Wednesday, April 25, 2012

After a lot of hurdles ... to restart again !!

Its been years since I logged back in here ... during the past couple of years the farm went from being a popular source to hundreds of homes to being forced to shut down to unavoidable circumstances that makes one lose with in people but after being still hounded by a lot of ppl who were taking the milk and loving it we have decided to restart the farm . Hopefully this time we won't face the hurdles we faced earlier and hope that the people start enjoying our services once again .

The sequence of events have to be shared as it would allow people to know and understand that we were providing a service that requires a lot of behind the scene efforts but at times things are beyond the best of us or our intentions .

We had our farm on land leased from a farmer in kapasera and for a period of 9 yrs which we thought was a fair enough process that would allow us to keep our own cows and maintain high quality f milk . Unfortunately one day the land lord decided he wanted way more rent as we seemed to be selling a lot of milk and overnight started harassing us in order to have the rent increased to a figure which then would need me to sell milk at Rs 200 a litre and still maybe make no money at all . Inspite of various efforts to make him see sense he wouldn't budge and started threatening us with physical harm . We had nothing to worry on the personal front so he then started harassing the farm employees , started causing harm to the animals etc etc and the situation got very ugly and at the same time I was becoming daddy for the 2nd time around so just couldn't juggle between time at home and handling the messy situation every morning and in a fit of frustration decided to just wrap up operations .

After that the things still didn't get better as the land lord would keep trying to harass us ... he wouldn't let us move any of our items out , infact for a week wouldn't even let us feed the animals as he wanted a truck load of money for breaking the lease agreement . How is one expected to deal with a local villager with no educational qualifications ?? So that was that .... this being the 3rd such situation with a greedy landlord we realized that it was better to just avoid trying to find another piece of land to start a farm as that what we had been forced to do a few times already and in the process losing a lot of money so Singha Farms was literally murdered due to the greed factor of another human being . So decided to concentrate on other things and hope someday to hit a lottery that would allow me to buy my own piece of land close to Delhi and maybe restart the same knowing that people would be glad to have the fresh pure milk back whenever we started but we couldn't do nothing then .

Now after a few yrs later Im being forced to restart by close friends, family and some old members as they all feel that they need and want the milk ...... so now we have found a friend who has his own land and he has offered to lease it to us and not turn into a greedy landlord like the ones earlier so we are hopeful that we shall be back shortly , with fresh milk at the doorsteps of ppl in Gurgaon and South Delhi though at a much more expensive price .

We are aiming to have things in place to start delivery on the 1st of August if all goes well .... we shall this time be looking at offering both fresh and packaged milk delivered to our members . We also hope that our earlier members will be glad to have us back and we hope to get more members to our system so that every one can enjoy clean pure fresh milk without the fear of any adulteration .

Pls mail me at if you have any queries or questions regarding the same .

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Problems + solutions + Developments

Being a start up and that too with only a passion and no biz plan in mind except that I wanted to offer as pure as possible farm produce to friends and their friends in the city leads to certain situations which hadn't been anticpated . The month of August had quiet a few glitches happening , though it made some people think that the quality of milk was inconsistent -- though homes that have been taking from us for over a year had no problem in understanding the genuiness of our problem that lead to milk curdling in a few homes .

We as all know chill the milk to 2 degrees after milking the animals and once it reaches that temperature is when we start packing it in the milk cans ..... now what happened was that on 3 consecutive days the meter showed the temperature as 2 degrees and we as normal would start the packing process but inspite of that we got reports coming in that the milk was curdling in homes towards the end of the delivery routes . On day 1 we thought it was probably due to some mistake in the cleaning of the cans and thats why some homes reported the problem . I took the boy who cleans the cans to task and made sure I stood there while he washed the cans returned on that day . Day 2 we again got similar complaints and from the same houses which kind of had me baffled but we again couldn't figure out the problem . When it happened on Day 3 we decided to get the chilling machine checked and VOILA - the meter reading it was displaying had a huge error . Instead of the temp of milk being 2 degrees as being displayed it was about 14 degrees so basically we were packing milk at 14 degrees which obviously meant that the bacteria was still multiplying which in connection with the summer heat was making the milk curdle way earlier than it should do normally . We got the machine fixed the very same day and since then no problem at all ....

