We often hear the elders reminiscing over the purity and freshness of the food and beverages of their youth. It’s rare to find the same in modern-day adulterated and processed food products. Milkybay is working to bring back the missing freshness with a plethora of innovations and positive outcomes in the dairy sector.

After doing her MBA and working through different jobs, Jayati set forth in the direction of agribusiness. She, along with her co-founder, had set up Milkybay in 2017. After doing a two-week course at NDRI (National Dairy Research Institute), she set up a shed with pasteurization and other sanitization units at a farm near Gurugram. Starting with five cows, they now take care of 50 cows.

Jayati Bhatnagar with one of the bovine members of the farm.

Milkybay focuses on the freshness of the products and thus ensures the purity and no preservatives policy. It caters to B2B and B2C segments mostly via its offline supply chain. It ensures that the entire supply chain is comprehensively sustainable, and quality is assured. No plastic is used at any stage, thereby staying true to their goal of all-around purity. They use returnable glass bottles with paper stickers, seals and packaging for their products. All the cows are of the indigenous variety and produce A2 milk, which is full of health benefits. The indigenous varieties have lower milk productivity and require more maintenance, but this is more than compensated with the utilization of the dung and urine that they generate. The same can’t be utilized in the case of jersey cows. Thus, cow dung cakes (upla) and biogas are used as a source of fuel for nearby homes. The products span across

  • Milk and flavoured milk
  • Buttermilk
  • Paneer (Cottage cheese)
  • Ghee

The door to door delivery meets most of the domestic consumption. With the hospitality industry becoming more conscious of where their raw materials are sourced from, many food and beverage outlets have also been placing their orders with Milkybay. Leading by example, the founders ensure that the cows are taken care of holistically. They ensure that the calves are adequately breastfed during the initial months. They go to great lengths to ensure proper veterinary care and other needs of the cows. They also sponsor the education of some children of their farmworkers, thereby making the locals a part of their growth story.

The farm ensures the products get to the consumers fresh from source.

However, all these results did come with their fair share of problems. There was a significant language barrier in the medium of training during the NDRI course and setting up of the shed in the village. To date, there is hardly any institute that provides short term courses for agri-business in the English language. It limits the entry of those who are interested in starting a venture in this domain but are not well averse to the associated regional language. Despite various government schemes for women entrepreneurship, agri-business and cattle welfare, Milkybay didn’t receive any substantial help from the side of the administration. The most significant problem though is the indifference and lack of training of veterinarians. If the cow gets sick, there is hardly any hospital or skilled vets who can adequately treat the cow, a problem that they’re unable to get around completely. Makeshift arrangement of hiring private and expensive vets is the only solution at this stage.

What’s encouraging is that having made the moral choice of providing organic and pure dairy products to its customers has led to the growth of Milkybay, surpassing the challenges. So much so that they have to limit their service delivery area to Gurugram and Delhi and stick to offline presence to ensure quality and sanitization. Some customers even insisted on using only their milk during the COVID-19 pandemic, prior to the severe lockdown. Milkybay thus puts forth a stellar example of Women Entrepreneurship, Zero Plastic use, Sustainability of Environment, Animal care and Product Quality.

Article by Subhav Duggal, Team ulaunch.

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