There isn't really an age to start any business. Here's the proof of a 11 YO entrepreneur.
When a child shares their parent's burden, parents feel delighted. But when the same child takes their parent's standards to a superior level? What else does a parent need more than their child being called as exceptionally efficient? Same glimpses of pride can be noticed on the face of Satyavan, a dairy farmer and the reason for his pride is his daughter Shraddha Dhawan, a 22-year-old young girl who took up her father's business and not just ran it but also made it big for her family. Let's know more about Shraddha and her amazing entrepreneurial journey.
Taking The Share Of Father's Responsibility:
While most of the children inherit father's fully-grown business and run it from there, Shraddha Dhawan, a 22-year-old girl from Maharashtra raised the standards of her family's dairy farm to surprisingly higher levels. Shraddha belongs to Nighoj village, 60km from Ahmednagar. Her father Satyavan does dairy farming. The family had close to around 6 buffaloes initially, all which they lost due to some hardships, and we're left with just one buffalo by 1998. Satyavan who was differently-abled somehow managed to take the dairy farming forward to make the ends meet. However, milking the buffaloes and going around the village to sell the milk turned difficult owing to his disability and thus, as soon as Shraddha reached the age of 11, he handed over to her, the responsibility of milking the buffaloes and selling the milk. Young Shraddha could very well understand the family's situation. As her father could not ride a bike and her siblings were too young to take any responsibility, she decided to help her father by taking his role at a tender age of 11. So it was 2011 and Shraddha's seeds for her entrepreneurial journey were sown.
Found Disturbing Initially But Felt Unique Later:
Shraddha's village had seen no girl doing such a thing ever until then - a girl riding a bike, going around the village selling milk seemed strange not only to the villagers but also to Shraddha herself. Every morning Shraddha milked the buffaloes and while her classmates got ready for school, she jumped on her bike, went around the village, and supplied milk post which she ran to the school to reach on time. Shuttling between studies and farming seemed tiresome to the little girl but she never complained. Slowly, the business grew and more buffaloes came in. By 2013, the quantity of milk grew to such an extent that in order to transport the milk in bigger containers, Shraddha needed a motorcycle. Also, the family built a shed for over a dozen buffaloes that joined. By 2015, when Shraddha was in her Class X, she already got the business to a higher level wherein the farm supplied close to 150 litres of milk per day. By 2016, Shraddha's farm had 45 buffaloes and the business made Rs.3 lakh per month. A two-storey building is from where Shraddha runs her father's farm from with over 80 buffaloes now, selling 450 litres of milk every day. This kind of huge cattle shed is the first-ever one in the entire district that earns a revenue of Rs. 6 lakh per month.
Cattle Welfare Is Their Welfare:
Shraddha's farm animals are given only organic fodder that is sourced from neighbouring farms. Her mother and brother help in cleaning and feeding the animals. The shed is cleaned twice a day to keep it tidy and hygienic for the animals. The animals are taken through regular health check-ups. Supplements are also given based on the requirements and as per the suggestions of the veterinary.
A Constant Learner:
Shraddha felt the need to have an in-depth understanding of the technicalities like the fat ratio in the milk to maintain the quality and also the ways to manage the workforce. She learnt all these step by step alongside pursuing her school and college education.
Giving up was never an option, she says.
Missed The Opportunities But Has No Regrets:
Shraddha wished to pursue graduation in Physics in a better institution outside her village. But leaving the village means to leave her dairy farming which is not even a thought to be made. So, she decided to pursue a graduate degree in Physics in her village itself, unlike her fellow students who crossed the village borders for higher education. "I don’t feel inferior or believe I lack any skills which are holding me back from succeeding. I have overcome all these fears,” she says. She says that the success she is tasting today is because of not running away from the initial insecurities. “It would have been a shame if I’d refused the responsibility of helping my family run this business. But being shy and giving up was never an option for my father,” she says. Shraddha graduated in the year 2020 and is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Physics. This multi-tasker also hosts online guest lectures to students. Her brother who is pursuing a formal degree course in Dairy farming and Animal Husbandry quotes Shraddha as his inspiration.
Grateful To Everyone:
Shraddha says that had her father not given the responsibility to her, she wouldn't have had achieved so much in such a young age. Her mother and brother, who always supported her while she is juggling between studies and farming receive millions of thanks from the 22-year-old. She also extends her gratitude to the villagers who made her feel good about what she is doing.
When asked about her future plans, she says, “I don’t know what opportunities the dairy business will open for me and my family. My brother is pursuing a formal degree in the field, and we’re exploring options to enter the organic dairy byproduct sector,” she says.
Shraddha is an inspiration to many children out there who don't understand their parent's workload and the family's needs. She is an inspiration to all young girls who feel that they are not capable enough to handle major roles and depend on males in the family.
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