In 2009, Srikumar Misra quit his lucrative job in London to return home and start an ethical sourcing model with Milk Mantra. "Growing up, I often interacted with farmers and their children at my grandparent's farm. These children would grow up and work to support their families and would never get a chance to come out of generational poverty. This foundational memory stayed with me as I started Milk Mantra," reminisces Misra.
With ethical sourcing from small farmers at its core, Milk Mantra is a new-age tech-enabled platform powering the Indian dairy and agricultural sector. It connects over 68,000 farmers to over 300,000 households daily. The organisation not only ensures that farmers get the right price each time but also empowers them by extending a wide variety of extension services aimed at achieving quality milk production.
Milk Mantra, with its brand Milky Moo, has created livelihood at scale with sustained ability to provide regular and sustainable income in the hands of farmers who live in abject poverty. The company's impact is noticeable in its commercial viability with revenues scaling from $2 million in 2013 to $30 million in 2020.
With the motto of "Happy Farmers = Happy Cows = Best Milk!" Milk Mantra's ethical sourcing has disrupted the erstwhile practices of milk sourcing and uses technology to eliminate middlemen.
India is both the world's largest producer and consumer of dairy products by volume, with more than 20 percent of the world's total milk production. However, there has been negligent innovation in the sector and 70 percent of the milk industry is highly unorganised, raising concerns over adulteration. Misra considered this to be a tremendous opportunity to create an exciting and engaging dairy brand, leveraging his experience and observations of several international markets.
"It's been fulfilling to have assisted thousands of farmers to improve their lives and at the same time ensure thousands of consumers are able to access high-quality yet nutritious food. We need to give back what we take and it's only possible when we align our thinking to tackle the real-world problems that affect our country in a unique way. There is much to be done and we are just getting started," he adds.
What made Misra a Face of Vibrant Bharat?
“Milk Mantra’s scalable business model is supported by cutting edge technology but it also has a grassroot connect. It is empowering local communities by giving them a source of sustainable income while being commercially viable.” Padmanand V, Partner, Grant Thornton Bharat LLP
"A challenger brand, Milk Mantra has set up its own niche in the highly competitive dairy sector, through its regional strong play. Focused on the highest standards of governance and farmer welfare, Mr Misra has been mooing growth with sustained social impact." Aman Dhall, Founder, CommsCredible