"Humko duniya bhar ko sattu pilana hai”,(We have to make the whole world drink sattu) said Sachin Kumar, founder of SATTUZ, who hails from Madhubani in Bihar. He left his comfortable job in Mumbai to become an entrepreneur with the intent to popularise this nutritional superfood from his native place and provide jobs to unemployed youth of his State.
We all know about sattu, especially those belonging to Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bengal. We eat this protein-rich flour made from chana (gram) in multiple ways, from using it in Bihar's famous dish litti-choka, which even Prime Minister Narendra Modi ate and enjoyed at Hunar Haat in 2020 to making sattu ke parathe to drinking it as refreshment. We have seen farmers eating this cheap and healthy superfood in fields and also seen people drinking it at various stalls on the roadside during scorching summer. We have also seen commuters eating sattu ka paratha in trains. Sattu is foundaly carried by Biharis, UP-wallas and Chhattisgarhi outside their States also. But getting an idea of a start-up based on sattu sounds unique.
A graduate of the Delhi University and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Planning and Management, New Delhi, Sachin Kumar thought he should do something unusual on his own to give a push to healthy eating and drinking. Once, he went to Nepal with his brother carrying sattu and realised that the other people also carried the same. He soon realised that a market already exists. The only problem Sachin realised was that it had no proper packaging. From there on, the idea popped of bringing sattu in sashes and selling it as a ready to drink product.
With the motive to spread healthy and cheapest source of nutrition for many people from villages to cities to international destinations, Sachin Kumar started this unique start-up, SATTUZ, in 2018 under the company Gorural Foods & Beverages.
Revealing the idea behind SATTUZ, Sachin said, “The idea came while travelling and realising that there was enormous potential for non-carbonated and zero-caffeine drinks prepared from sattu. The motivation to start work in rural India and our own State of Bihar was since the college days when our parents and well-wishers used to say “bahar jao, kamao aur wahin bus jao”. We always felt something was to be done so that this mentality would change, and hence we started our journey.”
Pointing out that the Indian culture, particularly the Bihari culture, is known for healthy meals and beverages, Sachin said, “However, we have lost touch with the introduction of carbonated and caffeinated drinks in our lifestyle. In fact, people are being served unhealthy things in the name of instant energy drinks”, Sachin said.
Sattu, a staple of the locals in Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bengal, is now a global superfood that foodies have started consuming this traditional superfood. “Sattu is available in almost all the families of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh but the only problem was getting the proportion of ingredients right for the perfect taste. Completing a traditional food marketing workshop in 2015, I decided to experiment with it as a product. It was after many trials that a final mix was prepared. After which we decided to take it to the market,” Sachin said.
Speaking to Organiser, the founder of SATTUZ mentioned that another common problem was that modern-day children find sattu boring compared to other packed products available in the market. “So, we decided to bring it to the market with attractive packaging and different tastes: Jal jeera, chocolate and sweet so that they can easily have it.”
“While Bharat has so many natural and healthy products, we failed to do what Cola did globally. My dream is to take rural foods and beverages to global level”
“You just need water to mix it up. The ready-mix is gluten-free, vegan, hygienic, and completely preservative-free,” he added.
For a long time, sattu was made and consumed by the people of the villages to stay healthy and fit. But now, this superfood sattu is gaining its popularity in urban cities of India and around the world.
Talking about challenges he is encountering, Sachin said, “Other than Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bengal, people at other places are unaware of sattu. Many Indian cities have a high-income population but are unaware of sattu. So the basic thing was to work on the presentation, marketing and branding so that people easily get attracted to it. We started working on the presentation part and now you can see the result. Visualising this market gap, our target was to reach out to all over India and then on a global level as a brand. Our motive was to make the quality of ‘Made in Bihar’ as the benchmark.”
“Bringing out SATTUZ was to build a brand for our favourite food supplement. We maintain a high quality and hygienic package to keep the trust of customers".
Today SATTUZ is available on many online shopping sites like Amazon, Big Basket and brand own website sattuz.in. The product is available in Singapore, Dubai and is launching in other countries too. Sachin is also working on bringing more traditional foods in a presentable manner and letting the world taste the flavours of Bihar.
“Coca-Cola is existing since more than one hundred years, serving carbonated soft drink to the world. While Bharat has so many natural and healthy products, we failed to do what Cola did globally. If I succeed in making more and more people eat and drink sattu it will be some achievement. My dream is to take rural foods and beverages to global level and create entrepreneurship at grassroots level”, Sachin said.