Thousands of people across India are infected with unemployment because there is a dearth of jobs. To sustain themselves and earn their living, people have started taking up every small opportunity that knocks on their door.
In such critical times, it is pleasing to come across people like Santosh Sharma. Despite knowing that he would have a hard time finding a job again, he left his high-salaried corporate job for starting a dairy farm as it would create job opportunities in the rural pockets of India. With his marketing acumen, his initiative is making a monthly revenue of over Rs 2 crore.
A few months after Santosh’s birth, his father retired from job and decided to return to their ancestral home in Chhapra district of Bihar. However, her mother decided to stay back in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, to provide quality education to the children.
Santosh would go door to door to sell milk to help his financially inadequate family. There were times when he would sell milk in his school uniform before going to school.
“My mother and sister would to let me study in the English medium till he fails. We will send him to the Government School after he fails. But I never failed,” he laughs.
Trying out different hands
After completing his studies, Santosh worked at various places as a car dealer, banker, and even as an assistant manager at Air India over the course of 15 years. During his free time, he would pen down his entrepreneurial thoughts. In 2014, he wrote a book called Dissolve The Box. It became an instant hit and got endorsements from people like Oprah Winfrey, Sachin Tendulkar, and around 50 CEOs across the globe. He then started training and mentoring students from top B-schools of India.
In one such lectures, he met Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, who invited him for a meeting in 2013. This meeting changed Santosh’s life. The former president asked him to work on projects in villages and tap the energy of 40 crore youth in the country.
After pondering on a few ideas, Santosh decided to pursue organic dairy farming as he already had the required knowledge. In 2016, he started his own organic dairy farm with eight cattle on a land inside Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary. He named it M’ma Dairy Farm for the love of his mother. He invested Rs 80 lakh from his savings, much against the decision of his friends.
“My friends were against my decision of opening the farm as it is in a Maoist area but I decided to go ahead with it and my risk paid off,” says Santosh, who was receiving a monthly salary of Rs 85,000.
Currently, the farm has over 100 cows and is providing employment to nearly 100 people, including the local youth. With an annual turnover of Rs 2 crore, Santosh wants to open more farms in other areas of the country and also focus on organic farming and tourism to provide employment to hundreds of young unemployed people.
“We started with pure organic milk and are now producing paneer, butter and ghee,” he says. “At present, we sell around 15,000 litres of milk every month in Jamshedpur. Our products are sold within four to five hours.”
Santosh has been awarded with the Star Citizen Honour award in 2013, Alankar Award by Tata in 2014, and Youth Icon Award by Government of Jharkhand in 2016.
Instead of enjoying his well-paying cushy job in top notch companies, Santosh has shown us that earnings can be multiplied by going back to the roots and helping other people at the same time. His innovative ideas are a ray of hope to a country where millions dream of a secured job.