He returned from Singapore to realise his dream back in Nabha
Deepak Gupta left behind the comforts of his promising international career in Singapore to pursue his dream back home. He says he is a happy man now.
Gupta, who spent nearly 30 years in Singapore working at a global company connecting the food chain system after completing studies at DAV College in Chandigarh, wanted to set up a technology-enabled modern dairy farm in Punjab.
Two years after his return from Singapore, he has achieved his objective by setting up the Himalayan Creamery in Nabha, about a two-hour drive from Chandigarh.
Gupta, 54, says he does not regret taking the plunge into entrepreneurship. Why would he?
He has set up the dairy farm over a 20-acre plot and it now has 350 Holstein Friesian and Jersey cows.
Nearly 200 cows are milked in a herringbone parlour at the farm. The milk is not touched by hand, is pasteurised and packed on the farm under the brand name “Himalayan Creamery”.
“I had a strong desire of providing pure un-adulterated milk to consumers. It’s nothing new and quite common to see ‘farm to table’ dairy businesses around the world, which customers love,” Gupta said.
“The idea first took root on my visits to India while I was still working (in Singapore). I would read stories about adulteration and contamination of milk and would see my friends and family making a lot of effort to secure a reliable supply of fresh milk, sometimes relying on a local milk vendor,” he said.
Having gained understanding of the agriculture sector because of his years spent at the food chain system firm in Singapore, Gupta said: “I began to consider my dream of setting up a dairy farm in India to be able to market fresh milk to customers directly from our farm.”
“It’s never touched by hands and is stored in a cold room before being loaded on the refrigerated trucks to be delivered fresh to customers,” he said.
Green fodder, wheat and vegetables are also grown at his farm using organic farming methods. It uses the cow manure to produce biogas for electricity generation and as fertiliser.
“I feel social entrepreneurship is a great way to drive change in agriculture. We share best practices in dairy farming with local farmers, educate them about animal health, feeding and hygiene, create employment opportunities for the rural youth and elders,” Gupta said.
At the farm, attention is given to animal comfort. The cows are kept in sheds with water showers and fans, while brushes rotate on demand to keep them clean. The cattle are fed corn silage, soybean meal, wheat bran, minerals, dry and green fodder grown at the farm.
Gupta said an animal monitoring system from an Israeli dairy tech firm has been installed at the farm, which helps in seeing each individual cow’s behaviour and health in realtime. PTI