Manikstu Agro was started in 2015 with a vision to improve the much-neglected Indian goat farming business. The objective was to double the income of goat farmers of Kalahandi district through different interventions which will make the sector more organised and lead to a ‘red revolution’. Jayanti Mahapatra, CEO of Manikstu Agro Pvt Ltd, has received many accolades. Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had shared her success story during his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme. Mahapatra, a former banker, quit her high-salaried job in Bangalore and came back to her native village to embark on her entrepreneurial journey. In a conversation with Orissa POST, Mahapatra shares her experience.

How was your journey from the banking sector to goat farming?

With long years of experience in banking services and the hope of doing something new, I ventured into this business. I got ample opportunity to spend time with people from all walks of life under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme of the bank. During this time, I became aware of the people’s needs and the market demand. Eventually, I invested into agribusiness as I was keen to start my own goat farming business.

How do you see the growth in agribusiness sector?

Earlier, agriculture was the only means of living. But in the last few years, people who were staying away from the agriculture sector due to various reasons are showing renewed interest in joining this sector. We can fulfill our needs and also change the financial conditions with the help of agriculture and agribusiness.

How does this business fare in a competitive market?

Competitors exist in all fields but responding to competition depends on our behaviour, decisions and thoughts. We prefer to compete with ourselves rather than competing with anyone else. The harder we work, the more we progress towards success.

What would be your message to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Nowadays, people from all categories are finding their way into agribusiness. To succeed in this line, one should give priority to strong will, honesty and morale values.

To what extent has government assistance been helpful to agribusiness?

Currently, the government is providing support and cooperation to all sectors. All levels of support will have value. Entrepreneurs need time, effort, public relations and developing the right product, especially when the government is supporting the enterprise. There is a need for integrity and partnership between government and private sector to grow the agribusiness sector.

What is the role of partners in your business?

While every business has its medium, in our business the role of partners is significant. Especially when everything is done in faith, hope, honesty and hard work, it can lead to business growth with benefits for all stakeholders. This business is sustained by building strong relationships with all partners.

How are you managing the Goat Bank?

The Goat Bank came from my banking experience. Through this, all stakeholders have benefited, while consumers also get quality food from the domestic market. We even meet the needs and demands of the local market through the Goat Bank. In the early stages, people’s thoughts were different, but now their mindset has completely changed.

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