“Though I am well known as the District Rotaract Committee Chairman for the Largest Rotaract District in the world for Rotary District 3232, I still dwell in the farming and the life I’m spending with the plants.
I was born in Andhra Pradesh. Being the first child of my parents, I was never feasted exceptionally. All my brothers were treated as equal as they treated me. I got married to the love of my life once my MBA was over.
After my marriage, the first job that I was assigned was to take over a Marriage Hall (Kalyana Mandapam) and its construction works.
My father was involved in a tobacco manufacturing unit. For some reason, I did not choose to be a helping hand to him in the business.
A few months later in 1994, I got the idea to work on the Prawns Culture. The island, which was taken as a lease for this project, was submerged after a cyclone and unfortunately, we couldn’t proceed further with the island.
After observing the demand for the mineral water and meanwhile, I got to notice the diseases that are/were spread via unhygienic water, I formed a team to start a venture called ‘Hello Mineral Water Pvt. Ltd.’ We were one of the first to start bubble top can water in Chennai in 1994. Soon, we partnered with Coca-Cola to manufacture and distribute Kinley water. Moreover, we promoted and managed the largest Mineral water factory in Asia in terms of capacity in 2003.
Of course, there were ups and downs during my entrepreneurship journey. At one point, we had lost track and thus, weren’t able to pay salaries to the employees.
One of my mentors told me a marketing fact that actually worked for us – He said, “When you’re able to make your infant in your family drink your processed water, that’s when you can hit the market and make it No.1″.
These words of him stood strong in my heart and thus, I got a lot of collaborations thereafter. But I knew that this wasn’t enough for me. My soul desired something else. Something social. Something relevant to help society.
I learned about providing free medical services to the underprivileged. I became a certified cardiac counsellor. I wished to put the social cause in front always.
And that’s when I started organic farming. Many were initially sceptical about how we shall make revenue out of it but I knew that this method will take a lot of time and cannot expect this to be a successful business. Amongst these shades of debate, I made it happen. I drove it successful!
Organic farming was set up and I made students near the area come and explore the field. I educated them on the basics of farming. I decided to myself that I’ll be able to sustain doing organic farming and did not care about the profits. One of the legends who praised me was the MS Swaminathan Sir who encouraged me to pursue organic farming whatsoever. Many good souls’ words watered my vision and drove it to grow bigger.
Instead of concentrating on the regular curriculum for students, I made them do hands-on work with agriculture and educated them on the value of organic farming. I realised my life to be a meaningful journey.
Somedays, I sat along with the children and explored their ideas on bringing innovation to the foundation. Their thoughts seemed to connect with my reflections.
Till now, almost 45K students have visited and inculcated the education on organic farming and obviously, the revenue is higher than expected.
We all have a purpose and we all have a self-identity. The day we find out the reason for our survival is the day we really started living our lives.”