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Man Quits Corporate Job to Create a Millet Empire, Earns More Than 1 Crore Annually

Andhra Pradesh-born K V Rama Subba Reddy quit his corporate job in Delhi to return to his village and start two businesses to promote healthy living with millet dishes.

Shruti Kandwal
K V Reddy was residing in Delhi while working as an accountant and managed his farm whenever he went back to his village.
K V Reddy was residing in Delhi while working as an accountant and managed his farm whenever he went back to his village.

K V Rama Subba Reddy, a cost accountant who spent 28 years working in the corporate sector, had always wished he could spend more time farming in his little village in Andhra Pradesh.

"Most of my family members are farmers who focus on traditional farming techniques. While some grow fruits and vegetables, others are engaged in the production of grains. With the help of my brothers, who are experienced farmers, I established a horticulture farm in my village in 2013 as part of my retirement planning,” stated Reddy.

Struggle Begins

Reddy was residing in Delhi while working as an accountant and managed his farm whenever he went back to his village. He left his brothers in charge while he was away.

He said "even though I've been interested in farming since I was a little child, after developing the farm, I realized that traditional models are no longer useful in the modern world. Farmers' problems are compounded by middlemen's exploitation and an over use of fertilizers.”

With this in mind, he made the decision to leave his comfortable city life and secure job in 2017 to devote himself to being a full-time "modern farmer."

Versatile and healthy

To begin growing millet, Reddy purchased 20 acres of land close to his horticulture farm in 2017.

“There are a number of reasons why I chose millets. One was nostalgia—my mother used to make a number of dishes using different kinds of millet. Second, millets are quite resistant to pest attacks, so they don't need chemical pesticides or fertilizers to produce a good crop.” The 54-year-old continues, "I was also highly influenced by the works of Dr. Khader Vali, known as the millet man of India.

Dr. Khader Vali, who is from the same state, has spent the last 20 years working nonstop to revive five positive millets.

Reddy made the decision to establish a millet processing business and an agro company in addition to cultivating millets and using traditional farming methods to create value-added products from the harvest. He intended to do this by spreading information about millet's health advantages and making it accessible to everyone in the country.

In 2018, Reddy created two brands, Renadu and Mibbles, one for the sale of whole grains and the other for the sale of prepared foods produced from millet. "As compared to last year, both brands' combined revenue is almost Rs 1.7 crore. This year, I want to double it," the owner says.

He teamed up with about 20 millet farmers in the state and bought their produce for a price set at the time of sowing in addition to harvesting from his 60-acre property.

Farmers obtain a fair price that is at least 30% higher than the regular price they receive because there are no middlemen in the transaction, he claims.

According to the owner, the pandemic-induced lockdown put a stop to business growth that had been gradually increasing over the previous two years.

However, we were able to bring new products to our ready-to-eat store at this time, such as millet ladoo, murukku, biscuits, and mixes, all of which were sugar- and gluten-free. I hope this inspires people to include more millet in their regular diets; the recipes were created by my wife and mother, he says.

He also partnered with Apollo hospitals two years ago to supply millets used to create nourishing diets for patients.

To build a healthy nation

Reddy is more referred to as the "millet man" by the state's millet growers.

"Whole grains, idli rawa, upma rawa, foxtail millet, barnyard millet, brown top millet, kodo millet, sorghum millet, and more are among my company's other main items. The pricing ranges from Rs 80 for basic packages to Rs 800 for combo bundles,” according to him.

All of the goods can be purchased through the companies' official websites, Amazon, Indiamart, and meal delivery services like Zomato and Swiggy. Additionally, their two locations in Hyderabad and Nandyal sell the goods. The products are shipped all over India.

"India produces about 20% of the millet consumed worldwide. But the majority of us are not aware of these varieties' health advantages. Numerous studies indicate that it can even prevent fatal diseases. I am really optimistic that once 2023 is recognized by the UN as the year of millets, millets will become more popular and recognized throughout the world. In the upcoming year, I intend to launch the brands abroad," he says.

Received Best Start-up Award

KV Rama Subba Reddy has been recognized as the "Best Progressive Farmer" by ANGRAU- RARS Nandyal and the "Best Startup Farmer Connect" by ICAR-IIMR, Hyderabad for his extensive supply of MILITS products. KV Rama Subba Reddy attributed his accomplishment, which reached new heights, to his daughter Shweta. According to him, his daughter creates the majority of the food products. These food items, which are produced by purchasing them directly from the farmers, are beneficial for both the producers and the health of the customer.

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