Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Entrepreneurship - All around me

When I first quit my job to take my stab at "Entrepreneurship", I had the goosebumps, I was nervous, I was excited... but more than anything, I felt that I was doing something heroic. The general atmosphere back then was that Entrepreneurship was for the brave. Giving up a fat salary at a corporate company to do something by yourself seemed to qualify for "Bravery awards". Those initial few months (Stretched onto a year), I felt above all. I felt I was following the dream. Well I was following the dream but along with it was a sense of pride that I was doing something my peers couldn't do or chose not to do. At get-togethers, people were always telling me how cool and awesome it was that I was doing my own thing.

The months passed, and then the years passed. It took almost a year for it to sink in to me that as an entrepreneur one was actually alone. There was nothing about bravery, nothing about being heroic - It was just a way of life. In fact, one that is mostly prominent in India and around the world. Corporate jobs had come in much later. Everyone around us is mostly an entrepreneur. The chai-wallas, the paan shops, the bakers, the local grocery, the cobblers on the streets, the salons, the restaurants - They are all entrepreneurs going around doing their business. I started learning from these people, looking at the small things they had implemented to get things done! We have an interesting term for this in India - Jugaad! 

India is one of the toughest places in the world to do business but I do believe it's the most interesting place in the world to do business. So many micro-innovations in the way people work just to work around some medieval law or policy in the legal system. People find ways to be legit or work around the legitimacy of an issue. And this is Jugaad. You don't learn this anywhere else in the world. Look around the streets of India and you will see this in plenty.

The other day, I made a trip to Sidhivinayak temple (Temple for Lord Ganesha)  in Prabhadevi, Mumbai. (,_Mumbai). As you go towards the temple entrance, you notice hundreds of stalls selling flowers, sweets and other offerings for God. Now all of these guys are calling out to visitors asking them to buy the offerings from their stores. This entire ecosystem here is full of innovation. I've been going there over the last few years and I notice how every visit of mine throws up something unique.

A couple of years ago, these vendors would come up to you and offer to take care of your footwear while you completed your prayers. You just needed to buy your offerings from his or her stall. This worked as the general place to keep slippers was usually crowded. Over time, all of the stalls started offering the same service of storing your slippers. The next time I went over, one gentleman came up to me and offered to take us into the temple through the VIP entrance to avoid the long queue. Of course, he just wanted us to buy offerings from his stall and not any of the others. We bought offerings from his store and he kept his promise and took us in through an entrance reserved for VIPs. We saved over an hour's waiting time. Over time, all the stalls closer to the temple started doing the same. I went there a week ago once again. As I drove the car near the area, one guy comes running up saying that most of the area close to the temple is a "No Parking Zone" and the car could get towed away. He offered to take us to a safe parking spot and look after the car while we offered our prayers. The only catch again being that we had to buy our offerings from his store! This was brilliant as we were very happy leaving the car under his safe keeping. In fact, as we were entering the temple we saw the Police tow trucks tow away some cars in the No-parking zone. On asking the stall guy who we bought our offerings from, he said that he's got a guy sitting near our car and other cars under his "safety" and that the cops would not touch any of the cars under his protection! Also, while I bought offerings from his store and left my footwear with him, he refused to take the payment due to him then and asked us to pay him on our way out of the temple. I wondered why but understood the same when I was leaving the temple. While I was leaving, my friends and I were discussing that we should buy sweets for others as well. When we came to pay this gentleman for the offerings we had taken from his store, we also landed up buying sweets and "prasad" for our friends and colleagues thus spending a decent sum of money at his store.

Well, without getting into the nitty-gritty of legality and morality of many of the things that these guys are doing, I have never been more impressed with the way people think when they have to! Brilliant out-of-the-box ideas to bring people to your store. How does one differentiate when there are 50 of your competitors right next door. Do you only fight on price? A price war benefits none. And here these guys were trying to work out small little details that could make a visitor's life easier and hence give them more business. The guy taking care of cars was basically solving a huge issue as in cities like Mumbai, ease of parking is a huge factor when it comes to making up one's mind to going someplace. 

