Vilas Shinde, a grape growing farmer, started his company along with nine other farmers in Nashik’s grape bowl. It was a privately held company and their objective was exports. That year itself, they exported four containers of fresh grapes to Europe and they felt all was well. In 2009, the EU rejected grape consignments from India as they were detected to have pesticide residues beyond permissible limits.
And that rejection is what led to Shinde achieving an “Amul” for Indian grapes. Not to be beaten down, he converted his “farmer-entrepreneurs” company to Farmers Producer Company (FPC). He got farmers from in and around Nasik to come together and form this company like a co-operative. Today, he has 6500 farmers on board and he change the name of the company to Sahyadri FPC in 2011. In Fy19, this company exported 21,141 tonnes of grapes to the EU, Russia and UAE.
The company recently signed a contract with Hindustan Unilever to manufacture jam, squash and tomato puree. Shinde hopes that this will mark the beginning of another new chapter where farmers in this co-operative will now be able to stay cushioned from price crashes due to production glut while improving capacity utilisation at the Mohadi complex.
Now this is what we can true entrepreneurship, where the benefit is not just to the individual but to the society as a whole, correcting the maladies as it grows. Indeed, failure is a stepping stone to success.