First hand experiences - Thinking Big Chasing dreams

Naresh Kumar, Progressive Farmer

Naresh Kumar, Dairy Enterpreneur


Some people are born to follow their zeal, achieving the parameters of success in their own terms. Today I had a chance to meet such a humble heart, Naresh Kumar, who’s currently a dairy farmer and also gives consultancies to other dairies.

Starting from a meager job in Goa by going on an undecided journey, following the power of spontaneity and following one’s soul to building a wireless charger, working for an MNC automobile company to launch and set up a distributorship network in 17 states to running a dairy farm. This is definitely not a linear life story.

 

Journey...

If you’re someone who loves traveling and exploring new places, am sure that sometime you would have wondered, should I take that next bus/train and hop on for an unplanned journey. Should I just hop on it? That’d be exciting and free. Naresh embarked on such a journey with his friend Mohan. He just went to Nizamuddin station to fetch the next train to start off with what we can call his life’s journey. So peacefully he tells me that they listened to the announcement of next going train as “Vasco Da Gama Express” and decided to fetch it. On being enquired by his friend that they don’t have enough money to make it back home, said, “We’ll earn by finding work over there to make it back home”. He didn’t want to come back, as in his own words, “I shut down the home’s door by choice, wasn’t forced to leave, so it was my decision, and I respected and took it with a happy face against all hardships. Wanted to come home only when I become something...”. Walking in the middle of the night in Delhi’s extreme winter month, December, at 4-celsius temperature, he says smilingly, “I discovered that when you walk you don’t feel cold, so spent the whole night by walking”. He explains the journey part in his poetic style “Zindagi mein kayi rang dekhe aur phir kabhi kabhi aisa bhi that jab koi rang hi nhi tha... Par,  Firr Yahi cheezein apko Jeena sikhati hain”. To interpret in English, “Saw many colors of life and then there were times when there wasn’t any color at all, but those times actually make you learn how to live life”.

“If unexpected things can happen to NASA, then one should be prepared for anything. Most of the times we take a decision but don’t accept its results”.

Such is a kind of journey every entrepreneur faces, it’s important to respect every aspect of it, love it, admire the zero, he concludes.

 

No barriers....

He explains there aren’t any barriers if one really wishes to achieve anything, quotes an example of Vasco-Da-Gama. Says, when he was in the sixth standard he used to think that Vasco-da-Gama embarked on a journey without even knowing the language of locals he was heading to. So, to communicate they must have used gestures, expressions, and signs. These are actually enough to communicate your message. “Language”, you only need to encode the message, so that it can be stored in a form where someone else can have access to it.

 

Less is more....

Naresh gives a message for the entrepreneurs to leave two things- The desire to gain something and the fear to lose something. Says it's important to self-analyze every day, imposing a question mark on your daily doings to know whether you are going on the right path, not getting attached to anything and motivate to continue moving further. Tells me about this incident when he left the bag of clothes, and file of certificates he had, felt too heavy, as he says. Then adds, “I used to worry for losing them and keeping an eye on the stuff while traveling most of the times in regular compartment of the train became a tedious task. So, I decided to leave everything, all at once”. Upon asking, “Even certificates?”, he replies gently, “If I as a matured human being can’t do anything then what can these pieces of paper do and if in future there comes a situation, that I really need certificates, I can get another copy of those, didn’t need to carry the worries of losing them”

Just dive into it....

He tells me about this incident which led him to make a portable solar charger for mobile phones. On some railway station, there were people searching for charging points. There was a commotion of wires around a charging station, and people having a hard time to get their cell phones charged. It was back in the days when there were many remote areas and villages not having proper access to electricity.  So, he decided to validate the idea by going to an International Renewable Energy Exhibition in Delhi, where he evaluated various companies, on the basis of power and size of the existing products. He tells me, “The product I envisioned shouldn’t have taken more than 3 watts, and all the companies had it in 5, 7, or 10 watts. With more power, the size and the cost both increased, and in villages people didn’t have enough purchasing power. Kirloskar Green, an Indian company also had the same work done in 7 watts. Seeing that, I decided, I have to do this, by any means. So, I spent 3-4 hours daily in the months of summer out in the sun to study solar module working. And, finally, I came up with a design which I got developed from Kirloskar Green, and sold around 15k units in various states. With time, when electricity became mainstream, I winded up my business. But, even today I get calls from people who are using it”.

 

Innovation is important....

Don’t do it just for money.

Upon taking his take on what drives him for innovation, he gave me this answer, “Today electricity is available, we are giving some money to have access to it. What if it wasn’t there? What was the use of money for a guy having a TB disease before its cure was invented? It’s really important to keep inventing, for the next generations to come. We’ve gotten great inventions from our previous generations, and we need to continue. The true inventions never happened in lure of money. If someone does innovation just for money, he won’t go too far”. 

 

When it’s your time. Opportunities come from back door…

When asked didn’t you ever felt scared about how would you make money, he quotes, “That there will be a time when money comes through the back door”, meaning it gets real simple and easy. Then he explains further, “Based on my solar charger venture experience and sales, an automobile company, “Tyresecure”, contacted me to launch their sealant product in 17 states and spread their distributorship network. I decided to take that job, but the challenge was, in every state, I needed an investor to start off with informing their distributorship network. And, that’s when my interest in studying human psychology really helped me. I worked around four years and was successful in forming a good, solid network for the company”. 

 

Why and how Dairy Farming?

“I wanted to do something that could be regenerated, so was attracted towards farming. I started reading at the University of Pennsylvania’s dairy farming journals whenever I had time. For two years I kept gaining knowledge in such a way, and then I found that there’s a farm in Bathinda who teaches dairy farming, so I went to them and offered to do any kind of job on their farm, and in return just asked for food and a place to stay. As I wanted to learn, I had no conditions. After working there for six months, I gained sufficient knowledge for opening my very own dairy farm”.

“I’d like to add over here that agriculture is one such sector, that can make us survive until the time we really want to.. Limited resources like iron, cement, etc, would be depleted at one point. Agriculture is one such sector which we can renew.

Milk is an essential commodity and is required by people, so I decided to start with dairy farming. 

And, honestly, animals don’t say any bad stuff”.

“Around Delhi, NCR every year 100 dairies get opened up and almost the same as the number that gets shut down. People, don’t possess enough knowledge to run an organized dairy farm. Further, the kind of work done in animal health and nutrition in our country isn’t sufficient. I’d like to appreciate the work and effort put up by Grand Dairy Tech, I have been following you guys since you started, and really appreciate the intent you guys are having for farmers. Definitely, there’s a gap you guys are fulfilling. We need more people like you”.

Background & Hobbies-

Naresh never went to college and had no formal technical degree. He didn’t like the education system, as according to him it doesn’t allow anyone to think outside a formal system. He claims himself to be someone who doesn’t want to stay in boundaries, always slept under the open sky, inhaling fresh air. Loved human psychology, used to imagine situations world explorers/sailors would have faced.