This was the first big problem we experienced but Im sure it made a few people think that the quality was bad maybe due to other factors .... we have nothing to hide and thats what we stand for , the day I feel we cant mantain quality we shall close down the farm without anyone having to tell us to do so .

The other weak link that keeps getting mentioned by our member homes is of adulteration enroute by the delivery boys ..... we have tried various things but none of them have really been feasible keeping in mind that the Govt regulation state that if we package the milk then we have to pasteurise it , we have to mention the fat content which has to be 6% for full cream milk ( not possible wth cows milk unless we resort to adding milk powder like most packaged milk companies do ) , also mention the expiry etc and that would make our model either very expensive or then unfeasible to continue . Now after a long search we found a manufacturer who has gone out of his way and designed special cans for us , we should be getting the delivery of the first batch of these cans around the 10th of Oct -- hopefully these cans will satisfy this worry of a lot of our members . These cans also will be more hygenic as they will have no blind spots making it even easier to clean .

We are also looking at keeping free range chicken and also local breed of hens for their delicious eggs ... hopefully these should be on offer by Dec or maybe beginning of the New Year . We also getting more animals so will be moving over to the machine milking instead of hand milking as we do so now ...... hand milking though is better for the animals but makes us very dependent on the labor who at times can resort to blackmail ( threatening to leave in the middle of the night knowing we cant do much except give in to their demands ) !!

The next few months are gonna be interesting as we have quiet a few things lined up which should make the entire experience better for the members .... also look out for our new website which should be up a few weeks after Diwali ( in stages ) .

Fingers crossed that no more unexpected problems arise :-) !!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Spiralling costs ..

BIG WORRY FACTOR .... :-( !! The Biggest worry to hit a small operaion like ours are the spiralling costs of all feed materials this year ... most of the items have gone up by 40-45% over last season and are expected to go up even more . This high feed cost is hitting the farm and its viability in a big way and inspite of trying to avoid it , we see no other way around it but to increase the price of milk soon .

We hoping it doesn't make us lose members that we have worked hard to make ... and hoping they realise that the reason is genuine and not us taking advantage of them loving our milk quality .

This month after a lot of effort and searching .. we have finally ordered for secial milk cans which will allow us to make them tamper proof before they leave the farm . This aspect was a weak link in the entire process of getting the milk to our members and hopefully should address their worries regarding the trust factor of our delivery boys .

With winters coming we also looking forward to the vegetables which as of now are being planted and hopefully should be ready for harvest starting mid Nov if the weather Gods don't play spoilsport till then .

We are looking to add other things like free range eggs - free range chicken and maybe even goats milk in the coming months so stay tuned :-) !!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


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A lot of you must be confused between Singha farms & Asaavi Farms and wondering if they are two different farms or what !! Actually , they both are the same entity -- started of as Singha Farms but then had to change to Asaavi farms as under the company law ( or something like that ) I can't get exclusive rights over the sirname -- so tomorrow if it does somehow become very popular then my cousin/uncle can also start an enterprise with a simlar name and I can' do much about it . So now we are ASAAVI FARMS for all future reference .

The logo took ages to design but at the end the friend who designed it has done a pretty cool job ... and must thank her as I really did chew her brains up before FINALISING on this design . My instructions were very clear to her -- wanted it to be CUTE & DIFFERENT and it does fulfill both the requirements .

Lets hope in the coming time this LOGO does become a house hold logo atleast in the local area of wherever we operate from .

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Back .. after a long break from blogging !!

