MBA Dropout Earns Rs 13 Lakh/Month By Rising Mushroom Spawns

Born in a Rajasthan village, Shanker Meena spent his childhood taking part in amid wheat and mustard crops. However as he grew up, he noticed his father toil day and night time to domesticate these crops that may get broken as a result of wrath of nature, leading to low crop yield and thereby unsure earnings.

To faucet right into a steady earnings, he went on to finish his larger research in commerce and subsequently joined RA Podar Institute of Administration to pursue a profession in finance. Nonetheless, Shanker dropped out of the faculty proper after the completion of his first semester in 2012.

“Though I took the admission, again in my thoughts, I might all the time take into consideration new enterprise concepts. My coronary heart belonged to farming. So, I needed to discover a solution to amalgamate farming and enterprise,” the MBA dropout tells The Higher India.

A few years later, Shanker fulfilled his dream by launching his firm ‘Jeevan Mushroom’ the place he sells spawns of a wide selection of mushrooms together with button, oyster, lion’s mane, paddy straw, shiitake, ganoderma, portobello, and extra.

Shanker dropped out of the college right to grow mushroom spawns.
Shanker dropped out of the faculty proper to develop mushroom spawns.

At present, he has established an enormous market base not solely in India but in addition overseas the place he exports his produce to neighbouring international locations together with Bhutan and Nepal, and the UAE. Presently, his month-to-month income stands at Rs 13 lakh.

Mushrooming concepts

For Shanker, the choice to stop MBA was not simple. “Folks doubted my talents and pressured that it was time for me to focus on shaping my profession as a substitute of working a enterprise at this age. Folks from my caste are anticipated to grow to be IAS officers. I used to be by no means fascinated by that. And to make it worse, I stop my school after the primary semester mocking the expectations of the villagers,” he laughs.

Anyway, after dropping out of faculty, Shanker tried his fingers at cultivating mushrooms. “This product was new at the moment and was standard in resorts. I knew that this enterprise would increase sooner or later,” he says.

So in 2015, Shanker went to the ICAR-Directorate of Mushroom Analysis in Solan to know the nitty-gritty of cultivating mushrooms. Coming again, he vacated a small room of his home and arrange the bottom for cultivating mushrooms.

Shanker exports his produce to neighbouring countries including Bhutan and Nepal, and the UAE.
Shanker exports his produce to neighbouring international locations together with Bhutan and Nepal, and the UAE.

“In a couple of months, I noticed that Rajasthan didn’t have a single unit that manufactured mushroom spawns. Folks had been depending on states like Himachal, Haryana, and Delhi to supply the seeds. I noticed this as an ideal alternative that may assist me stand out within the crowd,” he provides.

For this, Shanker sourced the mom tradition from ICAR, Solan and arrange a brief ‘jugaad’ (make-do lab) within the storage of his home to domesticate spawns on a trial foundation. In the meantime, he additionally managed to get a mortgage of Rs 9 lakhs below the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana. With the mortgage quantity and monetary help from household and associates, he labored on establishing a devoted lab unfold throughout an space of 9,000 sq-ft.

Within the lab, he launched superior items of equipment like seed germination chambers, vertical autoclaves, and a laminar airflow cupboard to supply a sterile working setting for higher productiveness.

In 2017, after 5 years of analysis and growth, Shanker formally launched his firm which he runs alongside along with his spouse, Kanchan Meena. With the assistance of social media, he began getting orders for mushroom spawns in bulk.

At present, Shanker produces as much as 80 tonnes of mushroom spawns in his lab. Priced between Rs 90-115 per kg, his spawns have an enormous demand in different states together with Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Haryana, Jharkhand, and Assam.

Shanker produces up to 80 tonnes of mushroom spawns in his lab.
Shanker produces as much as 80 tonnes of mushroom spawns in his lab.

Why he turned profitable

At present, mushroom cultivation has gained recognition amongst small-scale farmers for its low enter prices, comparatively excessive yield, and return on funding. However, Shanker opines, not many individuals are in a position to extract as a lot revenue owing to a scarcity of scientific strategy.

“The explanation why we turned profitable is as a result of I all the time pressured on the standard of spawns that’s often compromised on this enterprise,” he says.

He additional explains intimately, “Like different crops of wheat and greens, we should not have a seed for mushrooms. It’s a fungus which is manufactured in hygienic situations in a lab. We require a tissue tradition and mom spawn to multiply this fungus and get extra spawns for commercialisation.”

Shanker officially launched his company which he runs along with his wife, Kanchan Meena.
Shanker formally launched his firm which he runs alongside along with his spouse, Kanchan Meena.

“However farmers take a shortcut and preserve multiplying spawns utilizing the business spawns, as a substitute of getting ready a distinct tissue tradition and mom spawn. This reduces the standard of the spawns and makes them susceptible to ailments. Whereas they could not observe the impact instantly, it’s noticed by farmers solely after they get a low yield,” he provides.

Though Shanker earns an honest revenue at this time, it’s not all roses on a regular basis. “Together with earnings, we additionally incur losses typically. Final yr, we confronted losses price Rs 27 lakh. I used to be receiving complaints of low yield. After I checked the equipment, I discovered there was a skinny hair measurement leakage that contaminated the spawns,” he says.

“Generally, I get discouraged by such conditions and I really feel like quitting. However then I look again at my journey and I really feel overwhelmed to have come thus far. I’ve a commerce background and the primary time I noticed a check tube was throughout my coaching. Such small achievements encourage me to try for the success of my firm. That’s why now I don’t preserve a plan B,” he smiles.

Shanker has additionally been conferred with Progressive & Revolutionary Farmer awards by the Rajasthan authorities in 2019 and Revolutionary Agricultural Startup by the Startup India in 2020.

Edited by Padmasshree Pande. All pictures: Shanker Meena.

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