Meet the 30X30: Pangea’s Pratap Sandhu is Bringing Transparency to the Vegan Food Industry
Our sixth annual Bay Street Bull 30X30 guide showcases a group of incredible individuals who are redefining the way we do business, championing their communities, and cultivating entirely new industries. From tech and environmental pioneers to cryptocurrency entrepreneurs and media trailblazers, each of this year’s inductees is challenging Canadians to think (and work) differently for a brighter future.
In our series of one-on-one interviews, get to know each honouree a little better: their values, mission, lessons learned, and best advice.
President, CEO, and Director; Pangea Natural Foods
What is your elevator pitch to the world?
Pratap Sandhu: Tastes for natural and nutritious foods are rapidly growing, as today’s consumers are increasingly reaching for healthier choices on grocery store aisles. However, many of the proposed “healthier” options out there are a mirage, with all types of additives and concerning ingredients that get overlooked through good intentions. We at Pangea Natural Foods are delivering truly healthy, natural, delicious, and good foods that these consumers are truly seeking, and doing so quickly, with rapid national distribution rollouts pulled off by our set of contacts accumulated over multiple generations across the food industry.
What excites you most about the work that you are doing?
Pratap Sandhu: Every time I walk into a grocery store, I see immense potential. We have the ability to put our products in every single aisle. So far, we’ve already embedded our frozen patties in the freezers, our organic clarified butter on the shelves, and we’re in the process of launching our munchy mix and oat milk offerings in the months to come. And beyond this, I’m even more excited about the next products we develop for market that are still to come.
Where do you think you have made the most impact in your community?
Pratap Sandhu: Growing up, my community had a big impact on me, and it’s important to me to give back. In particular, I have a strong connection with sports, having played on international soccer teams which were integral to the establishment of my work ethic and appreciation of teamwork. When I was growing up, I saw what can happen when a team comes together. Now today, I can see how much bigger that can be when a community comes together, and we build mutually beneficial relationships with other businesses. This impacts the younger generations because now the millennials are becoming purchasers and focusing on healthier choices, not only on the shelves, but in their lives as a whole. Today’s consumers are spending a lot more on their health, and I believe our products provide a solid foundation for these younger generations who are pursuing their health and life goals.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about vegan food innovation and consumer options?
Pratap Sandhu: It’s remarkable how many vegan products on the market aren’t actually healthy for you. Sadly, a lot of products get misidentified as health, just because they’re vegan. But they’re really not. Many of these newer highly-processed products are loaded with sodium, additives, binding agents, etc. We’re providing delicious products with often less than half of the sodium level as our competitors. A lot of vegan products are high in sodium. We’re one of the healthiest products out there, with real ingredients you can taste, no added preservatives, and only one binding agent.
What excites you most about the future of your industry?
Pratap Sandhu: Food is a never-ending need that’s feeding a rapidly growing population. It’s recession-proof. We’ve witnessed the growth of other food companies, which took off and grew to multibillion-dollar valuations, and believe we can compete with our uniquely nutritious products. Our goal is to continue to provide high-quality, natural good foods to consumers hungry for a healthier lifestyle.
How has the word “impact” manifested in your work?
Pratap Sandhu: I believe your impact is weighed by how you change people’s livelihoods. In the case of Pangea Natural Foods, our impact is focused on health and wellness, therefore impacting the very core of the lives of our consumers. With each unit we sell, that’s at least one meal I can confidently say we made an impact on that day for our consumers, and we hope to impact more of them.
What is one lesson that you hope people will learn or walk away with from your work?
Pratap Sandhu: As my father used to say, “Everyone wants good food, but no one wants to cook good food.” Our goal is to provide food that’s great food, and easy to prepare. There are millions of brands out there, so we know it’s important to differentiate ourselves from the others on the shelves. Not only have we curated high-quality products with attractive packaging, but we’re producing food that our employees actually love to eat. Anyone who has worked in the food industry knows how rare this is. They buy our stuff and love taking it home. This is because they know how high quality our ingredients are and that they’re a part of making truly feel-good food.
What has been your proudest moment as an entrepreneur?
Pratap Sandhu: While going public will be the biggest event for our company, to date I can confidently say our biggest milestone was getting listed as a national distributor with Save-On-Foods, and listed with Loblaws. We’ve already sold 6,000 units of our ghee.
Why does your work matter?
Pratap Sandhu: One of the most unique feelings is seeing your products on grocery shelves, and then seeing it on the receipt. Having gone through the process of development, design, and finally distribution into the stores I shop at. It’s a truly unique and special feeling, being proud of seeing your product in stores.
What have you learned about yourself as you’ve built your company and raised your voice?
Pratap Sandhu: Throughout this journey, I’ve further cemented my belief in integrity through transparency. What I say, I do. It’s important to not only stick by your word, but to also stick by your morals and values. Being trustworthy and delivering upon your promises lays the foundation for your business associates and partners to reciprocate.
What is a major career goal that you have set your sights on and hope to accomplish in 2022?
Pratap Sandhu: By year end 2022, our goal is to have 10 products on shelves, and to generate revenues above $40 to 50k monthly. To be a successful publicly traded company trading on the CSE. Our burn rate is minuscule, and I’d like to keep it that way by scaling our business along the way to a level that exceeds our competition in both our food quality and our financials.