Friends, farming and art entrepreneurs

Seven friends who set up Kerala's first small hydroelectric project, an IITian millet entrepreneur, five art entrepreneurs, an Ice-Age lake tucked away in a valley, and what makes organic farming more profitable are all part of our newsletter this week

Rashmi Pratap
New Update
Friends, farming and art entrepreneurs

Friends, farming and art entrepreneurs

Dear Reader,

In the last two decades, I have read many stories about friends coming together to start a business. But never have I heard of friends joining hands to set up a hydroelectric power station on private land.

My colleague Chandhini wrote this very interesting piece on seven engineer friends in Idukki who worked in diverse fields but came together to set up Mukkudam Electroenergy. A stream passes through Rakesh Roy’s land in his village Kambilikandam in Idukki. He mooted the idea of a small hydroelectric power project as the hill stream has an elevation drop of 1070 feet and abundant water flow.

The project, the first of its kind in the state, has supplied 1.25 million units to the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) since it began operations in October and aims to generate 11.09 million units annually. The company is targeting Rs 5 crore in annual revenues through sustainable hydropower generation. Now many youngsters in Kerala want to replicate the model. Do read it!

Last week, I spoke to Sai Krishna Popuri, an electronics engineer from IIT Delhi, who quit his job after his father was diagnosed with diabetes and advised to add oats to his diet. The family opted for millets instead and Krishna decided to become a millet entrepreneur. 

His Fountainhead Foods sells millet-based ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat foods under the Health Sutra brand and clocked Rs2.5 crore in revenues in FY23. He is now setting up a new millet processing plant in Hyderabad with a daily capacity of around 19 tonnes due to rising demand for his products.

With a growing awareness about preserving our culture, many people are now turning into art entrepreneurs – taking our heritage to a global market. Among them are some folk artists who also have entrepreneurial skills of ideation, contemporisation, and marketing.

My colleague Anu has put together a piece on five painter-entrepreneurs who are not only upholding the tradition of their regional folk paintings but also earning well from art. Do read it.

If there’s one subject that has garnered the maximum interest in the agriculture community in the last decade, it is organic farming, which is also environment-friendly. My colleague Riya decided to write about how farmers can earn more with organic farming compared to traditional agriculture.

Our Sunday feature is on Tso Moriri, the beautiful Ice-Age lake tucked away in the Rupshu valley in Ladakh.

And in the Money section, Karan explains why it is now time to book profits in equity. The current rally, I am sure, would entice new investors to enter the market, but the valuations are expensive. Tread with caution!

Happy Reading!




How 7 engineer friends set up Kerala's first small hydroelectric project in Idukki


This IITian quit job to become a millet entrepreneur; clocks Rs2.5 crore in revenues


Five art entrepreneurs reviving folk paintings of India


How farmers can earn more with organic farming