At a time when everyone is seizing business opportunities in booming sectors like digital, tech, finance, retail and health, a couple in Kerala found their niche in an unexpected field – plants and saplings. Meet Joby George and his wife Sini George, who have now established a flourishing nursery chain with zero experience in horticulture.
A few years ago, Joby and Sini of Paingottoor in Ernakulam were clueless about starting an entrepreneurial journey but now they own a retail chain of nurseries under the brand name “Pepper Leaf” selling plants and saplings of different fruits at Kothamangalam, Paingottoor and Kullappuram.
Though they had no prior experience in horticulture, they had grown up in a family which was into agriculture. “Our parents were into agriculture, mainly cultivation. We ended up starting a nursery for saplings by chance when we decided to fell rubber trees on our property and plant arecanuts. We bought a high-yield variety of arecanuts from Mangaluru and began to grow it. “People started asking for the saplings of the arecanuts from us. As the demand grew, we started bringing in more arecanuts saplings. Now we sell different types of saplings and plants to people. We also provide training to people on proper care of plants,” Joby told “Open Digest“.
The couple focused on curating a diverse selection of plants and saplings to cater to the varied tastes of gardening enthusiasts and novices alike. “Our nurseries are not just a store but an experience. Customer education is a priority for us. We wanted to ensure that people could confidently care for their plants and enjoy the process,” Joby added.
Both Joby and Sini’s willingness to engage with customers offering personalised advice and tips endeared them to their growing clientele. “Anyone can start a nursery if they are ready to put in their best effort. Plants need extra care and we have to dedicate a lot of time caring for them. To make nursery a viable business, we need to work like a labourer taking care of plants,” they added.
Joby and Sini’s journey is an inspiring reminder that entrepreneurship is not limited to traditional industries but in following one’s passion and recognising unique opportunities.