Sometimes, we find our own direction in life. And sometimes, life pushes us in the right direction. In Monica Kushte’s case, it was the latter that happened. Despite hailing from the Khamkar family, which enjoys an 80-year-long legacy in the business of spices and masala, Monica was content to pursue her corporate career.
And then, life decided to intervene. Post-marriage, when she shifted to her marital home in Bhandup in 2013, Monica realised that a basic necessity – pure roti ka atta – was also the most difficult to find. A visit to the local chakkis was horrifying; she recalls seeing cockroaches crawling all over one chakki, while at another, a staff member was sneezing carelessly in front of flour packets.
Always a doer and perfectionist, Monica then decided to take the matter into her own hands. It was this simple, natural desire to feed her family SVAchch and SVAdishtha khana, so that their SVAsthya is uncompromised that marked the beginning of a beautiful journey – SVA Health.
After a year of relentless research – on procuring the best quality of wheat and making it affordable for the common man to ensuring that it’s 100% shuddh and natural – Monica left no stone unturned to make SVA one of its kind. And in 2015, her product was launched in the market.
But that was just the beginning. What awaited her were multiple challenges – some foreseen, others not. Monica was determined to employ women in her chakkis. She says she hadn’t heard about ‘women empowerment’ back then, but she wanted to make a difference in as many women’s lives as possible.
The first step was making all the heavy machinery comfortable for women. So, she got them custom-made in smaller sizes. The next was finding a market for her product.
Monica recalls there were many moments along the way when she almost gave up – one of her lowest points was when her husband met with an accident at the chakki – his hand was caught in a machine. She decided to call it quits, but with unwavering support from her husband and other family members, she replaced the existing machinery with safer options and marched ahead.
Purity needs no advertisement, it makes its presence felt on its own. After starting with 20 kg atta per day, her chakki now produces a whopping 2 tonnes of flour daily for over 2 lakh customers across Mumbai. Monica says her business has grown tremendously, but her promise remains the same – ek dum shuddh, affordable atta, and cold-pressed oils. Be it using sandstone instead of the usual chemical grinding stone in her chakki or using a wooden grinder to extract cold-pressed oils, there is no compromising on quality at SVA.
Now, as she is all set to take the brand ahead with a variety of atta – which are a natural source of multiple vitamins and minerals – and cold-pressed oils, Monica says that your dreams can be fulfilled. Only, the intent has to be pure and unadulterated: like SVA!