Opening markets and empowering farmers - The Zizira Story

Can you imagine a company existing for the sole purpose of proving the underutilized potential of farmers?

A company realizing the potential of the land and its natural bounties. A company working towards providing a stable market for farmers to sell their produce.

Paying the farmers fairly and educating them on the importance of sustainable farming practices, a company which does more than just providing quality products to its customers.

Can you imagine Zizira not existing to do this?

Conceptualized and turned into a reality by the company’s CEO Ralph Budelman, Zizira was established to bring a change, or rather to be the change.

Before delving into why Zizira came into existence, I think we need to be aware of the reality that brought about the need for us to exist

The Ground Reality

Most farmers in Meghalaya were not being pushed to realize their full potential. In fact, they had no incentives to produce more than what was required for subsistence. This was mainly due to the fact that there was no stable market that would cater to their needs.

Owing to the fact that almost 80% of Meghalaya’s population, this was and still is a huge setback to the state’s economy.

Poverty, lack of financial aids and education accelerated the farmers’ plight. They were also subjected to unfair trade as a result of middlemen

There needed to be a lasting solution to this problem. There needed to be someone who would take the initiative.

Then there was Ralph Budelman.

Ralph's Epiphany

Ralph Budelman was an aspiring entrepreneur when he came to Meghalaya and started Chillibreeze— a company pioneering in Overnight PowerPoint Formatting Services for consulting firms and Fortune 500 companies— in 2005. He proved all the naysayers wrong when he established a profitable company in the far corner of the Northeast when everybody doubted his grit and tenacity.

Fast forward to 10 years later, in 2015, Ralph came to a bitter realization that the potential of Meghalaya’s bounty needed to be released; the farmers were growing produce only to have them all go to waste or worse yet, having to sell them at throwaway prices to middlemen.

With this motive in mind, here we are.

There needed to be a lasting solution to this problem. There needed to be someone who would take the initiative.

Zizira is Born!

#MAKINGFARMERSFAMOUS

This is our tagline. This is what we strive to achieve. Our goal

Zizira was born with the sole purpose of providing opportunities and opening markets for the farmers of Meghalaya to sell their produce.

The first step was to connect with hardworking farmers from every corner of Meghalaya and partner with them. Gather information on the traditional knowledge and farming practices and put it out there for the world to see.

We also believe in cultivating a strong relationship with our farmers. In order to do this, one thing was made clear from the get-go: pay the farmers the sum they deserve for their produce. By doing so we eliminate the middlemen, and thus the farmers win!

The next step was to take these unique and amazing ingredients, process them in-house, following the most ethical and safest practices and guidelines. This ensures purity straight from the farm and directly to the consumer. In doing so, the customers win!

As for the company, as for the team, we know we’ve won it when there’s a smile in the face of each farmer who visits us at the office.

When they reminisce about their hardships they faced before meeting Zizira, and how their efforts to grow are appreciated now.

When the said farmers would go out of their way and contact us themselves because they want to work with us, because they feel empowered.

That’s when Zizira wins.

The Journey Continues

6 years on and we’re still working towards our Mission. 6 years on and we’re still helping farmers sell their produce. 6 years on and we’re still providing our customers the best products and services.

6 years on and we’re proving the potential of Meghalaya and the rest of Northeast India.

Why? Because we can. Because we care.