5 dairy brands using simple farming methods to clock crores of revenue annually
It is a normal sight to find a packet of milk delivered to your doorstep each morning. And if not, it is easy to walk to a nearby store to pick up some milk.
Milk and dairy products have now become so accessible that all the steps and processes involved in bringing these products to our homes and stores is taken for granted.
Today, the dairy market in India is worth Rs 11.35 lakh crore, and is a complex network of farmers, dairy co-operatives, private players, cooperative federations, and more.
SMBStory has drawn up a list of some milk and dairy products businesses making a difference in the market with their strategies for product innovation, farmer development, and more.
After engineer Kishore Indukuri quit his job at Intel in the US and returned to India, he realised there were limited options for affordable and unadulterated milk. This inspired him to bring a change not only for his son and family, but also for the people of Hyderabad.
Kishore decided to start his own dairy farm and milk brand, and bought 20 cows from Coimbatore and set up a dairy farm in Hyderabad in 2012. Kishore started supplying milk directly to consumers in the city on a subscription basis, and his business began to grow.
In 2016, the brand was officially registered as Sid’s Farm (named after Kishore’s son Siddharth). Now, the 120-employee brand delivers milk to over 10,000 customers daily, and achieved Rs 44 crore turnover last year, Kishore claims.
It’s product portfolio also includes cow's butter, cow’s ghee, buffalo’s butter, buffalo’s ghee, cow’s curd, buffalo’s curd, and natural paneer.
When India closed its inter-state borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the supply chains of national dairy brands were paralysed. Further, the household demand for dairy products was increasing.
This presented local and regional dairy manufacturers with a chance to fill the supply gaps within their states.
Entrepreneur Kishan Modi decided it was the right time to take the risk and compete in the same market as dairy FMCG behemoths Amul and Britannia.
In late 2020, he launched Milk Magic, a domestic B2C dairy products brand, and began retailing in the domestic market in Madhya Pradesh. Milk Magic’s USP is simple: it retails export-quality value-added dairy products in the Indian market.
In 2019-20, the parent company JGF recorded Rs 384 crore revenue. A big reason for JGF’s resilience is its manufacturing setup at Sehore, Madhya Pradesh. The plant processes four lakh litres of milk per day to produce 25 metric tonnes of paneer, 30 tonnes of butter, 20 tonnes of cheese, 30 tonnes of skimmed milk powder, and 15 tonnes of whey powder daily.
Brahmani Nara, Executive Director (left) and Nara Chandrababu Naidu, former CM, Andhra Pradesh and Founder, Heritage Foods (right)
Former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Nara Chandrababu Naidu, hailing from the dairy-rich district of Chittoor, comes from a farming background.
He saw issues such as farmer payments, transportation, and marketability of milk products were growing in the region's dairy sector. This inspired him to start Heritage Foods in 1992. Launched with an initial investment of Rs 80 lakh, Naidu brought in his wife Nara Bhuvaneshwari and dairy executives to take things forward.
Heritage Foods then went on to work with lakhs of farmers over the years. It only retained the tenets of the Amul model that were working, such as eliminating middlemen, procuring milk directly from farmers, paying them well, processing the milk, and selling it to end consumers.
The company now claims a significant presence in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Odisha, NCR Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh.
Neeraj Mittal, Director, Mr Milk
Naresh Mittal, Founder of a leading Pune-based real estate company Mittal Group, realised adulterated milk, which also has preservatives and traces of growth hormones, has adverse effects on people’s health.
This inspired him to start Mittal Happy Cows Dairy Farms in 2016 in Pune with an aim to provide high-quality milk to consumers and to tap into the niche market of A2 milk.
Mittal Happy Cows Dairy Farms was started using funds from the existing family-owned business — Mittal Group. Within two years, the company started selling milk to its friends and family without any branding, until 2019, when it launched the brand Mr Milk.
In the first year of operation, Mr Milk clocked Rs 1.8 crore revenue and second gen entrepreneur Neeraj Mittal claims that the company has grown 200 percent in FY 20-21. He says such growth is due to increasing awareness of the consumption of quality, farm-fresh milk of desi cows.
Jai and Anuj Agarwal
Jai Agarwal was running a family tobacco business in Lucknow when, in 2005, his brother Anuj Agarwal decided to join him. However, with no possible avenues for disruption in the tobacco business, the brothers decided to explore new opportunities.
For a few years, the brothers dabbled in real estate, but nothing materialised. But an old real estate investment changed gears for them.
The brothers decided to renovate and reset a shutdown dairy unit they bought a few years ago and launched Gyan Dairy in 2007. The Lucknow-headquartered company started manufacturing dairy products, including milk, curd, chaach (buttermilk), paneer (cottage cheese), and butter, among others.
At present, it manufactures and sells 27 dairy products across Uttar Pradesh. The brand also operates exclusive retail outlets called Gyan Fresh Stores, spread across 53 locations in the northern state. In 2019, the dairy brand clocked a turnover of Rs 908 crore.