In a bold move, Prabu Venugopal, Shashidhar, Arun Prakash, and Bhargav left their comfortable international careers to revolutionize ice cream in India. They founded Siri Millet Ice Creams in Trichy, Tamil Nadu, introducing a healthy, vegan alternative made from millet. This initiative is not only about tasty treats but also promoting healthier eating habits through educational programs.


The Journey Begins

Despite their different industries, the four friends shared farming backgrounds. After working around the world, they decided to return to their roots. They left their jobs in 2016 and pooled their expertise in hotel management, food science, marketing, and finance to start a food business using their farmlands.


Embracing Millets

Passionate about sustainable food systems, they focused on millets, traditional supergrains known for their drought resistance and nutritional benefits. This led to the creation of Siri Millets in 2017, offering a variety of value-added millet products like snacks, flakes, vermicelli, and pasta.


The Pandemic Pivot

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted their plans but also spurred innovation. They pivoted to creating millet-based ice cream, leveraging millet's potential as a vegan milk alternative. After eight months of research and development, Siri – House of Vegan Ice Creams launched in 2020.


From Concept to Reality

Prabu's hotel industry experience and Shashidhar's food science background were crucial. They found that millets like jowar, bajra, ragi, and foxtail millet produced excellent results for ice cream. Using different sweeteners and fruits, they developed a range of flavours, such as vanilla, chocolate, mango, jackfruit, jamun, red guava, dates, banana, musk melon, and strawberry.


Launch and Expansion

They opened their first store in Trichy, selling scoops at Rs 30 and one-litre packs at Rs 800. The positive feedback encouraged expansion. By 2023, they established a factory with a 10,000-litre capacity and opened new outlets in Hyderabad and Rajahmundry. More outlets are planned.


Educational Initiatives

The founders are committed to promoting millet-based diets, especially among children. They conduct awareness programs in schools and offer factory tours to educate about nutritious eating habits. This initiative aims to change the perception of millets and make them a staple in modern diets.


Future Prospects

Their venture is self-funded, and they focus heavily on community engagement. By reconnecting with their ancestral agricultural practices, they aim to create a sustainable and healthy food ecosystem. Their efforts are a testament to the potential of traditional grains adapted for contemporary needs.


In Conclusion

Siri Millet Ice Creams is more than a business; it’s a movement to bring back the nutritional treasures of India’s past. Through innovation and education, these four friends are making a significant impact on healthy eating habits and sustainable agriculture.