Perumal Gandhi is a co-founder of Perfect Day, a food company on a mission to create delicious animal-free dairy products, while leaving a kinder, greener footprint on the planet. Perumal studied Biomedical Engineering at SUNY Stony Brook where he worked in the Rubinstein Lab to develop functional tissue engineering scaffolds for the medical industry. Prior to that, he studied Biotechnology at the Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology in Chennai, India, and worked as a research assistant for the Shrivastava Lab at IIT Bombay.
As a child, Perumal’s love for animals was fierce. Although he’d been raised eating meat, he decided to become vegetarian in sixth grade after learning about the mistreatment of chickens. In high school he volunteered for a nonprofit dedicated to caring for Mumbai’s many street dogs. He was disheartened, though, to learn more about the vast numbers of animals harmed by agriculture. After some soul searching, he transitioned to a vegan diet in order to make an even greater impact for the world’s animals.
The transition wasn’t easy. He found that he really missed cheese and dairy products. Thanks to a coincidental twist of fate, Perumal—by this time a graduate student—was connected with fellow dairy lover and aspiring vegan, Ryan Pandya. The duo put their combined engineering backgrounds to work, embarking on a journey to discover how to create dairy using well-known fermentation techniques. Together, Perumal and Ryan set out to create a company to revolutionize the dairy industry, and thus Perfect Day was born.
Five years later, Perumal and Ryan lead a diverse team of chefs, food developers, scientists, engineers, and storytellers who are working in harmony to make their dream of animal-free dairy a reality. Named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in 2019, Perumal is pursuing his passion of helping as many animals as possible while making delicious food that does less damage to our planet.
Host Karl Ulrich is joined by Roderick Morris (Co-founder and President, Lovevery), Patrick Cozzi (CEO, Cesium), Ryan Pandya (Co-Founder & CEO, Perfect Day), Perumal Gandhi (Co-Founder, Perfect Day), Andrew Beltran (Co-founder, Original Grain), and Ryan Beltran (Co-Founder, Original Grain) on the Wednesday, August 7, 2019 edition of Launch Pad.