Ms. Priyanka Singh, Generation Next Entrepreneur in healthcare and FMCG industry “There are 3 C’s to success: Concentration, consistency and co-operation”!
My definition of an Entrepreneur:
Entrepreneurs are creative, driven individual who finds new combinations of factors of production to develop a new product, corner a new market, or design a new technology and he/she famously attributed endogenous development to the creative acts associated with entrepreneurial activity
What is the name of your venture and any specific reason to start it?
It’s Taj Agro; and there is no specific reason to begin it, but yes our existing set of pharma and healthcare customer wanted to buy something in food industry like Basmati Rice, Protein powder, Egg powder and other such daily commodities, under a trusted brand name with guaranteed quality; that’s how, I have come with separate FMCG company in our existing Group companies portfolio.
How old is your venture?
It’s almost 5 years old now
What are you main products?
In health protein segment, we have Egg powder, soya protein powder, Nutra products, Vitamins, health supplements, and mother care products.
Which are your main exports destination?
Export are primarily destined to East Asia, Middle East, Europe and North America, Africa, CIS, Russia and Balkan countries.
How big is your team?
Our team size is moderate; yet we are bunch of passionate people towards working for “Taj Agro development ‘Eat Good; Look Good; Presently our sales takes place from Mumbai/ Hyderabad offices; and production support is based in Gujarat.
Where is your manufacturing based?
Our manufacturing facilities are based in Gujarat.
Where is your company based?
Our headquarter is in Mumbai, and branch locations are at – Ahmedabad,
Hyderabad, Cochin etc.
How do you manage supply chain?
Our wide network in India for outsourcing of right Agricultural commodities combined with years of expertise keeps us many steps ahead of all other Agro traders in the country. Over the years we have developed an excellent Agro Product basket for manufacturing, processing and trading and simultaneously developing sophisticated infrastructure facilities for Sourcing, Milling/Processing and Shipping. Apart from our strong sourcing networks, our other major facilities includes large warehousing, on schedule time delivery of Products, Credit Facilities to importers, Buyers, and always making innovative changes in our system which can keep us ahead among our competitors. I am always looking to improve ourselves. Every day is a new day and there is always some scope to learn and form your further strategy accordingly.
Are you selling online?
Yes, we are listed on major online shopping carts like: Amazon, flipcart etc; and gradually we are looking to expand our sales on other such platforms. As we are getting good response of customers.
Share the idea or story behind the venture?
Taj Agro has been established with a concept to avail quality Products of all Agro Based Products Requirements, under one roof for Importers from various parts of world and make them aware about wide range of unique Products of our nation, which are yet to shown to world. We are an Agro based country. And heart of this nation lays in a farmer’s field, aroma of fresh cultivated fruits, vegetables, milk, curd, lassi, Chai, and such day to day items. We are a self-sufficient nation; when it’s come to “Food”!
Therefore I established this venture to promote our country’s long cherished Agro Products. It’s highly demanded worldwide. It’s just proper channel is required to facilitate it. This is what I ‘m trying to do; via our organization.
Have you raised any funding or have any plans for the funding?
Ans. No we have not raised any funding yet for our venture but in coming future; we may explore if good opportunity comes in our way.
Are you married, single or in a relationship?
I am single as of now.
How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?
Honestly speaking if I look at my personal life I haven’t found any difference as I comes from a business family. I have been always actively involved in our Group social cause, CSR activities.
My mother is a great support and pillar of strength to me while encouraging me to do good work every day. My family is also very supportive and helpful. My father keeps sharing his long experience and right inputs to generate good business and quality products label, design etc; despite of his busy schedule, he is very informative and have an enthusiastic outlook towards life.
What expansion plans are you looking for the next 2 years or 3 years?
In next 2 to 3 years I have plans to make our venture more accessible, so that people from different parts of the world can be added to our customers list. I am looking to develop own product Mobile based APP, where farmers, Agro Vendors can keep direct connect with company 24×7; basically it will help us in better price negation, which will help us to grow further. It will also keep us updated with new market info.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now? How did you overcome those challenges?
The most challenging part has been managing various states Licencing, norms, new label norms, so following regulatory part was bit challenging for me.
Yes, I’m still learning. We have hired good consultants and market experts; but yet we constantly need be updated about various food safety regulations, law amendments, implementation, documentation filling etc.
Currently our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Bhai Modi ji has made and implemented good reforms and most of such govt. Licensing portals are online now; so it’s bit transparent, hassle-free and refreshing change. It will definitely bring positive change in long run.
What are your hobby?
Writing short story, Poem, glass painting, gardening, reading, travelling, Girl child education, cooking and tradition and culture.