These guys haven't done an MBA from an IIM or got there Engineering degree from an IIT. These guys may not have even completed their 12th standard (Grade) and look at the level of innovation. This further fortified my belief that India has so much of innovation at grass root levels that are not showcased because we like what is sexy, what is cool. Technology innovation, mobile apps, e-commerce, web based products, medical innovation - These are innovations that drive public opinion and thought today. These are the ones who win the innovation awards. How does one bring for academic study the small little innovations that we sometimes take for granted? I believe there's a lot more to learn from these little case studies. I for one, learnt so much on what one can do to differentiate from competition. 

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

This New Year 2014- Kumi Version2.014

It's been a year and a half since I wrote anything up here. I keep asking myself why I never do write anything here anymore. Then I figured that it's not just me. Most people don't seem to be doing blogs anymore. The only ones actually doing blogs are companies, startups, products etc. It seems to be a commercial thing nowadays! I think that's because most of us are now more into Facebook and Twitter. You think sometime and in a moment's notice - you've shared it already!

Anyways, looking back at my journey over the last couple of years as an entrepreneur - I've realized that being Co-founder of Moojic has taught me more than I could ever learn all through my life! I've learnt so much every day. Every day is a new crisis - It's either dealing with Client issues, Operational nightmares, employee issues or financial issues! And being Co-founder, you realize that you actually land up doing the shittiest of jobs just so that things get done! End of the day, if someone's not doing what they're supposed to do, you just pick it up and start doing it yourself. Be it, cleaning the office or filling up excel sheets or just walking to the store nearby to pick up paper for the printer. When things have to get done, they just do and you don't wait around for someone to do it!

With Moojic, I have learnt that when you're first starting things, you want everyone to believe as much as you do. But over the journey, you get lost and then realize that people working with you are young kids. And they're so confused. We as inexperienced leaders of startups sometimes get people wrong and expect everyone to commit the way we do! But then that's mostly not what works! And as a startup, one should expect the unexpected and plan for it. I've learnt that sometimes chaos just isn't the best way forward and we at Moojic have spent the last month and a half putting systems in place to ensure things run smoothly. I think we are at a better place than where we were 3 months ago. However, in a small setup like ours, when you turn your focus so deeply into one aspect of the business there are other aspects that take a hitting. But then that's taught me that Sales isn't the single most important function as you build a business! Operations takes the forefront as one scales.

I've also decided to spend more time this year on myself. To get myself to fitter levels, to find time to something different and to meet more people on a social front. I've been more of a social recluse these last few years and it's time to reconnect with people and go out more often! I've also decided to share things that I learn on this blog more often! That's Kumi Version2.014 for you!

And for all those entrepreneurs out there - I have to warn you that having an idea is the easiest part of starting up! It's what comes after that brings you down! So to all those with those lovely ideas out there - remember it's execution that counts and patience to stay out the long run! All the best. Let this year bring the best out of all of us and the best for all of us! Happy New Year 2014 to all of you out there.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Musings of an Entrepreneur

A year has come and gone since I quit my fancy job with my fancy salary and set out to change the world. When I was going to quit, I hardly paid heed to any of my peers in the start-up world who warned me that it may take longer than I planned before I could get anything substantial out in the market. But I was determined. I truly believed that in 3 to 4 months, I would have a world class product out there and change the world and make my destiny.

I quit my job and landed in Mumbai to be welcomed by rains! Rains that just didn't stop for even a minute. The entire city was flooded and I couldn't even find a house to stay in! I was wondering if the city was crying at my arrival and whether the Gods were sending me signs! I persisted and stayed on. I trusted people with ease and always believed that I could overcome anything that came my way.

Over time, I realised that trust is highly over-rated and basically promises mean nothing in the world when you are un-established and hoping to make it out there. Very ironic that I should choose to stay around Lokhandwala in Mumbai where I see so many people trying to make it out big in the Film Industry. But as I saw it, Mumbai is truly the Maximum city, where everyone is trying to realise a dream.

A year down the line and multiple partnerships forged and broken, I sit down to take stock of the situation. First and foremost, what I've learnt in the last year could probably out-shadow most of what I've learnt through the rest of my life put-together. There are people who will drop you at the drop of a hat and there are others who will stick with you through the most trying of times! Broken promises, hugely missed deadlines and people questioning you in the hope that you are failing - I have learnt the single most important factor in being an entrepreneur.


