Even today in our society, if someone leaves his job and makes up his mind to do business, then people start questioning his decision. In fact, in our thinking even today, business means big industrialists only. In such a situation, if someone leaves his substantial job and starts a business, then people from family to society start questioning his decision. But there are some people who stick to their decision. Today we are going to tell you the story of one such person.
This inspiring story is of Pradeep Sheoran of Haryana. Pradeep left a substantial job in 2018 and started Bagri Milk Parlor. Earlier it was just a stall, but today they have a good outlet in Rohtak. The business which once started with only milk has reached to about 20 different types of products today.
Today people not only in Haryana but also from Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan come to Pradeep’s ‘Bagdi Milk Parlor’. Enjoy their products and understand their business model. About which Pradeep says that the youth of educated and farmer families of small and big cities can do their own work in this way to advance their family. While talking to The Better India, he spoke about his journey.
MBA degree and then job
Pradeep is originally from Mandhi Piranu village located in Charkhi Dadri district of Haryana. He comes from a farming family and his father used to work in the school. He told, “I completed my graduation and prepared for civil exam. However, it was not successful, so I took admission in MBA. I also passed MBA degree with good marks. But as much as a youth would have expected during his studies, he could not get such a job in the beginning. After some time I got a good job in Wheels Electric and till 2018 I was associated with that company.”
He said that he was promoted several times in the job and the salary was also fine. But the higher the salary, the more headache it was. He did not have any problem with working hard, but even after hard work day and night, he was not getting satisfaction. He tells that his younger brother, Dharmendra takes care of the farming in the village. Often Pradeep used to discuss with him how farmers are not getting their share of success these days. What business related to agriculture can his family do?
He says, “My brother and I made up our minds after talking that we have to do our business. For this I decided to leave my job and start a business. I had some savings of my own and also got the support of some family members. There was concern in the mind of the family members about how to do it, what to do, but I had made up my mind. In 2018 I left the job and after that visited different farmers, businessmen in about 24 states. Because business had to be done, but some business which is in demand in the market and which is going to run.
Leaving job and starting milk parlor
Pradeep told that from all his tours he understood one thing that farmers can do three types of business – first with cereals, pulses etc., second with milk and third with eggs etc. “We thought of moving on to milk. There are two big parks in Rohtak, where there is a lot of crowd in the morning and evening. I started setting up my ‘Bagdi Milk Parlor’ outside these parks. When we started in December 2018, we used to give hot milk in clay kulhad during winter season. We thought that if people drink tea, they may also drink milk. Our idea worked.”
Apart from setting up stalls in the park in the morning and evening, he also put up his stalls in agricultural fairs organized in Haryana and Delhi. The fairs also got a very good response from the people. There was a demand for more than the stock he had taken. After winter, in summer he experimented with cold almond milk, lassi. In summer also he got the right response. After a trial of about six-seven months, Pradeep started his outlet by finding a right place in Rohtak.
“I had also got all the certificates related to the food business done so that there would be no problem later. Especially because of having FSSAI certificate, the trust of the customers is also built on you. Also, we work with our clients with complete transparency. Customers can talk to all the farmers from whom we take milk or take other products, if they want. We also keep inviting farmers to our place so that they too get encouraged,” he said.
Opportunity made difficult in lockdown
He started his outlet in the year 2019 and in early 2020 the lockdown came. He says that seven employees were associated with him at that time. Even though his outlet was closed, he made arrangements for accommodation and food for all the employees and also gave 75% of their salary to all. After this, he told the farmers from whom he was taking milk that they should make ghee of this milk so that it can be used when the lockdown opens. This did not affect the income of the farmers either.
“We were not prepared in the first lockdown, so there was a loss. But we were not going to give up. So as soon as the lockdown opened, we started making jalebi using the ghee prepared by the farmers. After the first lockdown, the business gained momentum by October 2020. We took this difficulty as an opportunity. After jalebis, we also started making sweets like mawa barfi, laddus when winters came. Customers liked both the quality and taste of our sweets and got a good response,” he says.
He did suffer in the lockdown but Pradeep says that he soon found a place in the hearts of customers due to the quality of his products. Today you can buy almond milk, cold lassi as well as tandoori tea, tandoori parathas, paneer pakodas, gulab jamuns, cashew katli etc. from ‘Bagdi Milk Parlor’.
Apart from this, he is also selling Ghee, Pure Honey and Organic Mustard Oil prepared by the traditional Bilauna method of indigenous cow and buffalo. Preeti Singh, one of his customers, says, “The milk at Bagri Milk Parlor tastes exactly the same as it used to be during the time of her parents. Apart from milk, other products made from milk are also very good in their place.
Helping farmers and potters
From the very beginning of his business, Pradeep’s objective was clear that he not only has to grow himself but also help the farmers to increase their income. They have formed different groups of 23 farmers from the surrounding villages of Rohtak. From which they take milk and some give them ghee, honey and mustard oil etc. He says that farmers are paid higher prices than other places according to the quality of their milk. Also, from time to time, he also conducts training of farmers.
“Everyone wants their cattle to give maximum and nutritious milk. But for this the farmers have to work hard. Their own cattle should be nurtured and looked after properly. For which we help farmers to get training from the experts of Haryana Agricultural Universities. This benefits the farmer as well as ours as we also need good quality milk,” he said.
Apart from farmers, he has also provided continuous employment to four potters. Because tea and milk are given to them only in axes made of clay. Suresh, who has supplied them with kulhads for the last three years, says, “Pradeep ji is constantly associated with us and due to this we are getting regular work. As their orders increase, we are able to hire two more artisans.”
At the same time, Sandeep, a farmer who delivers milk to him, says that he has also got a chance to move forward by joining ‘Bagdi Milk Parlor’. Their income has increased from earlier because now they do not need to go anywhere else. Apart from this, with Pradeep’s help, he has also got an opportunity to learn from agricultural scientists.
At present, his outlet employs 11 people. Pradeep says that his annual turnover has been up to Rs 25 lakh. Had there not been a corona epidemic and there was no lockdown, they expected a much higher turnover than this. But Pradeep says that now he has built trust among the people. Therefore, he has full hope that in the coming time the model of ‘Bagdi Milk Parlor’ will be known from place to place.
The only message he gives to today’s youth is that instead of focusing on the things here and there, there is a need to work at the grassroots level. Think of your new ideas and work hard on them, you will definitely get success.
Editing – G N Jha
photo credit: Pradeep
Also read: Farmer turned from housewife, then started vermicompost business, their manure goes till Kashmir
If you’ve been inspired by this story, or want to share any of your experiences with us, write to us at email@example.com, or Facebook & Twitter Twitter Contact us.