Shopian: Adnan Ali Khan, a PhD scholar, has started an online ‘retail’ business of selling Kashmiri apples, delivering them to the doorstep in small packs of one to six apples.
A native of Pinjora village, the 29-year-old is probably the first Kashmiri to sell apples in retail packs on the internet. Kashmiri apples are generally sold in large boxes in local markets and their rates are decided by traders, not by farmers.
Khan said that the idea of starting an online business emerged when he was pursuing engineering in Pune.
“It used to trouble me that the rates of our produce were being decided by the trader, instead of the grower,” Khan said while talking to Kashmir Reader.
He launched his online store this year despite the Covid-19 lockdown. The risk paid off handsomely.
“I have sold about five-thousand apple packs online, with an overall turnover of around Rs 6 lakh,” he said.
“I sell packs of one to six apples to customers instead of 15-kilogram boxes,” he said.
Kashmiri apples are mostly packed in 15-18 kilogram boxes, though with the introduction of cold storages, small packs and trays have been introduced in the market.
Khan, who is pursuing PhD from Lovely Professional University in Punjab, received an award from LG Manoj Sinha recently for the innovative idea. His product was officially launched by the Principal Secretary, Horticulture Department, Navin Kumar Choudhary, he said.
“I want to take this business to the international level, but due to Covid-19 and lack of infrastructure, I have postponed the plan. Once I have the infrastructure in place, I will surely go global,” he said, adding that he ensures only good-quality fruit is sold through his online platform.