I kind of got lazy mainly due to the fact that I got very busy with the farm expansion and stuff ... along the way I also became a dad and as we had decided to try and bring up our child with no help , I became a sit at home dad by default ( not complaining at all though I never thought id be happy doing something like this ) !! The farm has over time expanded its customer base , shifted twice from its original location due to problems beyond our control , and I have 3 pups at home to look after and a whole lot of other things ..

Back to the main topic .. THE FARM ! The Farm has now shifted to the Kapasera area of Delhi and we are busy settling in on the new location . Our in house milk producers have gone up to 30 though as of today most of them are lined up and ready to deliver their off springs . So from a shortage of milk till recently we should move to abundance of milk in a few weeks once the babies start to step into this world .

The high temperatures in summers luckily didnt affect the cows much as the new farm is surrounded bby a lot of greenery thus keeping the temperatures lower than what other residents of this city experienced . Can't say the same for the people at the farm as power cuts were regular and for long periods ( ownder when this will get sorted out by the Govt ) .

We are gearing up for a serious attempt at advertising and hoping to rope in large number of people in the coming winter months . Lets hope we get a good response when we do attempt to stand in colonies advertising about our operations . We also hope that our existing members will help us in this exercise .

On the home front , as mentioned earlier we were blessed with a son whereas we were totally prepared for a daughter ( even had a name lined up -- had none for a son ) . He was born over 2 months pre mature which in hind sight was a good thing as the last minute anxiety/nervousness didnt even set in . He's now 16 months and a bundle of naugtiness and his best friends are the 3 pups that we had adopted over the last few years . Baby sitting him has been an experience in itself about which I guess Ill write somewhere else so that other gonna be dads may get a few tips .

All in all life is hectic ... the all out being that not much time or energy left for socialising so the intake of Kingfishers has diminished considerably -- SORRY to Mr . Mallya though I hope to be get re connected with the Kingfishers pretty soon .

Will hope to be more regular with the updates .... from now on .


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Addition to the family ...

I know its been a long time since the last update ... but things have been hectic with people running from their summer vacations and demand for milk rising , along with that more and more samples being distributed as some members giving us loads of references to their friends . Though we have lots of members referring , we have lots of them who are not referring any and we hoping that do start to as its them that we relying on to spread the word as much as possible .

In keeping with the rise in demand for milk .. we went out and got some more cows to come join the family . And along with the cows we got some lil ones as well so the gang has really grown . We are now catering to almost 150 odd homes across Gurgaon though our conversion percentage has dropped a bit with us finally coming across a few people who refuse to take our milk and rather stick to the Mother Dairy or Nestle brand .

There has been demand coming our way from Delhi also and keeping in mind our gud friends who reside in South Delhi we have decied to start a pre registration drive along with sampling to see if we can sum up the demand required for us to start delivering in these areas . We are as of now only looking at Saket - Sainik Farms - GK II - GK I & East of Kailash , this is being done as it will help our delivery costs stay low and also allow us to deliver within time . Lets see how it goes in this part of the city ....

There has been work going on at the farm keeping in mind teh upcoming vegetable season ... in which the fields have started to get ploughed and the green cover crop is about to go in so that the soil gets plenty of Nitrogen by the time planting happens in mid - end August . The rains are almost here and we hoping that irrigation set up is not required as of now ... we still have to set that up and hoping it is in place by the time planting happens . We looking to grow Tomatoes, cherry tomatoes , some beef tomatoes , lettuces , zucchini , brinjal , pac choi , red cabbage , cabbage & cauliflower ( not very sure of this as we have heard that they not very suited to this soil ) , carrots , radish , brocolii and a few herbs like Basil , thyme and rosemary . Hope the pests stay away from our fields though we have our neem and cow urine solutions ready to keep them at bay .

Besides this we have started to make paneer at our farm as a lot of members were wanting it .. and seeing the response we feel we did well as its been a HUGE SUCCESS . We have some homes taking in a kg of paneer almost every alternate day . The one mistake that we made is with the pricing and we hoping the revised pricing doesnt hamper the demand -- :-) !! We also starting to look at making curd as a lot of ppl are having trouble in getting the curd to set well with the new milk , as they were used to setting it with the other milk and havn't been able to find the right combination for this milk . We ourselves had a problem at home but the maid has it sorted out and we get some real gud curd these days .

