There are so many unsung heroes who are playing their part in the society as we all combat the deadly COVID-19. The story of 23-year-old, Siddhesh Ghuge is one such example.
He is a 23-year-old Engineer who woke up one morning to the news of the lockdown. When he saw people panicking and making a beeline for vegetables and fruits, Siddhesh Ghuge saw a noble business opportunity. That’s how the Ghuge Farm initiative was born.
This young boy has his eyes set on a fitness start-up whose operations had to be halted due to the COVID-19. He wasn’t aware that life would take this turn. But, for now, he is doing everything he can to save the farmers and cater to the citizens of Mumbai.
The Corona Virus Pandemic lockdown brought everyone’s lives to a standstill. All of a sudden a simple act of buying vegetables and fruits became an ordeal. Citizens were not allowed to move out of their homes. Most citizens were rudely disappointed when their favourite apps failed them.
The other day, I received a WhatsApp forward from a friend – she referred Ghuge Farms for fresh vegetables and fruts.
I never believe WhatsApp forwards but then, I was desperate and so I clicked on the link.
I placed the order, paid the money. Those were initial days for Ghuge Farms so I didn’t recieve a response.
My heart sank.
I nervously dialled the number given, a sophisticated, mature but young voice answered in a peppy voice. He apologised profusely and asked me to share the location. The name on Trucaller showed the name as Siddhesh Ghuge – the owner. I thought to myself – WOW! The owner himself is delivering the box – how amazing is that! Within 2 hours, I received a huge box of fresh vegetables, hygienically packed.
Thank God for small mercies!
Here are a few excerpts from the interview:
Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter was unable to meet Siddhesh personally. We, therefore, sought the answers through email.
Tell the readers about how you came up with this idea – home delivery of fruits and vegetables, directly from the farm.
Just one day after our Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi ji announced the lockdown, I woke up to learn that the police were beating up a few citizens in Borivli and Thane markets. They were ordinary people who were desperately trying to buy vegetables and fruits.
On the other hand, I saw farmers on news channels complaining about the wastage of their crops. So, on one hand, there was a demand and on the other hand, the supply – a bridge was missing.
That’s how the idea of Ghuge Farms was born!
I have a farm in Nashik and a network with farmers in the area. I spoke to them and they shared their problems. I offered to work as a conduit provided they help me with quality products, hygienically packed and directly delivered to me.
The farmers said: “We will do whatever it takes as everything is getting wasted here.”
With the help of my cousin at the farmhouse, we set up a small manual assembly line for sorting and packing the products which were to be transported.
I spoke to the Mumbai Police Commissioner, Praveen Pardeshi ji, shared my idea and requested for assistance. We completed the due diligence formalities and got clearance for vehicular transport from Nashik to Mumbai and within the city.
This kickstarted the deliveries :).
The lockdown was sudden, how did you manage the logistics in such a short period?
Initially, logistics were an issue. But then, I was determined to make this work. I sat in my car and asked the tempo driver to follow me and ensured the parcel was delivered at the society gates. Over time, we have built partnerships with logistics companies. I am hoping the process smoothens over time and we open deliveries to more locations in our city.
Initially, I did deliveries for my area but once the WhatsApp message went viral, I got almost 600 calls from eager citizens. The initial model of a Google Form just wasn’t enough.
With the help of my tech team, we built a platform within 48 hours to serve as many people as we could.
Which areas are you catering to at present?
At present we are serving fresh fruits and vegetables in Mira – Bhayander – Dahisar – Borivali – Kandivali – Malad – Goregaon & Dombivali Palava City. We plan to open complete suburbs up till Andheri & also would start with Thane.
Who are the people behind this concept?
Well, the idea was mine. However, it would have remained a mere idea had it not been for the support of my parents, my sister, my brother, my cousins, my tech team and my friends who all volunteered to help.
My grandfather was from an agricultural background and now, when I think of it, I realise that deep down, I always wanted to do something for the betterment of a sector that contributes to 15% of our country’s GDP. It is a sector that is always facing problems and needs intervention at higher and grassroot levels.
Through this concept, I am glad that I could be of service to our farmers and save their crops from going waste.
Is this a funded company?
Haha not at all, it’s a company started in a day completely self-reliant. But open for options to serve the maximum.
How can people obtain goods from you?
- All the have to go is visit our website: https://ghuge.farm/
- Click on Order now
- Select their supply packet
- Pay online through a safe gateway
- Receive fresh vegetables & fruits supply direct from Farmers in 2days
How do you ensure quality and contactless delivery?
- At first, while packing the products we are making sure people are well sanitized and even the products are well sanitized
- Add on since Nashik is a non-infected city it’s much better to consume food from there
- Plus we’re washing the vehicles and sanitizing them before they get out to deliver
- And since the packets are pre-packed no one can open the box until it arrives at the society gates
- Also, we ask consumers to once more take precautionary measures – we speak to them over the phone and request them to tell us where to leave the goods at the gate
What’s next? Post-COVID 19…what’s your plan?
Not having any plans as of yet. Just want to serve for this period maximum. Post that will see how things turn around once we’re out of this danger.
Steps To Order Vegetable/Fruits Supply from https://ghuge.farm/
- Go to order now
- Check if your location is available for delivery
- Add your items into the Cart
- Confirm your cart items
- Verify your phone number by OTP
- Fill your exact address
- Choose your locality
- Choose delivery option
- Pay online via razor pay.
- You’ll receive an SMS from Billeasy with a link for your bill
- Click on the link and view your bill also track your order from the link
- You will also get a confirmation of payment on mail
- We’ll deliver by coming Tuesday – Thursday – Saturday. (Whichever earlier)
- Provide an OTP to the delivery guy who shall drop the parcel at your society gates by keeping a 6 m distance
Note from DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter:
During times like this, when we see some youth blaming the government and others resigning to fate, still others defying orders and causing a ruckus, stories like Siddhesh’s come like a fresh ray of hope. Here is an ambitious young boy, whose heart beats for the citizens, the farmers and the country. He is no self-sacrificing saint, nor is he a ruthless business-minded creep – he is a balanced youngster who clearly believes in a win-win situation for all.
DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter salutes young Siddhesh, his parents, family and entire force behind Ghuge Farms.
People like them lend hope to this world.
The country is PROUD of such wonderful citizens.
Disclaimer: This is a non-sponsored post based purely on the personal experience by Mayura Amarkant. This is NOT a paid endorsement – DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter sincerely believes that Ghuge Farms deserves praise. However, citizens are requested to make their own independent decisions and not blame DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter for any lapses from Ghuge Farms, owners or subsidiaries therein.