Overseas Indian sets up region’s first Tech based Dairy Farm in Punjab
Overseas Indian gives up high paying MNC job in Singapore returns to his roots to set up a hi-tech Dairy farm in Punjab
Overseas Indian establishes region’s first Technology based Dairy farm in Punjab, based on concept of ‘Social Entrepreneurship’
Fifty -four year-old Deepak Gupta, was till recently based in Singapore, heading the commodities business in Asia for Agri-Major Cargill. He left the stable & comfortable environment of an international career to follow his dream of setting up a technology enabled modern dairy farm in Punjab, despite friends & colleagues advising him against taking the step. Deepak who studied at DAV College, Chandigarh, now does not regret taking the Entrepreneurial plunge a wee bit, as he is happy to have achieved his objective– establishing ‘Himalayan Creamery’. The state of the art farm spread over 20 acres is located outside Nabha in Punjab, a short 2 hour drive from Chandigarh . The farm is home to 350 beautiful Holstein Frisian and Jersey cows. The farm currently milks 200 cows in a ‘ Herringbone ‘ milking parlor. The milk, from the parlor is un-touched by hand & is instantly chilled, pasteurized 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. The idea first took root on my visits to India while i was still working. I would read stories about adulteration & 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. Having gained sufficient expertise in the agricultural sector, I began to seriously consider my longstanding dream of setting up a dairy farm in India to be able to market fresh, great tasting milk to customers directly from our farm” .” Says Deepak.
The milk from Himalayan Creamery can be consumed directly without boiling as it is free from hormones, pesticides and antibiotics. Each batch of milk is tested to make sure it is of the highest standard and milk is handled using state of the art equipment. 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.
Deepak’s venture holds significance as according to a National survey, in India almost 70% of the milk sold and consumed in India is adulterated by contaminants such as detergent and skim milk powder with impure water being the highest contaminant.
Besides dairy, the farm also grows green fodder, wheat and vegetables with organic farming methods. It uses the manure to generate biogas for electricity before using it as fertiliser for farming. ” I feel that 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 seniors. This could become a model of rural development and at the same time be a source of supply of fresh and safe food for our ever growing cities.” adds Deepak.
The farm puts a lot of focus on animal comfort. The cows live in loose sheds with water showers and fans, cow brushes that rotate on demand keep them clean and improve their comfort and welfare. The cows are fed a high quality feed made up of corn silage, soybean meal, wheat bran, minerals, dry and green fodder. Some of the green fodder is grown organically on farm using manure from the farm. The natural diet ensures that the milk tastes great and is of a of a high quality.
There is a state of the art animal monitoring system from SCR of Israel, which allows the farm to monitor its cows 24 hours a day. This helps as each individual cow’s behavior & health can be seen real time.
In the past 8 weeks we have signed-up more than 100 families in the Tricity who get Himalayan Creamery milk delivered to them every morning and more customers are coming on-board daily.
“We will deliver milk directly to customers but also plan to open ‘Himalayan Creamery’ counters at some select stores in prime locations of the Tricity, to provide un-adulterated great tasting milk to health conscious consumers.” Sums Up Deepak.