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HimFla: From Pahadi Salt to Global Flavors

  • June 4, 2024
  • 6 min read
HimFla: From Pahadi Salt to Global Flavors

HimFla: – “A journey of startup selling Pahadi Salt”

HimFla: Inspiring Journey of 3 young friends 

HimFla is an inspiring venture started by three young friends—Sandeep Pandey, Sourabh Pant, and Yogendra Singh. Their love for traditional ‘pahadi’ salt led them to create an international company. Today, HimFla has a turnover of one crore rupees, generating 5 crores in revenue, and empowering rural women in Uttarakhand.

Sandeep, Sourabh, and Yogendra are close friends from Uttarakhand who shared a love for local flavors despite their different academic backgrounds. This common passion became the foundation of their business.

We were just three college friends with big dreams,” Sandeep recalls. “Who would have thought that our love for home flavors would change our lives and those of many others?”

Inception behind the Start up 

The taste of salt which makes the food tastier!

Sandeep had a dream of opening a restaurant in Uttarakhand, but the 2013 floods changed his plans may be the God’s plan was something else for Sandeep. Three months after the floods, while passing through a field, he saw women labourers eating chapati with some onions and loon (salt). During this time, he discovered the unique taste of pahadi salt and the struggles of rural women preserving this tradition.

“The salt was delicious, but it was the women’s struggle that really moved me,” Sandeep expresses. Inspired, he and his friends decided to start HimFla to promote pahadi salt and help these communities.

HimFla From Pahadi Salt to Global Flavors A journey of startup selling Pahadi Salt

The Foundation and Early Struggles

Preserving Heritage through Pahadi Salt!

“We wanted to come up with something that would pay homage to us and at the same time, help inspire the people who have preserved these cultures,” Yogendra recalls, his passion oozing through his words. “It was not merely the salt that was being traded; it was the tradition.”

With only Rs 160, the friends bought a grinding stone, fresh coriander, and green chilies to start their journey. Despite starting from scratch and facing family and societal pressures, they believed in their mission.

“Whenever we felt like giving up, we thought of the women who inspired us,” Sourabh adds. Their determination paid off as their products received praise at local fairs, opening up new markets.

Growth and Achievements:

Key Milestones

HimFla’s growth has been characterized by many achievements, which encompasses this company’s success story of the founders and the quality of HimFla products. Starting from receiving huge appreciation at local fairs to achieving above Rs 1. 5 crore revenue per annum, the growth of the startup is phenomenal.

Yogendra can only look amazed: “It has been such a roller-coaster ride, “referring  to his and their rapid ascent. “But now and through it all we have never forgotten our mission and that is to act as stewards to our rich heritage and be benevolent forces in our society.”

HimFla’s product development was driven by a passion for authentic regional cuisine. They sourced salt from over 1000 small farmers in Uttarakhand and developed 52 different kinds of salt, each reflecting local flavours.

“We wanted our products to embody the Himalayas,” Sandeep adds. They introduced their products at local fairs and events, gaining popularity and attracting a wider customer base.

Women Empowerment in Rural Areas

HimFla From Pahadi Salt to Global Flavors A journey of startup selling Pahadi Salt

Enabling women to become self-sufficient

The start-up has helped in empowering women in rural areas. One of the workers named “Deepa Devi” expresses that before she started working with HimFla, she was dependent upon farming and labour jobs with no fixed amount of income and it was quite difficult for her to manage the household expenses. And now she is capable of earning pretty good amount for her family including a pakka house for her. 

Through collaborations with local organizations and government initiatives, HimFla seeks to establish training programs that equip community members with valuable skills, enabling them to become self-sufficient and contribute to the preservation of their cultural heritage.

HimFla’s long-term vision:

HimFla – A hope for entrepreneurs worldwide

HimFla’s long-term vision is ambitious yet deeply rooted in its commitment to preserving cultural heritage and promoting sustainable development. They envision establishing a global presence, introducing the unique flavors of Uttarakhand to diverse palates around the world while remaining steadfast in their commitment to ethical sourcing and fair-trade practices.

Driven by a desire to create a lasting legacy, HimFla aspires to become a hope for entrepreneurs worldwide, demonstrating that success can be achieved while maintaining a deep respect for cultural roots and a commitment to social and environmental sustainability.

From humble beginnings with just Rs 160, Sandeep Pandey, Sourabh Pant, and Yogendra Singh have not only built a successful global business but have also become agents of change, revitalizing traditions and empowering communities, one grain of salt at a time.

An Innovative Approach!

HimFla From Pahadi Salt to Global Flavors A journey of startup selling Pahadi Salt Pisyun loon is a pahadi salt prepared by hand grounding spices and herbs on a silbatta (traditional grinding ston

Rooted in Tradition – Honouring Heritage with HimFla.

Through their innovative approach, they have transformed the lives of countless individuals, from the hill women who inspired their journey to the rural communities they have uplifted along the way. Their tale serves as a reminder that true success lies not only in financial gain but also in the ability to create a positive impact on the world around us.

As HimFla continues to make strides in the culinary world, its journey offers valuable insights and inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs, reminding us that even the most daunting challenges can be overcome when fuelled by passion, determination, and deep respect for one’s heritage.

Follow their progress and be part of the movement that celebrates the rich flavours of the Himalayas while uplifting and empowering the communities that have preserved them for generations. For in their story lies a powerful message: that by embracing our roots and honouring our traditions, we can pave the way for a more sustainable, equitable, and flavourful future for all.

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