Research Foundation News

September 7, 2016

Purdue graduate's startup brings Indian agricultural product to America

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.  – A Purdue University graduate is seeking to bring the agricultural benefits of the Neem tree (or Nimtree), a staple of life in India for thousands of years, to America through his startup NimTree Organics.

Harsh Joshi, who completed a master's degree in agricultural economics from Purdue's College of Agriculture, founded NimTree Organics in March. His startup markets and sells Neem tree based organic fertilizer and pesticides, which are produced in India by the parent company, Neem India Products Private Ltd., his family's business.

"The Neem tree has been a part of Indian culture for thousands of years," Joshi said. "It's known there as the tree which has a use for every part. Twigs are chewed as effective toothbrushes, its oil is used in agriculture and has other uses, leaves are used to treat skin disorders, and bark and roots have medicinal properties."

While the tree is well recognized and common in India and nearby countries, it's almost unknown in the United States, Joshi said.

Joshi is marketing two types of Neem-based pesticides and one fertilizer.

"Neem-based products are prized by growers worldwide who want to use organic products," he said.

The foundation for NimTree Organics came from Joshi's studies at Purdue.

"The thesis of my master's was the business plan for this business," he said.

Joshi said that he did all the market research and incorporated the business before seeking help from the Purdue Foundry, which provides assistance to Purdue-based entrepreneurs.

"I was able to get connected to an entrepreneur-in-residence on my first day," he said. "They really helped me focus and narrow the scope of my business. Right now I'm looking for investors."

Joshi plans to target organic farmers, fruit and vegetable growers as customers and has already contacted potential clients.

"There are Neem-based products distributed by other companies in the United States," he said. "But very few have their own production facilities, so the connection of NimTree Organics to the production facility of the parent company in India helps to set me apart."

The parent company has received certification from the Institute for Marketecology as well as ECOCERT, both European-based ecological certification institutes, Joshi said. He's also working on certification from the U.S.-based Organic Materials Review Institute for the products he plans to sell.

Joshi expects his first shipment from India to arrive in October. His goal is to sell 27 tons of fertilizer by the end of the year.

For more information about NimTree Organics, visit www.nimtreeorganics.com

About NimTree Organics

NimTree Organics markets and sells various types of pesticides and fertilizers produced from the Neem Tree common to India and surrounding areas. Products are shipped to the United States from the company's parent firm, Neem India Products Private Ltd. The company sells to fruit, vegetable, legal marijuana and organic farmers.

About Purdue Foundry

The Purdue Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship whose professionals help Purdue innovators create startups. Managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, the Purdue Foundry received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year from the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org

Writer: Curt Slyder, 765-588-3342, caslyder@prf.org

Source: Harsh Joshi, 765-586-2046, info@nimtreeorganics.com


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