When you first meet Vinay Kanhye you understand why he was bound to success: energetic and optimistic, he is motivated by a strong wish to serve his community. When he discovered, by chance, that the powerful moringa infusion he tried in UK when not feeling well, is indeed a plant growing in almost each yard in his native Mauritius, he decided to make sure others can benefit from its leaves too.
Today, only 3 years later he is producing 4,000 packets a month and exporting to La Reunion, South Africa, Canada, Australia and the UK. But in the beginning it took quite a lot to convince Mauritians that moringa, known as a 'poor man's food', and used for stir fry and soups, is indeed regulating tension, allowing to control diabetes, reinforcing immune system, and maybe even counteracting Alzheimer's disease.
Electrical engineer by profession, Vinay has never left his job, which is as well his passion and inspiration. He argues that his work as an engineer helped him to design and then optimise production. He started with the help of his closest family, including his mother for whom it was the first job in her life. Currently twelve people work at a small moringa factory, men mostly in the fields, women drying and packing the leaves. All efforts are made to preserve moringa nutritional values, therefore leaves are given adequate time to dry.
The production was very labour-intense in the beginning as, for example, the tea bags were sealed manually by ironing, to avoid usage of any artificial product. The drying trays were produced by Vinay himself. Today, he stresses that 100% bio production is non-disputable for him. This attitude pays off, as his moringa infusion got certified by Ecocert enabling exports.
He won numerous awards by now, including the one for the best innovative small and medium enterprise in 2017, and spoke at the Commonwealth Summit in London, invited by Prince Andrew. Vinay continuously reads to educate himself in doing business and management. This has allowed him to restructure production and avoid overtime. There are plans now to develop the enterprise and produce creams and other cosmetic products.
A new, bigger factory is being built next door. Originally, to be able to start off, Vinay transformed 200 square metres of his own house to serve as drying and manufacturing space.
By 2020 Vinay expects to be able to produce up to 20,000 boxes a month.