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Wegan Foods Raises Fund From Royal Family

I am an entrepreneur | Updated: 28 June, 2017

Yet another food major grabs funding

Wegan Foods, a Mumbai-based food startup has raised an undisclosed sum in funding from Her Highness Sheikha Arwa Al Qassimi, a member of the royal family of Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah. Wegan Foods is soon to launch a range of healthy, dairy-free, pantry staples for the growing vegan community in India.

Wegan Foods was founded by Kinjal Darukhanawala in 2017 with a single-minded objective of serving to an ever-growing community of vegans and people looking out for dairy free options in India. The company aims at creating a range of products that are delicious and dairy free. Today, several local restaurants in Mumbai and in other metros have launched special vegan menus to cater to vegans, lactose intolerant folks and flexitarians who opt for healthier food choices from time to time.

Speaking to I Am An Entrepreneur about the fund raising in June, Darukhanawala said, “When her highness found out about our venture, she was keen on getting involved as we shared the idea of creating a women centric organisation. Armed with the funds we will now set up a commercial kitchen in Mumbai where we can come up with other vegan food options. In addition, the company also aims to set up a strong B2B network with restaurants, hotels, catering companies, coffee shop chains and airlines.”

A health and fitness enthusiast, Darukhanawala has been vegan for a year now. She is a director in a digital marketing company called Spott One Consulting Pvt Ltd. She is also deeply passionate about cooking, yoga and nutrition.

The entrepreneur is also looking forward to women empowerment through her initiative. “Investors were attracted with the fact that we are planning to have a 90 per cent women workforce and the cause of women empowerment is close to their heart.  This project will help women with disadvantaged backgrounds and will provide secure and satisfying jobs,” asserted Darukhanawala.

This was confirmed by Her Highness Sheikha Arwa Al Qassimi who has invested in Wegan Foods in her personal capacity. “This food startup helps people with disadvantaged backgrounds and people looking for healthy alternatives to eat. I was impressed with the fact that Kinjal plans to have a 90 per cent women workforce by hiring from organisations that groom and empower women from disadvantaged backgrounds. This is the biggest motivation for me. The initiative is very inspiring and destitute women will be provided with well-paying and secure jobs,” she maintained.

The Mumbai based startup aims to be an ethical and transparent brand, which will source the highest quality ingredients. “Each product will be crafted in what we call ‘happy kitchens’ and not in labs or factories. Being a passionate vegan and health enthusiast myself, I realised that there are very few local vegan pantry staples available in India. Our products will address a growing market of vegans and people who may want to choose a healthier dietary lifestyle,” enthused Darukhanawala who believes in the healing power of food.

The first product of Wegan Foods, Dairy Free Cheese, is all set to launch in October 2017. A perfect ingredient for pastas, pizzas, nachos, grilled cheese sandwiches and burgers, the dairy free cheese is non-cheesy and gooey while being full of goodness and superior nutrition. “The Vegan Cheese is soy-free, gluten-free and suitable for Jains.  Vegans or lactose intolerant people have to no longer worry about missing out on their favourite classics. All cheesy favourites can now be guilt-free,” informed the founder.

“The first product development took close to six months. The idea is not just being vegan, but also carrying a line of products that are delicious and nutritious for all age groups. A lot of people have preconceived notions about vegan food; they think it is boring, tasteless and far from original taste and flavour. Our brand plans to banish these notions,” she reiterated.

Do you think these types of businesses would reserve a special place in the startup domain? We would love to hear from you.

Source: I am an entrepreneur

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