I have learnt that people are more than ready to work with you as long as you offer a compelling proposition. But the issue with these people are that they are also willing to work with others who offer a more compelling proposition! And at a stage when one is not yet established, people come and go so very quickly. Post the first year, when we didn't really have a product to call our own, we took quick stock of the situation and decided that we had to work on our won to actually get anything out there. So instead of depending on others to deliver on timelines and promises, we sat down to do everything ourselves. If we knew how to do it, we did it quickly, if we didn't, we learnt how to do it quickly.

We put in all that we learnt into our product. For our product to succeed out there in the market, we had to reduce the dependency on all external factors. That way, the success or failure of the product would purely depend on us and there wouldn't be a blame game that follows. And after three months of long hours, no sleep and insane passion, we actually had a product to call our own. We pivoted multiple times from the original product we had planned and arrived at something so beautiful. Something so wonderful that despite how it goes out in the market, it is truly ours. The result of our sweat and perseverance, and our passion.

I found a team that compliments my skills and character - People I could trust and who would slog it out with me. People who were as passionate as me and dedicated as me. And today, we are at the stage where we are to launch the product and I can't but not stop for a few seconds and look back and smile. What a journey it has been! 

Keep following this blog for updates on our revolutionary product that aims to change the way people engage with local businesses. Trust me, this is a truly amazing first-of-its kind product! Wait for it...... Legendary!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Response to the "Open Letter to the Delhi Boy"

Since I posted the other letter, I've been receiving a lot of comments. I reiterate that I reposted since I loved the way it was written. Doing justice to the other post, I am posting this response to the letter from Mad Momma's Blog (Again clearly citing the source)

Posting the response to this letter from Mad Momma's blog: (Source Link)

