How many of us have the guts to quit a well-paying job and take up farming?
Born and brought up in Ajmer, Rajasthan, Anikta and her sister grew up in an atmosphere where academic excellence was greatly valued. An IIM Graduate, and daughter of a Civil Engineer, Ankita Kumawat, found her calling in the dairy and farm business.
Wondering why would a young woman at the peak of her career leave a full-time job to start a Dairy Farm with her father? Let’s hear from her:
What inspired you to quit the job and join your dad’s farming business?
Like any other young professional, I also dreamed of a good job after studying in one of the prestigious institutes of India. I have been fortunate enough to work with good organizations, both in India and abroad and have learnt a lot but internal satisfaction was missing. It made me vulnerable and made me think of starting something of my own. Before joining my dad, I did a lot of research on various aspects of food industry basically dairy and agriculture. I worked part-time in his dairy for almost a year to get the basics of dairy-farming. Finally, in 2014, I quit my job and joined him.
Starting up Maatratav Dairy and Organic Farm — was it inspired by any personal space?
My dad started this dairy in the early nineties with our first Jersey cow. Being a farmer’s kid, he was associated with farm and animals. However, the idea of owning a cow was to provide his kids pure and fresh milk. With time his love for the animals turned into passion and he founded this dairy. It’s been running for last 20 years.
We have both indigenous and exotic breeds of cows and we are transforming our farm into an indigenous breed farm.
Did you always know that farming was something you were going to do for the rest of your life? If so, when in life did you realise this?
No, it was not the case. I loved to visit my grandparent’s farm during childhood and later saw my dad running his dairy. After completing my education I did work with corporates. However, I remain dissatisfied with my life and job.
Tell us about your future plans.
In the near future, we are planning to expand both our dairy and agriculture projects. We have installed solar power plant at our Nasirabad farm to meet our electricity requirements.
As of now, we are preparing vermicompost at our farm. By the end of this year, we plan to start supplying this to local farmers to make them aware of natural and organic farming.
What are your core passion and long-term vision behind the Farm?
We want to contribute to the betterment of this industry, provide jobs to rural milk sellers and farmers. Out of 9 people who are working at my farm 5 of them are females. In today’s scenario, everyone is diet conscious and are looking for healthy and pure eatables. The need to expand and at the same time promote dairy and organic farming is the long-term idea.
We have already started training sessions where young professionals from all over India are visiting us and are attending our training sessions on dairy and organic farming.
Most touching moments are when my old friends and colleagues approach and everyone is so interested in joining farming.
Did you face any struggles?
Adopting something new is not that easy, one has to sacrifice personal interests to be successful in business. I have recently started my journey in this field and the journey of my challenges also started with it.
Dairy and farming have always been male-dominated. The other challenge in this field is the lack of trained manpower, as this work requires a lot of hard work and dedication. One has to start early in the morning and can only sleep once the animal’s needs are taken care of.
In today’s world where everyone is living a monotonous life in metro’s, living a life close to nature is everybody’s dream but they fear of losing money. It just that you need to take a bold step to make it come true, it’s difficult to come out of your comfort zone. But when you do, it’s worth it!