Mr. R. S Sodhi, Managing Director of Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Limited (Amul), who build 36 lakh village entrepreneurs and provided them a sustainable income of 365 days, discusses: What are the business opportunities for budding entrepreneurs in India? # **Which business is best for budding entrepreneurs?** Nowadays, entrepreneurs seek for a business which has the following characteristics: - It should be sustainable, i.e. a long-term business. - It has minimum investment. - The market is nearby. - It has less or no ups and downs. - It has low risk. Rs 34 - 40 lac Cr., out of which 7-lakh Cr. is in the dairy sector alone. which 7-lakh crores is dairy business alone. In addition, food business can be started at low investment as well as high investment. So, the best business to enter is food business. ### **Classification of Dairy Business:** Dairy business can be divided into two parts based on production stage:- - **Milk Production:** It comprises milk production, cattle breeding and feeding. - **Milk Processing & Marketing:** It includes collection of milk, pasteurization, packing, branding, distribution, and selling. Milk business can be categorized into two parts according to geography:- ### **Milk Business in Rural Areas:-** - **_Cattle Breeding:-** Farmers can start business of breeding good quality cows and buffaloes that produces high volume of milk. Farmers can purchase calf for Rs. [3000-4000](tel:3000-4000) and after breeding them for 2 years; can earn up to Rs. 50,000 to 1 lakh by selling them. - ***Cattle Feeding:*** Farmers can start business of preparing food for cattle and sell to farmers or dairy farms having large number of cattle. - **_Milk Testing:_** Business of milk testing and other related equipment can also be done at rural level ### **Milk Business in Urban Areas:** Earlier, people prefer to buy multinational brands in food and gradually, they start buying national brand for food because the life-span and quality of these foods is good. Now, they want regional and local brand because they need fresh food. So, this is an opportunity for local and small businesses. **_Example:_** If you want to open a sweet shop in your city, you can procure 10,000-liter milk from nearby 20 villages, and after processing, packaging, and branding it can be established as a local brand in your area. **How to Build Your Brand in Food Business?** Below is the process to build your brand in food sector without investing too much capital:- - Identify a product you want to produce - Use good quality ingredients in production - Use latest technology in production, procurement and processing - Maintain excellent taste which can retain customer for longer period - Ensure attractive packaging to allure customers - Establish a brand name to market your product - Ensure efficient distribution of product or hire an external distributor - Keep pricing of product keeping in mind the income level of lower-middle class customers **_First Make Your Product Gully Brand, then Make it Your City Brand, then State, and then National Brand_** **_Move to next phase of expansion only when you get 20% local market share_** **Food Business in India** - People spend around 20% of their income on food - Food business will never face any depression because people need food to survive - With the growing Indian population, food consumption will keeps on increasing - To make a successful business in food, you should produce affordable products for lower middle class. It will increase the volume of your business and profitability. ## **Increasing Importance of Brand in Food** Earlier very few people used to purchase branded products, but now as people’s income level is increasing they are moving from unbranded to branded products. There is a myth that branded products in food sector are only sold in cities, but Mr. Sodhi from his experience at Amul, says, “People in rural areas have now started using branded products like butter, cheese, chhanch (buttermilk), lassi etc”. ## **Food Business for Women Entrepreneurs** Talking about women entrepreneur in India, Mr. Sodhi suggests, food business is best suited for women as they can make it at their home with the help of their children: - Marketing of food products with the name of women helps brand grow faster because people have positive perception towards food made by women - Since women understand food better, their way of preparing, processing and packaging is somewhat better - Other products like pickles, papad, snacks are also some of best business options for women entrepreneurs # **Key Learnings:** - Plan how much CAPEX it will be needed for how many days - Conduct pilot experimentation and validation - Design the product according to lower-middle class customers - Receive customer’s signals and introduce improvement cycle in product - Use good ingredients in production and focus on building good taste - Use latest technology in processing and procurement - Ensure attractive packaging and brand name - Make your product first local brand then regional and national - Develop a strong distribution network - Keep pricing according to lower-middle class customer - Go to the next phase of expansion after getting 20% market share