Dear Shahana,
I’m part ‘Madrasan’ just like you (Tamil for those who want to know)! And I began to read your post with something akin to amusement because I live in Delhi and am very aware of the foibles of the Dilliwalas. I love it nonetheless for embracing me and giving me a home. About 5 lines down your post, I felt a little ashamed of having ever thought that I was ‘just like you’. It seems nigh impossible to fall that low. For every Daalli boy living in Defence Callony there is a Medraus boy getting up ‘yearly in the maarning’. Why do we as a people deride our own regional accents while swooning over a French accent? Are you ashamed of your skin, accent or your food habits? Then why jeer at theirs? You’re weighed down by your colonial hangover, lady.
Autistic three year old on coke? Witty. And also so compassionate of you to think that a child with a disability is an insult. If you’re playing for the South Indian team, I think you just scored a self goal. For every showy Punjabi I’ve encountered a stingy, parochial Madrasi who won’t invite me into the house for a glass of water. For every caste based temple not allowing people in, there is a gurudwara that will feed you at the langar without bothering to ask after your background or ban your gender. But hey, I really hope the ‘punjabis’ don’t define the whole lot of us by the odd cranky old miser that crosses their path. (And what the hell is wrong with a Happy Gurupurab text message? Admittedly I hate mass SMS saying Happy anything, but why pick on their festival messages when these do the rounds for every occasion including Happy your-mother’s-best-friend’s-toe-surgery-day?!)
You say you come from the land of the ugly? Speak for yourself, sister – I’m cute! And I’ve never understood why people take issue with muscular Punjabi men either –  it’s not as though we lovely doe-eyed ladies prefer pot bellies and skinny legs peeping out from under mundus? I for one would never diss my man if he worked out, simply because it’s a ‘punjabi’ thing to do. It is merely the healthy thing to do, so you’re welcome to the shapeless slugs. Or did you mean that South Indian men are by definition, unfit and shapeless? I take offence on behalf of the rather fit men in my family. Honestly, I prefer my men well groomed, not smelling of coconut oil, and definitely no dusty feet in leather slippers. In fact, speaking of working out, did you mention you’re not scrawny? My sympathies – I could offer you the number of a dietician, because genetically we’re blessed to be built much smaller and more petite than the Punjabans and Haryanvis (God bless their souls and the ghee loaded parathas) who have to make an effort to stay fit. So if you have a weight problem maybe you need to get off your soapbox and on to a treadmill.  The first thing we women need to do is stop hating other women because we think they’re hotter/ making an effort we’re not willing to. I know I’d rather chomp on my murukku and slurp my coffee than get up and hit the gym – you make your own choices.
As for our guys not being good looking, I object to the apologetic sound of that sentence. I think my dad is dashing (okay, maybe I am a prejudiced daughter!) and my husband is bloody good looking (this one I have on good authority from many women) and both are true blue ‘South Indians’. If we think our men are not goodlooking and that Punjabi men are the gold standard for looks, we have a problem. Actually only you have a problem. I’m okay with leering after men from all around the country, starting with Baichung Bhutia and heading down to John Abraham (he IS part Mallu, you know) and taking a full circle back to Ashutosh Gowariker. Yeah, I’m open minded and fair like that.
What was that again about SUVs and big cars? If I had a buck for every South Indian man who can’t stop talking about his cars and gizmos, I’d be on a cruise instead of wasting my time writing this post right now. Our good old Coimbatore at one point had the highest number of imported cars. You might want to read this.
The open cascading tresses – clearly you haven’t seen a Punjabi woman or even a Sikh man let down his hair, literally, that is. The Bongs can give us a run for our money too, in the eyes and hair department. And sistah, I quite like my shaggy flip out and refuse to buy into the stereotypical long hair and olive skin bullshit. Who are you to define my South Indianness for me? I’m dark and I love it – I don’t need you to sugarcoat it for me.  But with people like you sounding apologetic about our looks, it is no wonder we need to import fair skinned actresses for our films. It frustrates me. If our men appreciated us for what we are, we’d not need the ‘northies’ on our screens.
And really girl, did you have to bring up Hema Malini and Sridevi of all women? Them of the adultery, the second marriages, the conversions, the plastic surgery and botox fame? Aishwarya with her annoying accent (it’s probably caused by the smile she got redone) and fake marriage is our claim to fame? I thank you – NOT! Funny how all three of them picked Punjabi and UP men when the time came, huh? Good for them. It just leaves the ‘Madrasi’ men free for us. I got my sweet boy from Karnataka instead of Ash!
One tiny matriarchal community does not a trend make. Have you missed the acid attacks? The dowry we offer for our daughters is mind-numbing. If I’m paying 3 crores for an engineer I’d like him to lose the pot belly and the hair oil please! Colleges with separate benches for boys and girls in salwar kameezes (yes, I can say it like them punjabans!). I’d hardly call that the height of freedom. Fight oppression and violence against women instead of just using statistics to score points against another city. Irrespective of geographical location, it is still our gender being oppressed.
Amma-appa sound cooler than mom-dad to you? How could you be so petty as to pick up on something so ridiculous? Were you running out of real jokes? Bharatnatyam is a higher art form than the gidda or Kathak because you say so? I’m tired of this whole ‘attitude’ we have because to me it reeks of inferiority. And I am damned if I am going to be made to feel inferior about my food, my body, my skin colour or my roots by you. Let’s lighten up, let down the butt length tresses and accept that we play Punjabi music at our discos for fun.
You lost me at the girls doing fake marches (check out what these LSR girls are doing, by the way)? What exactly is it that other college kids are doing that is so much more significant? They’re just college kids, leave them alone to have fun while they can!
What really got to me was the fleeing Pakistan reference. Would any of us consider saying something so heartless about Tibet/Kashmir/Cambodia? Are we so cold as to make a sneering reference to something that was so painful? Partition brought loss, bodies piled up in trains, blood, entire families wiped out … don’t we share history with them? Are you kidding when you say that you come from a defence background? I’m horrified that a girl from a defence background has been brought up to be so divisive. Is this the way the other kids in the armed forces think? I won’t go into statistics of the Sikh regiment and the history of every family giving a son to the army to protect our borders, all while we were sitting around dipping our paruppu vadais in coconut chutney perfecting an attack on the chess board. So yes, we do play a killer game of chess, but oh, we owe them for giving us the safety and luxury to practice it.
As for them not liking our food – are you kidding me? The Brunch carried an article on how the dosa has become the national dish – tit for tat, take that Hindi as official language! You’ll find dosas at every corner stall in Delhi and everywhere else in the country although I must raise an objection to the paneer and Chinese dosas! What if they get started on the image of licking rasam off elbows? Because if we pick on the lowest common denominator to judge them by, they have every right to define us by the elbow lickers.
By the end of your post I was embarrassed for you. For the anger, the bitterness, the hatred and the vulnerability you let slip through. I have no idea what brought it on, but a good bottle of wine and some girl friends and a box of tissues might have been more effective. What you’ve done is unforgivable – you’ve drawn lines and swords and hurt a lot of my ‘Punjabi’ friends. And oh yes, as someone else said – if you don’t want to be called Madrasi (what do you mean you’re part South Indian – you know there are four states, right?), learn to differentiate between Punjabi and Delhiite. Everyone who lives in Delhi is not a Punjabi and not every Punjabi lives in Delhi. That said, everyone is welcome in Delhi, and Munirka and RK Puram are mini-Tamil Nadus themselves.  I buy my dosa maav and podi from there.
And finally, I’m appalled by some of your lines – Texas chainsaw massacre your face? Your dead Dadi? Your mother’s shaven bosom? Kalari your tongue up your ass? Shove so many coconuts down you? Classy. Way to lose control of your point and make a fool of yourself. Crass, rabid and divisive is what these statements are. Driving a wedge of hatred where previously there was only a cultural disparity. It’s a pity you fell so low while trying to make a point on superiority or heck, even equality. To quote them Punjabis, you’ve MC-BCed our case altogether in this badly cobbled together, poor attempt at wit, crossing over into coarse, foul and ignoble territory. And you’re dragging the rest of us into the mire as you cross that fine line between wittily irreverent and decidedly crass. Maybe you just need a good nap or a cold glass of coconut water so that you can cool off and consider what you allowed your ire to lead you into.
I apologise to all those offended by Ms Shahana’s little hissy fit here. We have our good and we have our bad and to attack prejudice with prejudice is not the way the rest of us South Indians work. I need to get back to cracking my IIT now. Apparently Shahana thinks I have no other choice or mind of my own. Now where did I put my pen – in my Fendi bag or my Gucci clutch? Oh wait, I couldn’t possibly know the difference, stereotypical Madrasi chick that I am.
And oh, Shahana, I have a request. In future, do not presume to write on behalf of all Madrasis. Not all of us are quite as bigoted or rabid.
MM (I proudly spell it Yem-Yay-Dee, Yem-O-Yem-Yem-Yay), yet another mocha coloured Madrasan married to a sweet fayer Sawth Indian boy.
PS: Okay lets kiss and make up, North and South Indians. In fact let’s drag the Pakistanis into this big group hug with this lovely song – Hona Tha Pyar.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Open Letter to a Delhi Boy (Source Link below)


