NSRCEL Start-up: Kombucha Brewers India

Brewing a unique business model

With the aim to build bridges between food and communities through innovation in existing food ecosystems, Honey launched Kombucha Brewers India and says the mentoring provided by NSRCEL at IIMB is helping her achieve business milestones

Kombucha Brewers India is a fermentation-based food startup based in Bangalore. They are on a mission to make gut-friendly and innovative foods and beverages by harnessing the power of microbes. They believe that building bridges between food and communities through innovation in existing food ecosystems can address issues like food-waste, malnutrition, hunger and gut-health – the epicenter of human wellbeing.

Honey, the founder, is a self-taught kombucha brewer and fermentation educator who has four years of experience in the fermentation space. A self-confessed microbes-lover, her expertise lies in kombucha-based product development and education. She is passionate about finding solutions for nutrition-centric issues via fermentation.

This venture is part of the Women Start-up Programme (WSP) at NSRCEL, the start-up hub at IIM Bangalore. “NSRCEL is helping me get the right mentoring for my business needs, networking opportunities with industry leaders. I am part of a cohesive, well-structured program at NSRCEL and this helps me achieve important business milestones required for continuous improvement and growth,” she explains.

What is kombucha?

Pronounced Kom-boo-cha is ready to drink fermented tea. It tastes refreshingly sweet and sour with a hint of natural effervescence.

The fermentation process is carried out by a live-culture of bacteria and yeasts that coexists together naturally. These microorganisms feed on sweet tea (substrate) to survive and convert its complex nutrients into bioavailable antioxidants, simpler carbohydrates, B-vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, organic acids, trace-minerals and much more. The conversion of sugars into acetic acids and gluconic acids contributes to the tartness and apple-y flavours in kombucha.

The live-culture inoculates the sweet tea with specific strains of bacteria and yeasts (microorganisms) and acidifies the tea to make it safe for consumption. Over the fermentation cycle of several days or even weeks, these microorganism multiply as well as generate new nutrients as a result of biochemical processes that occur fermentation.

The Kombucha microorganism are unique and live in symbiotic harmony with each other. Meaning, the bacteria and yeasts both perform several functions that support their as well as each other’s lifecycle. This interdependency makes kombucha a unique product of fermentation.

A popular name given to kombucha live-culture is SCOBY which is an acronym for Symbiotic Culture/Colony of Bacteria and Yeasts. However, during our research and digging, we figured it was a name given to the by-product of kombucha fermentation which is the jelly-like bacterial cellulose mat (sorry to break it to you).

Please visit The Kombucha Brewers India to know more..