Whom do you consider your idol or a biggest motivator behind this venture?
Ans. No one is my idol; as it’s keep changing with time, behind this venture.
But I do follow Industry experts work and their journey to achieve their goals.
Late Verghese kurien, (founder and chairman Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd.) is someone I really look up to. I am huge fan of “Amul” products; and USP of Amul is a tight supply chain and price control. It’s highly commendable; their way of working, transparency, and positive attitude to maintain the brand.
What do you think about funds accessibility for startups in Indian Market?
I think startups have funding accessibility because now a day’s angel investors, venture capitalist are coming forward to help the entrepreneurs in meeting initial fund requirements, provided the concept is rewarding.
Tell us something about your education & family background.
I come from a traditional Rajput business family. Our forefathers were landlords and social reformers. My great grandfather used to cultivate cash crop like “Tobacco, Spices, Indigo, opium, and wheat, seasonal passion fruits like mango, lychee, banana, etc; and further he used to export it via Calcutta port to Burma (Myanmar now), Thailand, and other East Asian countries. So you can understand; from where this agro gene has evolved.
Further; this business tradition has been carried forward by next generations of our family.
I have done schooling from New Delhi, British school, vidya public school and finished graduation from Mumbai, and now pursuing an MBA
Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
I am a content person; yet not satisfied with what have been done so far.
I don’t consider myself successful yet. There is still long way to go.
There is no parameters of success for me, but yes; if our employees are well paid, their children’s are getting quality education, good health and if our customers based are satisfied, and if new people are looking forward to associate with us. I consider such things as success and point of satisfaction.
What do you like to say to our viewers about aspiring entrepreneurship?
“As a generation next entrepreneur, I urge women entrepreneurs both to be courageous in what they do best and improve themselves further in every possible way to become more competitive and self-confident in business life.”
Business are built on trust and familiarity, with personal relationships playing a vital role in securing business deals. You will not only be judged based on your business proposal, but also on your personal characteristics.
Few quick tips for aspiring entrepreneurs:
- Don’t make product only for elite
- Always maintain high quality and cutting edge technology and right price offer
- Always consider world as your market place
- Keep your vocation to be no. 1
- Always be on time for business meetings/ appointments
- Direct phone call always helps to judge your customer
- Do your research on your client business model, culture, infrastructure etc
These days everyone does not have all luxury to start things on their own not only because of funds but also because of the family as well as social constraints and various Govt. running startups program.
However, if someone as an individual is able to make a right balance and pursue the venture by choice than one should start it with full fledge positive thinking.
Having said that; maintaining right balance is necessary, choosing likeminded people, venture capitalist, initial Licensing hurdles, funding, right location, funding, proper infrastructure, maintain vendors/ suppliers, right channel of communication, if product based industry like us, and above all there should be “Passion to perform”.
Vision, Mission, Gender gap in India:
One thing we can all agree on is that female entrepreneurs don’t get enough press — even the successful ones.
Every successful entrepreneur started somewhere.
There’s no “magic pill” that effortlessly launches you out of your cubicle confinement and into the free world of entrepreneurship. For some, the dream to be your own boss grows for a long time, even years, before it finally comes to fruition.
The truth is, great success in business grows from just one, tiny seed.
“My path to succeed in our family run business seemed to me, a natural evolution.
“After the initial fear and hurdles, the learning curve is so great I came very close to failure.
Instead of giving up, I started to develop a deep sense of passion for motivating and educating myself to reach greater heights in business and income. It became a challenge for me, and I don’t know any other way now.
After 5 years of constant working; I still challenge myself to create on a larger and larger scale every year.
“My desire to build, create, and learn, surpasses my fear. Every challenge I’m faced with now, becomes a greater experience of learning my true power.”
I believe in consistency, co-operation and understanding are key ingredients of any business.
People must understand that; we allocate certain budget to advertisement, speaking to customers over phone, long chatting and sharing information over internet; however people doesn’t realize this way; they couldn’t built a strong customer base; eventually will going to suppress their company and organization with next upcoming options; so it is very necessary to maintain an emotional, bond with your customer, understanding their culture, work ethics etc;
And which is only possible while visiting their place of business and country and state, it will certainly give you an introspect and original weigh of your customer and their way of working;
So conservative way always works and still prevailing in today’s tech oriented time; and personal interaction is most vital part of it.
Promoting women workers:
Female entrepreneurship is a powerful ingredient to help our economies grow. Taj Agro provides these women with the tools, knowledge and contacts to allow them to strike deals, enhance their competitiveness and trade across borders.
We need to step up support for women-owned enterprises and help them grow, innovate and internationalize. And we need to adopt and implement policies that better enable companies to source their goods and services from women-owned businesses.