How This Tamil Nadu Native Brought Traditional Oils Back To Indian Kitchens

Sibi Manivannan, a Tamil Nadu native, is on a mission to reintroduce traditional wood cold-pressed oils into Indian kitchens with his brand, Gramiyaa. Inspired by the dosas his mother made using oils prepared by his grandfather, Sibi, along with his college friends Mohamed Yaseen and Naveen Rajamaran, established Gramiyaa in 2017. Their venture now sells 50,000 litres of these minimally processed oils every month, clocking a monthly revenue of ₹1 crore.

What to know: Sibi’s journey began after noticing the quality compromise in oils used for his family business. He recalled his grandfather’s method of making quality oils using stone mills, a practice lost in the wave of refined oils. Determined to revive this tradition, Gramiyaa was born.

The process of making these oils at Gramiyaa is meticulous. Gramiyaa sun-dries seeds with low moisture content from Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, and Kerala instead of roasting them to retain flavour. The team then crushes these seeds using a stone mill with a wooden pestle, ensuring the temperatures don't exceed 50 degrees Celsius. This method preserves the oils’ aroma and health benefits, unlike the trans-fat-producing hydrogenation process used in refined oil production.

See also: How This Mumbai-Raised Woman Revitalized Frooti And Drove Parle Agro To ₹8,500 Cr Valuation

Gramiyaa's cold-pressed oils, including groundnut, sesame, and coconut oil, are known for their thicker consistency, reducing absorption in food. This feature not only enhances the taste but also promotes healthier consumption.

The story so far: Their commitment to quality has garnered a loyal customer base, with 75% of customers being repeat buyers. Prachi Ghugare, a Mumbai-based software engineer, is one such customer who noticed a significant improvement in food taste with Gramiyaa's oils.

With 50% of its revenue coming from exports to countries like the US and Canada, Gramiyaa is making a mark internationally. For Sibi, Gramiyaa is more than a business; it’s a tribute to his grandfather and a commitment to offering healthier alternatives to modern kitchens.

Read next: How This IIM Kolkata Alumnus Helped Farmers Increase Yield By 12 Times And Begin An Agricultural Revolution

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