Chandrabhan Prasad, a Dalit entrepreneur and adviser to the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is starting an e-commerce food business under the name Dalit Foods.
Prasad says it is a social experiment to find out whether there are any takers for Dalit food in India and if India has really transformed. “So far, Dalit manufacturers remained nameless while their products were branded and sold by others as their own. Now, we are branding Dalit products, and according them direct market access,” Prasad was quoted in Mint newspaper recently.
He said even though Dalits have started working together with other communities and many entrepreneurs have entered the market, it is time for Dalits to openly declare their identity. “Why do we hide our identity? It is time we integrate with the society in a real sense.”
Prasad chose e-commerce primarily because of money constraints. He began this business with Rs. 5 lakh investment. The business is limited to Delhi at the moment, and expansion will depend on
customer response. The website lists mango pickle, turmeric, flax seeds, coriander and red chilli among the products it sells—staples in any Indian kitchen. It includes special turmeric which is grown in water-deficient Wardha district of Maharashtra.