Of late there has been a demand for eggs and chicken also .. a lot of members feel that the chicken they buy from the market maybe injected with hormones and stuff to make it grow faster so wud like it if they could be given an option of getting chicken knowing that it aint injected with anything . As we consume about 7-8 kgs of chicken at home every week , we had planned to keep a few desi murgi's for our own consumption but it seems we may keep a few extra just incase our members would like to take them from us . We will not be rearing broilers but the ' Desi Murgi's -- difference being that the broilers can be prepared much faster though taste wise we prefer the other ones .

We have been having our share of small trivial issues ... specially regarding teh delivery man and all . We have realised no matter how well you treat them and pay them , they one day will turn on you just bcoz they know you need them . We missed out on delivery one day just bcoz of this as at 5 am our delivery man suddenly felt that he needed to be paid more ..... and as we didn't have a back up guy we had to give in for the time being . Its against our principle to treat the workers as workers and we do a lot to keep them to feel that they are not labor but such incidents leave a bitter taste and just makes us wonder if we right in the way we behave with our staff . We hoping that we don't have any such trouble in the future , as we have 2 substitute delivery guys ready now . We also are having to get a second delivery vehicle running around to deliver milk so that all deliveries can be wrapped up as early as possible and not like its happening now -- we do our last delivery at about 10.30 - 11 !!! Just bear with us a few more days .... and all members shall have their milk before 9 am .

Well, I still havn't managed going on a vacation ..... and I don't think its happening anytime soon specially with Delhi as a delivery zone also starting soon . Rest everything at the farm is on control .... hoping that we do reach our target by end August !!!

Will put up some pictures in a few days ... I know its pretty boring reading what I write -- with no pictures to go with it .

More soon ...........

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Rest in Peace ...

27th June '07 -- Our friend for ages left us and moved to his next destination . Duke has been with us for ages and given our family so many special moments and the void left by him will be felt for a long time to come . He came to us as a lil pup along with his sister ' Blackie ' and then grew to be a very very special friend .

I don't know how but he learnt a lot on his own and it felt as if he could understand us and what he had to do to make himself a very popular part of the Singha family . He realised that the monkeys were not welcome in our orchards ... so what did he do ?? Come April and once the apples started to form on the trees he would on his own trudge up every morning to go sit where our orchard ended and the forest started so if the monkeys did decide to try and feast in our orchard he would be there to chase them away . He would leave his spot and come back outside the kitchen like a clock at 9 am for his breakfast and after the meal would return to his duty and only to return at 5 pm for his evening meal and then back on duty till it got dark . All this with no training .....

He also had a soft spot for other animals as you can see from the pic above ... that lil kitten on his back was not adopted by us but by ' Duke ' himself . One day we saw him walk up teh drive with a lil ball of fur in his mouth , we thought he had killed a lil kitten and gotten the kill home . When I ran down to get him to drop her , I realised that he hadn't killed her , instead he had gotten her by the scruff of her neck . He gently put her down in front of me and then started to lick her till she started to stir , that moment was a very special and touching moment . Special as his sister ' Blackie ' had also adopted a lil kitten a few yrs earlier and gotten her to grow up on her own milk along with her litter that she had given birth to around the same time . Like sister - like brother !!!

I could go on and on about his antics which would show how smart he was , and how affectionate he was . But all thats gonna change as he finally did decide to move on and go to where his sister probably is waiting for him , and hope he is out there in some HUGE field making merry and looking down upon us .

Duke , you were very very special and we will remember you for a long time to come . Thanx for all the moments that you gave us -- I can't remember one incident where he would make any of us at home MAD at him .

Rest in peace Duke !!!


with a lil St.Bernard pup !!!


Hes adopted that lil kitten