How Nikhil Focused On Just One Thing “Making The Best Mushroom Kit”

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[This interview is sponsored by workspot.in , India’s leading aggregator of co-working spaces, meeting rooms and shared offices. If you have additional office space and are looking to rent it, please do list it on workspot.in. If you are looking for space for your startup, do visit workspot.in]

 

These fresh and organic mushrooms popping out of the box are really looking amazing. Nikhil and team is team is doing a great job bringing us back to roots.

Question 1 – What motivated you to start Backtoroots.com and what is it all about?  Why did you choose to sell mushrooms only?

Nikhil – We came across this idea during a class lecture in our last semester of college! We heard our professor bring up this fact that mushrooms could possibly grow entirely on recycled coffee grounds – we were so inspired by this idea that we ended giving up job offers in investment banking and consulting to become full-time urban mushroom farmers! Since we’ve grown from just selling fresh mushrooms, to a grow-at-home Mushroom Kit and the AquaFarm, a self-cleaning fish tank that grows food!

Question 2 –  Could you please tell our readers what is your current team size and introduce them?

Nikhil – We have a total of 15 folks – a young, passionate team. Our team can be characterized by two things – hustle and passion. We’re all really passionate about the mission of our work – to reconnect families to their food again! – and are willing to give it everything we have. I feel lucky to be able to do what I love with people I love!

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Question 3 – What is the current size of the market/industry? Any projected growth rates? Who are your major competitors and how are you differentiated?

Nikhil – Our main competition right now is just building awareness – people aren’t looking for a Mushroom Mini Farm or an AquaFarm necessarily – so we have to build awareness and curiosity!

Question 4 – What is your revenue model? Would it be possible to give a ballpark figure of your current revenue? Anything in which you are comfortable with.

Nikhil – Our revenue model is quite simple – we sell products to retailers or directly to customers online. We’ll do ~$4.5MM in sales this year. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PskE16URt9E]

Question 5 – How do you market Backtoroots.com online/ offline ? Do you use any social media platforms?

Nikhil – Back to the Roots is marketed similarly online and offline – we think the voice and values should be the same regardless of platform. We use a lot of images and focus of the highlevel vision of the company – connecting everyone to their food – regardless of if they have a big backyard or green thumb! Social media has been huge for us – especially Facebook because it is such a visual platform.

Question 6 – What are the challenges that you have faced/are facing in marketing  Backtoroots.com?

Nikhil – The biggest challenge is always finding the sweet spot of deep impactful relationships and doing that at scale. It’s easy to have one deep convo, or to do a massive ad – but to deeply connect with your customers at scale is a challenge – a fun challenge though J Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 9.48.59 AM

Question 7 – What advice you would give to someone starting new?

Nikhil – Focus – and as one of our mentors told us, True Focus is saying no to the things you really want to do. It’s easy to say no to bad ideas, but it’s tough (yet so important) to say no to some good ideas. Pick one thing to start – no matter how random/small it is – in our case creating a Mushroom Kit – and just pour every ounce of your life, passion, energy, etc. into making that one thing the best of its kind in the world. We focused on just making the “best Mushroom Kit” in the world – and when we finally learned that focus, it was transformational for our business. website : www.backtotheroots.com facebook : www.facebook.com/backtotheroots

 

[This interview is sponsored by workspot.in , India’s leading aggregator of co-working spaces, meeting rooms and shared offices. If you have additional office space and are looking to rent it, please do list it on workspot.in. If you are looking for space for your startup, do visit workspot.in]

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