Amit, an Indian-born American entrepreneur, started Heavenly Organics in 2005 with his father, Dr. Ishwar Singh Hooda, an agronomist who raised his family in the agricultural belt of India, Punjab, in the 1980s. Despite turmoil by local Maoist insurgents in the region at the time, communities in Punjab were able to prosper because they had fertile land, and means to make a living. "A life of violence wasn't so appealing because they had other ways of making a living," Amit says.
Using that mindset, the duo set out to use food, particularly honey, as a vehicle to transform conflict-ridden communities in the world, starting with their native India. While Amit is in Iowa, overseeing the sales, marketing, and distribution of Heavenly Organics' honey jars, Ishwar, at 69, is busy visiting rugged corners of the country where conflict has deteriorated lives and local economies: this includes the Indo-Pakistani border, the central forests of India, and the Indo-Nepal-Tibet border where displaced populations reside.