Loved this letter! Hilarious! Do note that I haven't written this article and neither does it mean that I share the sentiment! Loved the way its written.


Dear Delhi boy,

Namaskaram from the South of India, or as you may like to believe, the countries south of the Vindhyas. I came to your city 2 years ago with a brand new job and a bucketload of expectations. My friends and family here thought I was completely insane to choose Delhi over more female conducive cities like Bangalore or even Bombay. I am very sad to report that your reputation of being an ignorant, chauvinistic oaf with the intelligence levels of an autistic 3 year old on crack precedes you and it hurts me even more to admit to this rather accurate description.

Your reputation has travelled far and wide, to countries outside South India as well. And believe me man, it is not a pretty situation. I understand that your stone faded, ripped jeans, your V-neck cleavage showing t-shirts that revel to the world that you have infact inherited your mother’s voluptuous shaved Punjabi bosom, are what you think maketh a man, but it does not. It only maketh for a man who gets a pity license to share his girlfriend’s bra. I write to you as a woman who has been brought up in a society free of any discrimination towards women so thanks to you, my living in Delhi is as safe as Hugh Hefner’s playmate of the year living in Jedah.

You meet me at a friend’s birthday, talk to me about nightclubs and your new SUV and when I look like I’m in desperate need of a barf bag, you think I have an attitude problem. I understand this completely. But let me remind you that I am from SOUTH INDIA and not SOUTH DELHI, so no ,I am not scrawny, I am not fair, I don’t have straight hair and my topics of conversation go beyond the Fendi I saw in last month’s Vogue. I am olive-skinned, have lower –back-length lustrous cascading tresses that sometimes make me look like I fell out Jim Morrison’s tour bus. Got a problem with that? Well just suck it up coz I was born into a society where a woman can whoop your Punjabi patoutie to pulp. While your mother pretends to be very progressive but still cows down to the whims of her husband every single time, mine on the other hand was born into a matriarchal home where every single possession is in the rightful name of the girl child. Could you ever, my hunky handsome, cash throwing pig, imagine this kind of power in your society? So stop telling me that women are not treated like trash where you come from. Just shut up and admit to it. It’s just easier that way. And lest we forget that we’ve managed to curtail the number of rape cases despite not having a female Chief Minister. Amma ‘s body composition generates way too much heat for her get out of her AC room anyway, so don’t even bring that up.

