Kashmir Apple Enterprise Attracts Rs 60 Crore in Foreign Investment.image/KL
Kashmir Apple Enterprise Attracts Rs 60 Crore in Foreign Investment
In a groundbreaking development with profound implications, Qul Fruitwall Farm Installations has achieved a significant milestone by securing a foreign private equity investment of Rs 60 crore, making it the first private company in the region to do so. This has resulted in the company’s valuation reaching close to Rs 400 crores.
This move signifies a major shift from traditional debt financing to a non-interest-bearing, profit-sharing model for business growth. Qul is on a mission to modernize the horticulture industry in the Jammu and Kashmir region, garnering global investor interest and promising a brighter future for local farmers.
Established in 2019 by the dynamic entrepreneur Mir Khurram Shafi, Qul Fruitwall Farm is more than just a company; it is a transformative movement. With Shafi’s deep ties to the agricultural sector, he recognized the untapped potential of the horticulture industry in Jammu and Kashmir and initiated a journey to uplift the lives of farmers. Already, he has successfully transitioned 3000 small and marginal growers to higher-yield apple orchards.
The recent funding, with over 80% contributed by Incofin Investment Management and a portion from Fiedlin Ventures, marks a historic moment for the private sector in Kashmir. This opens doors for additional foreign institutional capital and shines a light on the immense potential of the region’s horticulture industry, according to Mir.
Qul Fruitwall positions itself as a tech-enabled integrated platform for growers, covering the entire horticultural value chain, from orchard installation and development to controlled atmospheric storage and digital supply chain integration with the national market. Jammu and Kashmir, contributing over two-thirds of India’s total apple production, faces challenges like market intervention, lack of infrastructure, logistical support, and a poor transportation system. Qul aims to address these issues through technology and innovative farming techniques.
Mir stated, “Our mission is to transform lives and improve livelihoods by quadrupling the apple yield within five years, currently at 12 metric tonnes per hectare.” Qul has already successfully transitioned over 5,000 farmers to high-tech, high-density farming, boosting farm income four to six times.
This investment is a significant step towards sustainable and efficient farming practices in the region. Rahul Rai, a partner at Incofin, expressed excitement, saying, “We are excited by Qul’s ambition to take Indian apples to the world stage.” With strengths in operations, biotechnology, and digital technologies, Qul plans to scale its model to impact 30,000 farmers in the coming years, targeting revenues of Rs 1,000 crores in the next five years.
With a commitment to cutting-edge technology, sustainable practices, and farmer welfare, Qul is not just a startup but a beacon of hope for the entire Himalayan region. The equity infusion from Incofin and Fiedlin reflects confidence in Qul’s vision, paving the way for a brighter and more resilient future for temperate crops in Jammu and Kashmir.
Expanding beyond apples into cherries, plums, kiwis, pears, and more, Qul is poised to lead the transformation of horticultural farming, ensuring a prosperous and sustainable industry. The recent investment is not just financial support; it is an investment in the future of agriculture in the valley, promising water savings, employment opportunities, and sustainable farming practices for generations to come.
Inval, acting as an exclusive strategic advisor to Qul for this transaction, plays a crucial role in supporting the startup’s growth. Incofin Investment Management sees Qul as a transformative force in the agri-food value chain. Fiedlin, an Indian growth capital platform for SMEs, is also a key contributor to Qul’s journey.
As Qul Fruitwall Farm Installations continues its journey, it cultivates not only apples but also a future where horticulture in Kashmir becomes synonymous with innovation, sustainability, and prosperity. Khurram expressed his goal, saying, “The goal is to create one of the most transformative, ground-up, environmentally conscious, socially aware, and profitable businesses. I want to create an institution out of Kashmir that outlives us and the generations to come.”