From IIT to Clean Label Breakfast Essentials
IIT Roorkee colleagues Vishal Rastogi and Vikas Singh took different paths after clearing IIT in 1995. But, the universe was manifesting something unexpected for them. After 22 years they met in a college reunion and hence the idea of starting a 100% Clean Label Breakfast Essentials Business was born.
After IIT, Vikas went to XLRI Jamshedpur to pursue an MBA. He then worked for a couple of big multinational bulge-bracket banks in Mumbai and Hong Kong. He then left his successive corporate career and tried entrepreneurship in coal mining and coal trading business. He did coal mining and coal trading business across Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong for the next 10 years.
Whereas, Vishal spent about 22 years in the IT industry with large corporations at various locations across the United Kingdom and the United States.
However, after 22 years when they met in a college reunion, they planned to start a dairy farming business on the urge of doing something different.
Clean Dairy Farming and Product Offerings of Happy Nature
“Living in different countries, we have seen that milk is consumed in the cleanest form across these cities. This made us realise that 100% Clean milk in India could be challenging because there are millions of farmers having different kinds of techniques to produce milk,” said Vikas while talking to Startup Pedia.
Vishal also added, “We also wanted to do something related to corporate social responsibility. We come across reports that say that some percentage of milk in India is being adulterated. So we wanted to help farmers produce milk in its purest & Clean form and help them earn better by giving them a fair price.”
The duo put in Rs. 3 crore and started a business of 100% clean dairy farming with the name Doozy Farms under a brand called Happy Nature.
Happy Nature serves Certified A2 Desi Cow Milk, In a Gabel Top paper carton packaging, which is 100% clean label and free from all types of chemicals and preservatives. It is priced at Rs. 106 for regular customers. Vishal explained that the reason why A2 desi milk is more expensive than regular milk is because the number of Desi cows and the quantity of milk that they produce is very small compared to the HF (Holstein Friesian) and the Jersey cattle.
Although the duo started with just milk, now they have expanded into various 100% Clean Label Breakfast Essentials. They have Pure Cow’s A2 Bilona Ghee, Fresh Butter Milk, Preservatives and chemical- free Artisanal Breads, Farm-Fresh Paneer, Natural Organic Himalayan Honey etc.
Purity from Farm to Consumers’ Doorsteps
The business started by providing the cleanest form of milk. Vikas explained how Happy Nature milk travels from dairy farms to consumers’ doorsteps. They source ‘machine milked’ milk from their farms from Punjab and Haryana and it is kept at 2 to 4 degrees Celsius in refrigerated vehicles to maintain its purity. It is then taken to the nearest Happy Nature hub. It is then packed overnight and then delivered to the customers as early as 5 in the morning.
“Suppose you (consumers) do not want to get up so early to pick up your milk order then you can have an insulated bag hanging at your door. The delivery boy will leave the products inside the insulated bag and you can pick it up even after two hours,” said Vishal.
Growth and Revenue
Happy Nature had a humble beginning. The duo business partners tied up with just two dairy farmers and started working from a basement and farm in Zirakpur in July 2017. Today they have more than 38 farmers working with them. They did not have any office for the first four years.
In the first six months, Happy Nature had 300 customers which grew into 1500 customers in the second year of the operation. Today, it has more than 1 lakh customers across 12 cities in India.
The organic dairy business that was started with just one product that is milk now has more than 35 SKUs and all are 100% Clean Label.
Vishal spoke about what they are striving for and said, “We are trying to add more and more 100% Clean Label products in the breakfast segment. Starting from dairy, eggs, peanut butter, proteins, and so on. We are slowly introducing a ready-to-eat concept as well which would again be on a clean label and would have no preservatives.”
The company has a total of 280 employees including delivery partners who work under the brand to maintain the purity of the products, especially milk. The duo has two offices one in Gurgaon and one in Zirakpur. Moreover, they have 12 hubs across Punjab, Haryana and Delhi NCR. Apart from dairy farmers’ associations, Happy Nature has a farm in Rajpura in Patiala District near Chandigarh having 300 cattle.
The brand has seen exponential growth in the last couple of years. It has seen about 70% year-on-year growth. In 2020-21 the brand clocked Rs. 8.5 crore revenue. In 2021-22 the revenue increased almost double which was Rs. 14.4 crore. In the previous fiscal year, 2022-23 the revenue skyrocketed to Rs. 21.1 crore.
So far, the Gurugram based startup Happy Nature which is valued at Rs 100 crore has raised a total funding of Rs 15 crore from Seed investors, Bridge investors, CCD investors, Angel fund and their Investors.
Impacting small dairy farmers
As Vishal mentioned previously, one of the reasons for starting a dairy farming business was to help the farmers earn better and improve the quality of the business. Happy Nature helps dairy farmers build an infrastructure for machine milking and improve the health of the cows for high-quality milk.
Vishal said while talking to Startup Pedia, “When our associated farmers have high-quality milk for which we pay premium price they tend to proliferate their businesses. That is how they grow.”
1. What is A2 milk?
A2 milk is a type of cow’s milk that contains only the A2 type of beta-casein protein, believed to be easier to digest than the A1 beta-casein found in regular milk. It’s marketed as a potentially gentler option for those with milk intolerance or digestive issues.
2. Who are the founders of Happy Nature?
The founders of Happy Nature are Vishal Rastogi and Vikas Singh, both alumni of IIT Roorkee. They came together after 22 years to establish Happy Nature, a 100% Clean Label Breakfast Essentials business focused on clean dairy farming.
3. What is the revenue of Happy Nature?
Happy Nature has witnessed substantial revenue growth:
In 2020-21, it recorded revenue of Rs. 8.5 crore.
By 2021-22, the revenue almost doubled, reaching Rs. 14.4 crore.
For the fiscal year 2022-23, the revenue soared to Rs. 21.1 crore.
4. Has Happy Nature raised any funding?
Yes, Happy Nature has secured funding to support its growth. Valued at Rs 100 crore, the Gurugram-based startup has successfully raised Rs 15 crore from various investors, including Seed investors, Bridge investors, CCD investors, Angel fund, and other contributors sharing the vision of the company’s mission.