S Karthiga has always been socially conscious, be it creating awareness about the need for planting trees or running campaigns on the importance of recycling. So when it was time to choose her career after engineering, she was determined to take up something that would ensure her contribution to society. That was why she gave up all the high-paying jobs that came her way and decided to become an entrepreneur, establishing India's first herbal poultry farm, Saravana Mooligai Chicken, in her hometown, Madurai.
Karthiga's father, Saravana, is a retired government employee who has experience of poultry farming. With his guidance and her mother's savings as the only investment, she started the farm after three years of extensive research. Determined to provide healthy chicken to her customers, she feeds the chickens 48 varieties of herbal supplements. In her words,
My father and I want the same thing — to help people in any way possible. With his help, I completed the research for starting this venture while in college and my degree in biotech came in handy.
The chickens on Karthiga's farm are of the broiler variety, which are considered weaker than country-bred hens. This made rearing them without antibiotics or medicines that much harder. However, she embraced the challenge with open arms and has recently received certification from the Tamil Nadu Livestock Research Institute for her efforts.
The small venture that began with just her mother's savings has now expanded to five other districts in the state. As people notice and appreciate the evident difference in taste and quality in herbal chicken, she has been receiving more franchise orders from other districts.
Read this in Tamil.