Four millionaires

A software engineer who sells cold-pressed oils worth Rs10 crore annually, a housewife-turned-dairy farmer in Odisha, Kashmir's vermicompost millionaire, and the world's largest all-women market are all part of this newsletter

Rashmi Pratap
New Update
Four millionaires

Four millionaires. Pic: Saptham Food & Beverages

Dear Reader,

During my conversations with entrepreneurs, I have often found their journey into the world of business began with trying to solve a personal problem. Those who have worked in the corporate or any other organizational set-up sense an opportunity quickly and start a business. They are also mostly the ones who see rapid growth.

The other types are those who have not worked in any company but learn on the go. They also become successful, but the time taken may be longer. This newsletter will introduce you to two entrepreneurs each in the two categories.

Namita Patjoshi mortgaged her jewellery to buy a cow to provide milk to her 10-member family, including her three children, in Koraput, Odisha. There was no other way to meet the nutritional requirements as her husband did not earn much as a clerk.

What began as the sale of surplus milk at Rs10 per litre (after feeding her family) is now a Rs 1.5 crore dairy business, writes my colleague Niroj. Namita also employs, and hence financially empowers, tribal women and pays fees for their children's schooling.

She took almost 15 years to break into the Rs 1-crore revenue club, much like Kashmir’s organic farmer Abdul Ahad Lone, who now earns Rs 50,000 daily from the sale of guess what? Vermicompost! He began in 1997, shut shop due to lack of demand and re-started in 2002. Today, his annual income is over Rs 1.5 crore, and he trains people for free in vermicomposting, writes my colleague Sameer.

Twelve people trained by him are now successful vermicompost entrepreneurs and Abdul himself is unable to meet the rising demand from the Anantnag district.

Among the rapid growers are Manohar Iyer of Saptham Foods and Seth Moirangtham who set up SNL Energy Solutions in Manipur in 2019.

Manohar, a software engineer, quit as Nielsen's SE Asia Head of Tech and App Development in Malaysia to start a cold-pressed oils business in Bengaluru in 2019. His startup Saptham sold around 5 lakh litres of kachi ghani oils last fiscal and is targeting Rs25 crore revenues in FY25, he told me.

The techie has been setting up a new factory in Bengaluru every year since its launch – the sixth one to be inaugurated in May 2024. Saptham is profitable and growing rapidly. How Manohar did it is detailed in the story.

Seth was working with an NGO after his graduation and the work took him to remote villages without access to electricity. He did a quick course in solar entrepreneurship, tied up with a local microfinance NGO that could fund villagers and began spreading light in darkness. His solar installations have spread from households to hospitals, other institutions and livelihood applications. Seth’s SNL Energy just closed FY24 with Rs1.6 crore in revenues and a 25% profit margin.

Our Sunday feature is on the world’s largest all-women market – Ima Keithel in Imphal. Over 5,000 married women vendors control Manipur’s largest commercial hub which began as an open-air market in 1533. See the story for details.

Happy Reading!





How this housewife set up a Rs 1.5 crore dairy business in Odisha


This Kashmir farmer earns Rs 50,000 daily through vermicompost


Software engineer quits job to revive cold-pressed oils; clocks Rs 10 crore annual revenues


Manipur youth lights up remote villages, hospitals with solar power; clocks Rs 1.6 crore in revenues