I am sharing a story of a farmer who started agriculture company from a scratch and became millionaire. His business strategies along with some key online marketing strategi to grow and scale farming business' is explained in this blog.
Farming business plan turned Umesh Deokar millionaire
Umesh Deokar is 45 years old and he did his mechanical engineering with distinction in 1999. Even after doing mechanical engineering Deokar got a salesman job selling wireless phones at the salary of Rs 3500 per month in Mumbai.
He was not satisfied at all with his job and salary package, he decided to quit his salesman job in 2006 and invested Rs 80,000 in transport business by purchasing a tempo. It was difficult for him to arrange rupees 80,000 together so he has taken a loan for rupees 80,000 to purchase a tempo and the Journey begins from here.
Now Deokar is having 30 employees in his staff who are responsible for collecting the vegetables from different farms as well as for packaging all the agricultural products as per the online order.
In early days his family members including children and women gents helped him a lot in collecting and packaging the agriculture stuff. This was Umesh’s initial stage of business when he didn't have any money to hire employees.
He had a joint family including his father's family and his uncle's family, both lived in Mumbai slum area called Hanuman Nagar in an 8 by 10 feet small room.
Umesh Deokar’s daddy's wish
His father always wanted Umesh and his two siblings, one brother and one sister to seek better education and search jobs in private companies for a better future. Umesh respected his father's thoughts and completed his graduation from Amrutvahini college of engineering at sangamner in Ahmednagar district.
Umesh couldn't find a good job as per studies and managed to find a small job in Mumbai of selling wireless phones at the salary of Rs 3500 per month (first job). He was not happy at all with the salary of his first job because he wanted to help his father who never expressed their tension on the family.
Nothing was hidden from any family member that they are lacking in financial conditions. According to Umesh the family never participates in any recreational activities and they never used to go for picnics or any other place with family due to insufficient funds.
After working in Reliance for sometime Umesh left the job and got the sales job in a healthcare company at the salary of rupees 5000 per month which was again not a convincing salary for him. Finally he decided to quit the job and started transport business.
In 2006 Umesh started transport business
After purchasing a tempo on loan Umesh started a transport business but hardly saved any amount. Later he bought one more tempo but still on many occasions he was just able to earn rupees 5,000 to 6 thousand in a month after deducting the other expenses including driver salary maintenance etc. According to Umesh during the transport business he faced lots of financial problems and in some situations he was not able to give any money to his family as well.
In 2010 Umesh started cultivation in 6 acre land in his village
Umesh Dokar lives in vadgaon village near Anand puri. Although he left his job in 2006 it took a few years and in 2010 he started vegetable cultivation in 6 acre farmland in his village Vadgaon.
Umesh started selling vegetables at the wholesale market in Pune. He used to transport all the vegetables by himself through his tempo which he had bought way back in 2006. According to Umesh in the beginning he was not thinking at all about the hard work and long distance journey which he used to travel from his farm land to wholesale market. His main motto was to concentrate on developing agriculture farming business along with agriculture marketing skills.
It took 6 to 7 years for a break that change Umesh Deokar’s life when his business shifted to Mumbai and Thane in 2017. After moving to Mumbai Umesh started testing the taste of success but it did not happen overnight one cannot avoid the journey of more than 6 more years which is the base of his success.
In these 6 to 7 years Umesh was learning the agriculture strategies by performing practices in his farmland and improving his marketing skills day by day. Now he has more than 3000 customers. According to Umesh his turnover was 2.5 crore and around 7% of the turnover is his profit.
Umesh burnt his CV
In 2010 Umesh started cultivating various crops in his farmland. He used to sold onion, tomato, pomegranate, cabbage and few other vegetables harvested from his farm and sell them to the Pune wholesale market. Later he sourced vegetables grown in other farms and sold them as well. Umesh burnt his CV so that he could not go back to his job again.
Farmer to consumer direct selling ban lifted
In 2017 state government lifted a ban of direct selling from farmers to consumers and Umesh got the much needed break he was working for. Now it's his turn and he did not waste any time. He immediately picked his tempos full of his farm produce and went to Bhandup in Mumbai on his tempo.
Due to his own vehicles he was able to reduce the transport cost. According to Umesh he made a sale of Rs 12000 to Rs 15000 on the very first day which gave him a happy moment and boosted his confidence therefore he immediately planned to visit Bhandup twice in a week. Till this period Umesh was working with 3 employees including a driver and later the strength of employees increased as per the work progress.
Umesh Deokar registered “farm to home” vegetables
Umesh registered a 'farm to home' company as a proprietorship. Now Umesh was using his two tempos for conveyance from home to Mumbai. To reduce the food cost Umesh and his team used to carry homemade food and had tied up with tiffin service in Mumbai.
Now Umesh was confident enough because he was getting good and regular customers and registered his company called farm to home. Apart from this he started using technology and social media platforms now he is in the habit of taking orders on his WhatsApp. He did not limit himself, moved one stop ahead and created a website called Ekrushak dot com to take online orders.
Today the farm to home company is not only delivering the vegetables but also adding pulses, milk, snacks, spices and some more items. According to Umesh their vegetables stay fresh since they come straight from the farm to consumers.
True notes delivered by Umesh Deokar “Without hard work you can't achieve anything in life”.
Online strategies to grow farming business worldwide
Facebook page - Umesh has created a facebook page to find customers. You can also create a facebook page for your business.
Facebook marketplace - Apart from facebook page you can directly sell your product through facebook marketplace option. You can find this option nearby your profile icon
WhatsApp business account - You can install a WhatsApp business account and it is absolutely free. This account is different from your regular WhatsApp account, you can use both personal and business WhatsApp accounts on your same mobile. WhatsApp business account is is good for keeping your all customers data separate.
Google business profile - Earlier it was known as ‘Google my business’ and recently the name was changed to “Google business profile” by Google. With the help of Google business profile so your company can be searched online by your customers. Lets understand this with an example:
For example if a nonlocal person in Ahmedabad or in Karnataka is searching for an organic fruit shop near me or fertilizer shop in Karnataka then there is always a good chance of finding your shop by the customer if you have registered your firm in Google business profile which is free of cost. Google business profile shares the road map (address) of your registered firm shop or company via google map.
Create a website - There is always a higher chance to find new customers by creating a website. It is more effective for those businessmen who want to spread their business in different regions through online orders. However, you can create a free website through blogger.com but you might face some difficulties due to some code languages.
People usually think websites are very expensive but this is a myth you can create a good website in less amount as well. For creating a website you need to purchase one domain and one hosting which will cost between Rs 1500 to Rs 10,000 accordingly.
You can find cheapest website hosting at hostingers and greengeeks. You can purchase a domain between Rs 400 to 700, 1000 at crazy domains, namecheaps. Thus you can create a website within Rs 5500 which is one time payment for one year. If you can spend good money then you should purchase the hosting of cloudways which will cost between Rs 10,000 to 12000 in a year.