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When the army finishes off the line as a big one, it always starts with a one-man army. The wall can definitely stop an army, but never a man alone. This time Satyavachan by Peach Blink brings to you the story of the person who decided to carry forward his lineage and make it fit in today’s critical modern era; Radhakrishna Farms (RKF) and Mr. Utkarsh Prabhu.
Radhakrishna Farms is farm brand which sells fresh and authentic farm products directly from the farm. Mr. Utkarsh Prabhu is the co-founder at RKF and is currently managing the marketing, sales and customer service. He pursued BBA in Retail Management from Symbiosis Skills and Professional University, Pune. Mr. Prabhu says, “for a small business, your job profile varies as need occurs and there is no specific type of work. You can be a co-founder as well as the delivery boy.”
Mr. Prabhu’s father had grown up doing farm errands and always wanted to expand his interest and hobby of farming. So, they started on a small scale in June 2012 and slowly expanded over the years. This included planting trees, crops and fodder, dairy farming 10 with jersey and hf cows. Till date, they have planted more than 5000 trees and had about 100 cows. As a result, during the pandemic, they got fresh and 100% natural fruits, vegetables and milk every day from the farm. This made Mr. Prabhu realize the importance of farming and farmers and that this should be made available to everyone. Hence, the family planned to take it on a commercial basis and thus came the idea for Radhakrishna Farms. The name is taken from Mr. Prabhu’s great grandparents Radha and Krishna as they were the ones who had initially started farming.
RKF was not commercial when the pandemic started. They had to reduce the number of cows significantly from around 100 to 50. Since they could grow only limited quantities fodder for the cows and most of the food and supplies came from farms outside Goa, RKF team started witnessing obstacles of pandemic. As the borders were shut due to the Pandemic, they faced a huge shortage of food and supplies for the cows. They couldn't even increase the supply on farm as they also faced the shortage of labor to carry out farming activities. RKF started giving the fruits and vegetables to its relatives, friends and colleagues and slowly to nearby societies. The team started posting on WhatsApp and Facebook groups and this led to an increase in demand for the products and they slowly started gaining new customers. RKF also started home delivering milk and other farm produce.
Establishing a start-up brand during the pandemic is more difficult compared to the normal scenario as there are many restrictions implemented for the safety of the people. Difficulties like bootstrapping, carefulness about the finances and the spend limit during the pandemic, restrictions on transport and other facilities, sourcing raw materials and essentials, shortage of labor and also obtaining licenses and pertaining to other legalities used to take a lot of time. Pandemic also had its benefits as due to this crisis, people started getting more conscious about their immunity and preferred natural products. Marketplaces were also shut, hence people started looking for alternatives to get their daily groceries which helped RKF grow faster as compared to the normal scenario.
In the future, they are planning to expand in the tourism sector such as farm tours and farm stays to give people all around the world the perfect experience of nature and the beauty that surrounds, expand the product line and categories and the scale.
It is truly said that the future totally depends on how one uses the available situation as an opportunity and identifies the beneficial sectors in the same situation which helps them in laying the foundation stone.