And your English. Good Lord, what in the world is up with that? I don’t want you to ‘explain me’ anything. It’s like you need to go to primary school all over again. And call them your parents, not your ‘peerents’ or what your cooler, more happening brethren call them—‘mere mom-dad’. Like what are they? Conjoined twins? Are they joined at the hip? Your South India counterparts may not have your looks, but are way more mentally stimulating, a quality that alludes you obviously, but has been the single most sexy factor for us Southie chicks since the age of five. I mean once again, who can blame you? You were brought up on Gurdas Mann and the heroic deeds of Devinder Singh Bhullar and the ever so fair concepts such as elections in Phugwada while we mere ‘black-colour waale’ mortals had to make do with Bharatnatyam classes, M.S subhalakshmi and chess. Shame no? And yes, if by a slight chance, you do find my big dancer eyes attractive enough for you to prolong our conversations and meetings and if by an even slighter chance you fall in love with me and decide to marry me, you will have to wear a mundu and you will have to lie prostrate shirtless at the Guruvayurappan temple. A small price to pay for all the genuine independence I am giving up for you. And that’s the real thing, not what you see the Delhi girls at LSR and Stephen’s doing during their fake as hell protest marches coz ultimately they’re going home to a family who’re putting together money for Bobby beta’s bail coz he just ran over his girlfriend’s ex, by mistake of course.

I understand that I come from the land of ugly. I mean obviously Hema Malini, Sri Devi and Aishwarya Rai with their natural banal looks don’t even hold a candle to Priyanka Chopra after her two nose jobs and one lip reconstruction surgery. Not a chance in hell. But when you do come to ask for my hand, remember I am part Maharashtrian and part South Indian and NO, they are not the same thing. So please tell your family, not to drop racist bombs like “Arey woh sab toh ‘Sawth’ ke hi hote hai na?” And YOU—don’t walk up to mother in an attempt to make flattering conversation and say shit like “Aunty you don’t look like a South Indian You are so fair” In return she will verbally Texas chainsaw massacre your face so badly, your dead Dadi will haunt you the very same night, telling you how fleeing Pakistan was less traumatic. So don’t. Better still just don’t speak. Just glean and flex your muscles a little and keep smiling. Just whatever you do, don’t talk.

You may not like our food, but then we don’t like you, which is worse. We may not be even that into food, but then that’s coz we have other things to do with our lives, like crack IIT or become writers, journalists, activists and do things that we are very passionate about. The South Indian woman has a voice and boy can she yell. So if you want to Sambhar ‘Chawl’ your way into my life, then you got to toe the line. Be way more aware than what your are. Remember Delhi is not a country and we are not Black. If I ever hear you utter that name of that colour, I will Kalaripayattu your tongue out of your rear. Yes , that is the secret behind our awesome sex ratio. Just so you know.

For someone who is so confident of his physical abilities you really suck at luring an intelligent woman. Don’t send me text messages that say ‘happy guru purab’, you freakshow and if you want to be cute with your ever so charming (not) Punjabi advances, then don’t send texts that say “Dil laye gayee kudi Madrraaas di”! NO. It’s just not cool man. I may have have missed on a lot in this letter, but that’s ok because you’ll forget to read it and even if you do , you’ll get your cousin Jassi from Defence Callonny to translate it for you. And this letter can’t go on forever like the Punjabi male ego.
So long my love, and here’s two steps of gidda just for you, just to show that I can be traditional and will not accidently kick your sister while doing so.

Love, hugs, kisses aka ‘muah’ (only I shall ‘muah’, you please don’t do anything coz you tend to forget that these are my lips and not a piece of Tandoori Chicken from Kakke- Da- Dhabba)

(Only I can call myself that. If you EVER call me by this name, I will shove so many coconuts down your system that your little saver pack versions will begin to sprout coir.)