The following article appeared on TheDollarBusiness.com in March 2016:
Chayaa’s single-minded efforts have established her honey brand – Nectar Fresh – in a highly quality-conscious premium segment. While serving high-end hotels and resorts, she (her brand) has created employment and better earning opportunities for tribals and marginal farmers. In fact, she has come a long way since the launch of the brand in 2007, and now she receives orders from importers from different parts of the world who want to buy honey from her company. She is also hopeful that Nectar Fresh products will soon be decked up at Walmart stores.
The honey market is a crowded space with big brands at play, so what made a small Khadi & Village Industries Board-backed rural enterprise from Mandya (in Karnataka) to earn a name for itself in both domestic and international markets? According to her, it is their obsession for quality that has made the brand stand out. The global exports of natural honey is about $2.3 billion (CY2014), of which India’s share is just $77 million, which is a minuscule 3.5%. Nanjappa saw the potential for growth. When she started in 2007, total honey production by her company was just 20 tonne per month. That has now increased to 200 tonne per month. And the company has plans to further increase the production to 400 tonne per month in the near months.
Earlier, she would export through agents, but presently, the company has started exporting under its own brand name. That most of her new orders are accounted for by referrals from existing, happy clients is a sign of her company’s product quality.
In the domestic market too the company has positioned itself strategically at few select outlets like Himalaya Drugs and Kerala Ayurveda, and serves brands like Kitchens of India, etc., to stay away from the clutter.
Though the company has expanded its product portfolio with jams, sauces, and coffee, honey still remains the mainstay. Her efforts in the field of rural empowerment and giving tribals and marginal farmers opportunities to sell their produce in the global market has earned her many state and national-level accolades, including the Priyadarshini Award by Federation of Indian Women Entrepreneurs (FIWE). She proudly says that Nectar Fresh has become the first brand in India to use women-owned logo of WEConnect International, a US-based women entrepreneurs’ body which supports brands that stand for quality. Chayaa is a social capitalist who deserves much praise.