This is the story of the Managing Director of Indian grape exporter Euro Fruits, Nitin Agrawal originally trained to become a commercial pilot.
I got into grape exports purely by accident, which I do not regret. During a visit to London in 1991 I was introduced to an English importer who was looking to import Indian grapes. I just took this idea home and the rest is history.
For a man who wanted to become a pilot, graduated as a mechanical engineer and finally took up grape exporting after working in a fresh produce packhouse in Europe and learning post-harvest in UC Davis, California. It is great satisfaction that Euro Fruits has earned such great recognition and reputation.
I start my day with my favourite newspaper, the Times of India, then take my daughters to college, my wife to the temple, feed the birds and get ready to go to the office. Being a disciplined and organized character, I always have a detailed list of things to do. I always look for new ideas to keep Euro Fruits at the forefront. I also keep in touch with all my international contacts – even if it is just a simple ‘good morning’ sms or WhatsApp. In the grape harvest season, I station myself at the packhouse days before the first harvest and stay there 24×7 until the last carton is shipped.
There is undying passion in me for this business. I love our interaction with the people in this small fresh produce global village. Race, religion, colour or location may vary, but beneath this all people in fresh produce are the same. The fresh produce business is not for the faint of heart. There is much risk and uncertainty, but then this is what makes it interesting. I believe that fortune favours the bold.
I am a family person. I love cooking – it’s my stress-buster and look forward to a glass of Kingfisher beer when I get home. I listen to old Hindi movie songs a lot and this relaxes my mind.
My father taught me this golden rule when you start business always remember from 20 – 35 years you learn, 35 – 50 years you earn and 50 – plus you return. I am glad that at 49 I already able to return to society through two major projects in primary health and primary education. This gives me great pleasure and a great feeling of satisfaction.