Manisha Dhatrak is the key person responsible for the creation, management, vision and execution of the business located in Nashik, Maharashtra. For a decade post her marriage she ran a small scale factory of tomato ketchup which was successful, giving her the confidence to conquer her dream to set up a large scale industry. She belonged from a farmer background and had farms with excessive production of tomatoes. She eventually decided to start off with aseptic food processing. On delivering the first production, the sample was approved by Hindustan Unilever Ltd. Today Varun Agro is an approved vendor of Hindustan Unilever Ltd. and is the largest tomato processor in India.
Ladder of Learning
“I faced many ups and downs, and initially made a huge investment in the business which was a step towards growing as an entrepreneur. There was a time when I couldn't even afford a CA for my company; hence I had to take financial aid from a bank. Though it took almost a year for the loan to be sanctioned, it further geared the smooth running of the plant. I studied each equipment used in the industry in depth for nearly 5 years.”
By the Farmer, For the Farmer
“Implementing a public private partnership model, so far we have done contract farming with 5000 farmers in 15,000 acres in Dindori, Niphad Talukas of Nashik district. Under this contract, the entire quantity of fruits is purchased by the company from the farmers without any intermediaries. The farmers get their share of profit increasing their income hence, leading to an improved standard of living. Farmers are trained on better implementation of agricultural & environmental practices such as drip irrigation, mixed farming, perm-culture, crop rotation considering sustainable point of view that improves biodiversity.”
En Route Growth
“Our manufacturing facility located in Nashik, has an annual capacity of 48000 MT. The estimated value of our sale is 6000 MT, with production that runs 24X7 throughout the year. During the initial 9 months of FY-2013, almost 92% of the revenue came from the sale of tomato paste and rest came from fruit pulps like mangoes, pomegranates, papayas, lime, grapes, oranges and bananas. We are growing immensely and have entered into a contract with Unilever Asia Private Ltd. for supply of tomato paste. Today we are the suppliers & exporters of aseptic fruit pulps all across the globe. Our major markets are UK, Europe, South Africa, Gulf Countries, USA and Asia.”
“Our motto is, ‘Working towards creating a better future every day’. Focus and hard-work has helped us as a team to achieve our targets. It’s my strong belief that women have it in them to take the next step towards starting a business without any hesitation. We are encouraging women empowerment and are working towards the better development of our country.”