Anushi Desai is taking on the big guns of the food and drink industry with the launch of Plant Pops, a range of sustainably harvested snacks made from little-known grains and seeds around the world. Plant Pops are winning awards and taking the shelves by storm, but where did the inspiration behind the business come from?
“I was born in India, and popped lotus seeds are a common snack there,” explains Anushi. When she later moved to London, she started making them in her kitchen at home and taking them in to work. “My colleagues loved them,” she says. “I quit my job in January and we launched in March .”Start for free now
🍴From desk job to dream job
Anushi and her co-founder came from corporate backgrounds, so taking the leap into the world of food and drink entrepreneurship was a bold one.
“I used to work as a management consultant for banks, so completely different to food and drink. But we used to snack a lot in our old jobs and quite often it was a lot of really unhealthy things, and we got bored of having the same thing again and again.”
In fact, for Anushi, a break from routine was part of the appeal of a career shift.
“In the corporate world, your day is very structured. I knew exactly what I was doing and what meetings I was having. Whereas owning my own startup is completely different. Every day is just so random. Last week we were visiting our production site. Tomorrow, we're doing a sampling. Late this week we're doing a trade show. So it's completely different. But I absolutely love it.”
Anushi might have found early success with Plant Pops, but it hasn’t been without its challenges. Coming from a financial background, Anushi anticipated some of the hurdles she faced, but nothing prepared her for how difficult even simple tasks would be.
🏎️The financial fast lane
“Trying to open a bank account was really, really difficult. We knew the checks that needed to be put in place, but it was very difficult to get across our business idea and our plan to our relationship manager, which in turn made it difficult to open an account. There was a huge barrier in the way and all we wanted to do was just start getting payment in and out. Checks and balances were just slowing us down and stifling our desire to open a business and grow.”
Fortunately for Anushi, she crossed paths with Revolut at just the right time.
“It was great for us to be able to open an account with Revolut. The whole process is really easy. We filled out the forms online. Then we had a quick phone call with an adviser and that was that.”
The main takeaway was a tangible one. Less time spent on admin and logistical tasks means more time sent on getting the product in front of consumers, which in turn led to supercharged growth. But what advice does Anushi have to those following in her footsteps?
“If I could tell my younger self something, it would be if you really want something, just go out and do it. It was actually really scary leaving my job to create a popped lotus seed snack that no one had heard of. But I'm so pleased to have done it. And it's so exciting to have you see your product in a store. There's no better feeling.”Start for free now