gobinder Singh Randhawa from Landa village in Punjab comes from a farming family. However, in 2003, the then village chief Sardar Baldev Singh and Sardar Jagjit Singh Kapoor became his role models for their beekeeping practices.
Inspired by the idea, Gobinder took a weeklong course at the Punjab Agricultural University and started beekeeping with two other friends. “The prospect seemed lucrative and we took out a loan of Rs 2.8 lakh for the company to buy 120 boxes of honey,” he said. The best India.
However, his two friends gave up soon after feeling the business wouldn’t take over, leaving Gobinder to run the business on his own. Aside from the initial hiccups, Gobinder faced many challenges, even to the point of selling his family’s gold jewelry. But the risks have paid off as his business is now making him millions of dollars.
Gain bee venom and propolis
Speaking of his trip, Gobinder says, “In 2004, Varroa mite infection spread among bees in Punjab. About 99 percent of bees died from the infection. We lost most of the boxes and only a few frames from the bee colonies survived. The loss was immense. “
It was then that his friends gave up. “A friend of mine went to Australia, while the other ventured into another business,” he adds.
The 39-year-old says he decided to continue and that in 2009 he was granted import and export licenses for honey. “But the business was slow and it became difficult to survive. I made sales of Rs 20,000 per month, while on the other hand loans and interest started to accumulate in lakhs, ”he explains.
Gobinder says he invested a considerable amount in setting up a store and ended up with less money for marketing and promotion. “Sales suffered and I ended up selling my family’s gold jewelry a few times. But the money could only be used for repayments and reducing the burden of loans. “
Over the years, his business slowly recovered, with more and more orders coming from the United States. “Exports started in 2012-13 and sales have grown steadily. I gained more profit, ”he said, adding that besides the domestic market, his products are receiving significant demand from the United States. It is now targeting the European market.
At present, the company earns him Rs 4-5 crore per year. “I win products like honey, beeswax, bee pollen, bee propolis, bee venom, royal jelly and commercial bee colonies,” he adds. .
He also created a group of over 310 farmers whom he guided and helped in the beekeeping business.
Narender Pal Singh is one of those farmers that Gobinder has helped. “I have set up two stores to sell honey in the past 10 years after Gobinder gave me good profits. Today, I earn Rs 35,000 per month in profits after canceling sales and other expenses, ”he adds.
Gobinder says some challenges persist as farmers tend to spray pesticides near bee boxes, which kills the bees. “Farmers are aware of the same thing and have become more sensitive over the years. But the losses continue because there continue to be cases of theft of bee boxes, ”he adds.
Looking back on his journey, Gobinder says he doesn’t regret any of the challenges and hard times. “Patience is of the utmost importance in any business. An employee begins to receive feedback within a month. But that’s uncertain with a business. However, I like doing business because it is much more rewarding than a job, ”he adds.
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Edited by Yoshita Rao