How a Delhi based Woman Entrepreneur helps Women farmers of Meghalaya with her Social start-up Aranyam Naturals

Meenakshi-Bhardwaj-Aranyam Naturals

Meenakshi Bhardwaj is the co-founder of Aranyam Naturals and one of the few women entrepreneurs in the organic industry.

She is a former management consultant with an MBA but she quit her corporate life to dedicate her time to Aranyam Naturals, and supporting the tribal women farmers of Meghalaya.

Aranyam Naturals is a Delhi-based social startup that sells organic Lakadong turmeric and honey sourced sustainably from the villages of Meghalaya.

Aranyam Naturals is committed to supporting the tribal farmers, mostly women, to live a sustained life without giving up their traditional methods.

Aranyam Naturals has empowered the community, positively impacted their lives, and brought its products to the world.

Meenakshi Bhardwaj’s vision and determination have played a crucial role in making this possible, and her commitment to the cause has been unwavering despite the challenges faced.

Aranyam Naturals, a social startup based in Delhi has been dedicated to assisting North-Eastern tribal farmers since its establishment.

The journey began in 2015 when Meenakshi attended a CSR conference and received honey and turmeric from a social worker who sought help for her village.

This single request led to the birth of Aranyam Naturals, which has since become a beacon of hope for farmers in the region.

The startup directly collaborates with women farmers, offering them a platform to showcase their products and ensuring fair prices for their produce.

Aranyam Naturals has had a profound impact on the lives of marginalized tribal farmers in Meghalaya. These farmers, hailing from Mookyndang, Shanpung, and Laskein villages, have long practiced traditional farming methods but faced challenges in accessing markets and earning sustainable incomes.

Aranyam Naturals stepped in to provide a reliable source of income, enabling them to maintain their traditional way of life.

“We always want to ensure that we source sustainably and we provide a livelihood to those that we are sourcing from,” says Meenakshi Bhardwaj, Founder and CEO of Aranyam Naturals.

Her visit to Shillong in 2015, which seemed ordinary at first, took an unexpected turn when she met the social worker.

Meenakshi Bhardwaj recognized the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on rural and marginalized communities and made it her mission to ensure the farmers’ livelihoods were protected.

What service(s) or product(s) do you offer at Aranyam Naturals?

Meenakshi Bhardwaj: Organic Products from the villages of Meghalaya such as Lakadong Turmeric (Curcumin percentage: 7-10%), Forrest Honey from Mawsynrm, Ginger Candies, Turmeric and Coconut Pet Blends, etc.

What is your mission and vision at the outset?

Meenakshi Bhardwaj: Vision: “We always want to ensure that we source sustainably and we provide a livelihood to those that we are sourcing from.” Mission: Exploring and learning all that nature and healthy living have to offer.

What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?

Meenakshi Bhardwaj: Everything related to the startup was a learning process and had a steep learning curve. Each step of starting the business was a challenge and required a lot of time and effort but slowly we managed to get better.

What was the inspiration behind turning an entrepreneur or Startup

Meenakshi Bhardwaj: It was a chance encounter with a social worker during a CSR summit and a promise I made to her to help the women of the villages she looks after that inspired me to start Aranyam Naturals.

Your success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneurs and startups

Meenakshi Bhardwaj: Success cannot be achieved overnight, it requires patience, dedication, discipline, and an iron will to never give up.

There is no right definition for a successful business, all you have to do is provide great quality and you will find the right audience to cater to.

And that small community that believes in you and your business, will be your definition of a successful business.

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