Priyanka Save, Founder & Director, Hill Zill Wines Pvt Ltd
Priyanka Save is a women entrepreneur, Founder & Director of, Hill Zill Wines Pvt Ltd. Let’s learn more about her inspirational journey and her advice for our growing community! This is the interview of Priyanka Save, Successful Women entrepreneur and Founder & Director, Hill Zill Wines Pvt Ltd.
At Sugermint Media, our aim is to bring to our entrepreneurs community some of the inspiring and motivational stories from the entrepreneurial ecosystem. As part of this endeavour, we invited yet another passionate entrepreneur Priyanka Save for an exclusive interview with us.
Tell us a little about yourself
Priyanka Save: I am Priyanka Save, Founder / Director, Hill Zill Wines Pvt Ltd. I am an engineer and had a well-paying career in the US before I embarked on an entrepreneurial journey and returned to India. I was born and brought up in Bordi, a coastal town in India, where my father had a resort and some farms. After returning to India, I visited the farms almost daily and learned much about local farmers’ farming practices and challenges.
I realized that despite producing many fruits, the farmers struggled to get the correct value for their produce, and a large portion of the fruits produced used to go to waste. I decided to do something to help turn things around for these farmers, and that was how I embarked on the entrepreneurial journey.
Please tell us a little about your entrepreneurial journey.
Priyanka Save: Once I decided that my entrepreneurial venture had to focus on the farmers’ challenges, I researched. Chikoo is one of the dominant fruit crops in my hometown, and I realized that due to its shorter shelf life, vast volumes of Chikoo were going to waste annually.
No by-products were made from Chikoo, so all the fruit that didn’t get sold was wasted. I experimented in many ways, trying to create juices and fruit products, but the Chikoo used started getting fermented during the process. Thus, I decided to learn more about fermentation and how it could be used to create some products, although making wine was not on my mind then.
However, once I studied the process, I realized that creating wine out of Chikoo was one of the most practical solutions. I did my WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) to learn about wines and was convinced I wanted to produce a Chikoo wine. It began an arduous journey of researching, experimenting, and going through the exhausting bureaucratic maze for licensing and repeated illogical questioning.
I was pregnant during that stage as well, but nothing deterred me, and eventually, Fruzzanté came up. Today, the business is rapidly expanding, and we have expanded our product portfolio beyond our signature Chikoo wine. The market expansion is going on, and we will soon be present in every part of India.
What service(s) or product(s) do you offer?
Priyanka Save: We offer our consumers 100% fruit wine with no added preservatives or colors. Our product range includes Fruzzanté Chikoo, Fruzzanté Mango, Fruzzanté Pineapple, Fruzzanté Strawberry, and Fruzzanté Starfruit.
What is unique about your label brand?
Priyanka Save: We are a pioneering brand that created an alcoholic beverage out of Chikoo, a fruit known for its shorter shelf-life. We have made the first product range of its kind in India that offers a gluten-free, vegan, zero-added color or flavoring, 100% fruit with 6% alcoholic content beverage that is freshly delivered from farm to table, making it inclusive for everyone.
What made you choose this type of business?
Priyanka Save: The choice was driven by the tendency of Chikoo to ferment quickly and spoil if not used properly. Hence, I had to create an industry that could benefit from the fermentation of Chikoo, and sparkling alcoholic beverages turned out to be the best option.
What was your mission at the outset?
Priyanka Save: The mission was to create an industry that could support the local farming community in my native coastal Maharashtra in Nashik. Chikoo is a fruit that grows in abundance there, but huge volumes of the fruit also get wasted if it is not sold quickly enough. We focused on using the fruit to create World’s first Chikoo wine.
How many employees are in your organization?
Priyanka Save: 40 employees
What are your company’s goals?
Priyanka Save: Starting from Chikoo wine, we have expanded the Fruzzanté range to five fruit-based products. The goal now is to expand market coverage of our products all over India within the next five years and start exporting them too.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Priyanka Save: There must have been countless times I have come across failures. I do not remember them as I have never feared failures. I have always believed – Fear doesn’t prevent failure; it contains life. Failures are inevitably a part of life, nothing special about them to learn from.
What was the inspiration behind turning into an entrepreneur?
Priyanka Save: I have had a successful career in the US. Still, my heart was set on becoming an entrepreneur primarily because I wanted to do something closer home and benefit the community where I grew up. After returning to India, I had extensive exposure to the challenges the local Chikoo farmers faced and decided to create a venture that helped resolve those problems.
Key things to consider before starting a startup?
Priyanka Save: You need to get started. That’s the key. Once you do what you can dedicate your valuable time to, you start carving the niche for yourself. Key things to consider are understanding the nature of business through rigorous market study, managing your resources, and delegating work to the right people.
Your success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneurs
Priyanka Save: The critical thing is to have faith in your vision and start-up. Irrespective of what you do, you have to commit to your vision. When the commitment is absolute, challenges get resolved as long as the entrepreneurs are willing to sweat it out. It is essential to do thorough research and know what you are into. Once you have that knowledge and commitment, nothing can stop you.