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Studied law in London, this woman returned to her failing family dairy business and revived it - now sells milk to Amul and is profitable.

By Asif Alam
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Studied law in London, this woman returned to her failing family dairy business and revived it - now sells milk to Amul and is profitable.

Founded in 2012 by Vikram Pandya, Shankar Farm Fresh is a popular dairy farm in Gujarat which offers fresh ghee and high-quality A2 milk. Today, it sells products across 15 Indian states.

But things weren't this fine for the business always.

When Vikram (an IIM Ahmedabad alumnus) started the farm, he had the intention of adding value to and making a difference in the lives of rural people in the regions of Jilod Taluka, Anand, and Gujarat.

Series of mistakes

Shankar Farm, in its initial years, suffered from certain wrong decisions.

For instance, one of them was adding a lot of buffaloes to the cattle. This resulted in the cattle not being able to roam and live freely because the space got restricted.

Then, due to a lack of experience and knowledge, Vikram and his family couldn't anticipate the resources needed to fulfil the farm's requirements. Soon, there was a shortage of manpower needed to milk the cows and buffaloes.

Another issue was not knowing the right way to feed the cattle. Many cows got infected and one even died.

The farm bore the brunt of these mistakes. In some years, it started incurring losses and shutting it down was the only option.

Kalyani Pandya: Taking charge and turning the tables

It was in 2020 that Vikram's daughter Kalyani took over the operations of the farm.

Kalyani Pandya is a lawyer and has a Master in Law from University College London (UCL), in 2018.

She took over the farm with two main motives:

  • To provide care to the animals at the farm.
  • To give back to society.

When she started operating Shankar Farm Fresh, she decided that firstly, old mistakes need to be reevaluated and completely eliminated.

Some concrete changes that she immediately began working towards were:

  • Reducing the size of the cattle so as to dedicate ample focus and resources to each cow and buffalo.
  • Formulating a marketing strategy for the farm and the organic milk and ghee that they made.

Kalyani began posting about Shankar Dairy Farm's products on social media. But owing to the organic quality of the products, word-of-mouth spread very quickly.

Very soon, clients, especially from Mumbai started contacting Kalyani Pandya.  All of these developments and advancements changed the face of Shankar Dairy Farm, a business that was once about to be shut down.

Currently, the farm is spread over 48,000 square feet. There are a total of 35 cows. The breeds are a mix of Gir, Kankrej, and Desi Gir.

Shankar Farm now sells fresh, nutritious milk to Amul and other local dairies at Rupees 70 per litre. The farm also has a vermicomposting unit and sells organic manure to farmers and dairies at Rupees 100 per kg.

The farm's ghee is very popular - it is the organic, A2 Ghrita ghee (made with superior-quality milk) that is sold from the website at Rupees 2,500 per kg.

After years, this is the first time that Shankar Farm Fresh is making profits. It delivers products across 15 Indian states.

To know more about the farm and buy its products, visit its website.