khadi and Village Board’. The project report was approved by State Bank of Hyderabad and they financed my venture without a collateral .The unit was set up at Bangalore in November 2007, with the sole and sincere intention of supplying quality honey to the local market.

    When circumstances in life literally pushed me towards the wall, it was my determination to succeed against all odds and a feeling within, that, I owed it to my dear and near ones, inspired me to set-up the Nectar Fresh unit.

    Due to unavoidable circumstances the Nectar Fresh unit had to be relocated to Mysore. Currently, with the partnership of Mr. Rajappa the brand hopes to make a strong presence in the intentional market.

    What were the challenges you faced in this sweet success story?

    Though my mother did support me financially and State Bank of Hyderabad also came forward, yet finance was a constraint for the working capital. Nectar Fresh, was my only hope. I put my heart, soul and everything that was dear to me into this venture.
    Since, I didn’t have any experience in the field of business earlier or marketing expertise, each day was a learning experience. Each step had to be single-handedly managed and that too without any support or guidance. Every faltered step was a lesson learnt. There were issues pertaining to procurement of quality raw material and upgrading of the process technology. Honey, being a very delicate product and most honey units having failed, it was indeed a very challenging journey.

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    Considering you are exporting to the European Union, are you content with the fact you have put Kodagu on the world map? Do you have plans to diversify your business?

    For me, it was a sheer privilege to be the first woman in the country to run a modern honey-processing plant. Above all Nectar Fresh today has grown to be one of the largest bulk suppliers of raw, as well as processed honey unit. Besides it has the distinction of becoming the top bottling brands in the country. We are on the verge of enhancing our production capacity to meet our growing demands in the international market. We, at Nectar Fresh, forward to promoting other specialties from Kodagu.

    For instances, coffee, pepper and avocadoes will be shortly promoted and marketed by Nectar Fresh, both in the national as well as the international markets. We have already diversified into jams in portion packs and have a stronghold in the hospitality sector.

    Adjacent to our new Nectar Fresh unit on coming up on the Mysore-Bangalore highway, we are planning on launching a restaurant that specialises in Kodava-cuisine. It will also house a shop that promotes products made by rural artisans, from across India. We are also looking at promoting khadi with a launch of our own brand and with an intention to empower women.

    Don’t you feel there is more scope for wannabe entrepreneurs from Kodagu to diversify into the areas that is not traditionally big business driven? It is such a diverse land but nobody seems to capitalise on turning them into a success story.

    I personally believe the present day scenario has changed with many Kodavas coming to the limelight and making their presence felt in various fields. They are also succeeding in their ventures. Kodavas, have been blessed with an inborn trait of confidence, aura and determination, that is off late being well utilised by many to achieve success in fields that they have got into.

    Yours is a really inspiring story for any upcoming entrepreneur. But to ask a clichéd question — is it tougher for a woman to spin a success story?

    I thank you for considering my story inspiring. Though personally, I feel I still have a long way to go. In today’s times, it is all about perseverance, grit, hard work and commitment to what you believe in. We, women, have proved to be successful in all walks of life and I feel we don’t lag behind in any aspect. Women today, in spite of the hurdles they face, have overcome it. Infact obstacles have made us more determined to believe in our abilities and succeed. I strongly believe that ‘nothing in life is impossible’ what we need to have is the ‘drive’.

    I am inspired by the thoughts of Swami Vivekananda who said, “All great undertakings are achieved through mighty obstacles.”

Comments
10 Responses to “Harvesting a sweet success story”
  1. dr padmavathy naidu says:

    wish i knew about u before as i visited coorg 5 months back i could have visited your unit

  2. Kindly do let us know when you are here the next time…

  3. Meena Joshi says:

    Am truly impressed. Will certainly visit your outlets as I have a place in Kutta .look forward to your Khadi project.

  4. Deepa aiyappa says:

    Hatsoff to u chayaa acca…we r proud to have a sissy like u <3 u

  5. Thank you Meena Joshi..The launch of Khadi would take a couple of month’s..Thank you for your encouraging words..

  6. Deepa thanks a ton dear..That’s really nice of you to say that…

  7. Suheel says:

    Dear Chaya,

    I am really impressed with the project you hold with, and I am planning to put the same kind of a project in my native so can we discuss on this. I want your help in this.

    regards
    suheel

  8. Nanda says:

    YOU have made us all proud would love visit your apiary. Hope see you during my next visit to coor

  9. Rupa A. Somiah says:

    Proud being a kodavathi..n success stories like yours makes me all the more PROUD.
    ur award ceremony went viral n thats wot made me google……God Bless u in all your future endeavours.
    Rupa.

  10. Chandrika Muthanna says:

    Am proud to have befriended you Chaaya. Keep me rocking with more n more success stories.

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