Over the past few decades, few notable dairy companies have established their brands among a large nationwide consumer base. However, as much as 68 percent of milk and other dairy products do not fulfil the standards laid down by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
Organic, farm fresh milk is increasingly becoming popular and a number of women-led startups in this space.
Here are a few entrepreneurs who have taken the plunge to launch dairy startups, despite the odds.
Shlpi Sinha, The Milk India Company
When Shilpi Sinha, 27, moved to Bengaluru city to pursue higher education, pure and unadulterated milk that she grew up drinking in Daltonganj, Jharkhand was not available. This led her to found The Milk India Company in 2018, that delivers raw and unpasteurised cow milk.
Certified by the National Dairy Research Institute of India, the startup currently delivers milk within 10 km of Sarjapur in Bengaluru, at Rs 62 per litre.
Quality and detail oriented, the entrepreneur claims to calculate somatic cell to ensure that the milk is healthy for consumption.
Catering to parents of one to eight-year-old children as of now, the startup works with a network of nearly 50 farmers and 14 labourers in villages in Tumakuru and Bengaluru.
Bootstrapped with an initial investment of Rs 11,000 the startup has clocked an annual revenue of Rs 27 lakh and Rs 70 lakh in the first two years of operation, respectively.
This 27-year-old woman entrepreneur's dairy startup is delivering pure and unadulterated milk
Mehal Kejriwal, Happy Milk
Despite a thriving family business as steel manufacturer, 23-year-old Mehal Kejriwal and her father would often discuss the health concerns of drinking packaged milk and some of the harmful ingredients mixed in it.
Aiming to provide better alternative, the duo founded organic milk products and delivery startup Happy Milk in December 2017.
The startup sources milk from over 400 home-bred cows that are fed an organic diet and further uses IoT devices to track the cattle’s health and check the consistency and quality of milk.
Leveraging their 30-acre farm in Tumakuru, North Bengaluru, Happy Milk offers a range of organic dairy products, including ready-to-drink farm-fresh milk, ghee, and paneer in glass bottles, and curd, using eco-friendly packaging such as glass bottles and clay pots (matkas).
Serving around 3,000 customers, its products are available in more than 80 stores in Bengaluru, including Nature’s Basket and Food Hall, among others.
How this farm-to-table startup is using tech to milk demand for good, old-fashioned organic dairy products
Ankita Kumawat, Matratva Dairy
IIM-Calcutta alumnus and entrepreneur Ankita Kumawat hails from a family that has been involved in dairy farming for over two decades. Even while working part-time at Derewala Industries in Jaipur, she would spend half the day at her father’s farm with his exotic breed of cows.
Hence, it was natural for her to eventually launch her own dairy farming startup Matratva Dairy, based in Ajmer, in 2014.
Registered in 2016, the startup procures milk from indigenous cow breeds like Gir, Sahiwal, Tharaparkar, and Rathi, and relies on traditional methods with minimum machine intervention to A2 milk and its products - ghee, butter, sweets, and buttermilk.
Sold under Ankita’s Goratan Products brand, that products are available on platforms like Amazon and BigBasket as well.
Allola Divya Reddy, Klimom Wellness and Farm
An engineering graduate and mother of two, Allola Divya Reddy did not want to feed her children adulterated milk and decided to start her own dairy farm that evolved into Klimom Wellness and Farm.
Her entrepreneurial journey began with setting up a gaushala (cow shed) in 2015 after realising that A2 milk, which is considered healthy is nothing but pure cow’s milk. After acquiring cattle from Gujarat, she would use cow dung and urine for organic farming and give extra milk to friends and family.
The goodness of her milk spread and thus she began her venture and now delivers milk in glass bottles, priced at Rs 200 per litre. The entrepreneur, who has received the National Gopal Ratna Award from the Government of India, also sells ghee and A2 milk-based desserts like rasagulla, gulab jamun, srikhand, and basundi.
(Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan)
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