Startup Adds Taste To Your Food, Gives Food To Villagers In The Himalayas
We get to hear about stories of people chasing their passion to set-up unique start-ups and accomplish success, but the story of Harshit Sehdev of Himshakti is about someone having an intention and their passion chasing them. Don’t believe it?! This is a must-read for you!
Harshit Sehdev grew up in the calmest cities like Rishikesh and Dehradun. After completing his Masters In Counselling Psychology, he worked with Indus Quality foundation, New Delhi, and joined Ramakrishna Ashram later as a ‘Value Educator’. His work with the Ramakrishna Ashram made him travel throughout the nation and have a better understanding of Indian society. He also got to work in the Himalayan villages in Uttarakhand.
Harshit’s first serious exposure to social-service happened after the ‘Kedarnath Tragedy’ in the year 2013 when an ITBP personnel told him that the village of Didsari in Uttarakhand is one of the worst-hit. He visited the village and started posting about the problem on social media. One of the worst after-effects of the tragedy in the village was lost infrastructure, and the problem was highlighted by Harshit when a young girl was to be carried on the shoulders for five kilometers just to avail the bare minimum first-aid. Help started pouring in after Harshit’s social media posts got wide attention. After completing his stint as a social worker, he got back to the corporate world. But his passion was going to chase him.
In the year 2018, A French national girl read about Harshit and expressed the desire to meet him and visit the villages he served post ‘Kedarnath Tragedy’. She came to India after Harshit’s approval and both visited to see the condition of the villages in the region. The French friend was shocked to see the miseries of the people in the region despite its natural beauty and resources. With a lack of education and opportunities, a mass exodus was turned many villages in ‘Ghost-Villages’. The duo decided to start an NGO to help the people in this region but dropped the idea after initial research. They felt that instead of extending a temporary help, they should launch a start-up that can create permanent employment opportunities for the villagers.
Harshit and his French friend decided to start a company selling products from this region. Their start-up ‘Himshakti’ was launched soon, and its first product was the ‘Flavored Gourmet Salt’ – a salt made from an original Uttarakhand recipe to add taste to everyday foods. Interestingly, they started with a tiny capital of Rs 10000 to ensure that the start-up has sustainability.
The salt is made up of several other herbs found in the Himalayan hills and is a traditional recipe in the region. They decided to start with this product considering the zero competition, high international demand, and easy job creation in the region without much training.
” The herbs found in the Himalayas are high in medicinal properties and help cure many disorders. We started with the ‘Flavored Gourmet Salt’ as our first product considering the benefits it brings to the consumers and the villagers producing it” – Harshit
Today, Harshit’s start-up ‘Himshakti’ is slowly and steadily making its impact. The startup got selected by IIM Kashipur for initial support, and recently, famous Indian chef Harpal Singh Sokhi has joined the team to promote the product. Harshit’s startup is one of those upcoming social startups that change our perspective towards working for society and help infuse the thought of ‘social entrepreneurship’ amongst youngsters. Moreover, his story is the rarest one where someone’s passion chases them.