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Waheeda Rehman is also one of India's little known secrets of the food industry. She, along with a friend, is a pioneer of the breakfast cereal market in India.Soon after she married, Waheeda left Bombay and moved 16 years ago to a farm in Bangalore. In Bangalore, she began Good Earth Foods and launched Farm House Cereal with a neighbor and friend, Ashrafa Sattar. Ashrafa too had returned to India after several years in Italy. Based on an Indianized version of mueslix, it packed in almonds, raisins, figs, dates, sesame,peanuts, whole oats, wheat, corn, rice, honey and mollases.


conscious. Up ahead are plans to launch a line of savory crackers, to be followed by granola bars. They are also trying to produce sun-dried tomatoes, raisins and apple-rings.

Presently, she is happy and content and has no grand plans. She will continue to help in the marketing and distribution of Good Earth Foods products and Ashrafa will continue to oversee production at the unit on the outskirts of Bangalore, where they now employ around 20 women from nearby villages.

But despite the conviction that using the goodwill of the public that she had earned in all her years in the film industry, will always help boost the sales of her breakfast cereal, she always had some inhibitions. She was shy of any form of "aggressive marketing" using her name to promote the cereal. That is when she was inspired by Hollywood legend Paul Newman After a trip to the United States during which she saw that Newman's brand of salsa, sauces and popcorns carried his picture on the package; she returned and decided to put her autographed picture on the cereal box.

The move, nearly two years after she first introduced the cereal, paid off. Providing the much-needed boost, it opened doors that so far hadn't budged. The cereal successfully broke into markets as conservative as Madras. The venture, which today boasts an annual turnover of between Rs. 25 to 30 lakhs, began in her farm-kitchen on a very small scale

While Farm House Cereal is the main product, Good Earth Foods also offers a special low fat diet pack for the calorie,


Neither Waheeda nor Ashrafa are in the venture to get rich. They had earned their riches long before they began this project and are in it to provide quality health food something they believe was missing from the Indian market. Interestingly, Good Earth Foods does no advertising. While Ashrafa justifies this philosophy with the belief that "We would rather pay our people well," Waheeda is convinced that "In the food business if you are good you will sell." And "Good" Earth Foods is not just their name, they emphasise, it is the very principle on which their business is based.