Building something from the ground up is not everyone’s cup of tea. However, three sons of farmers – Raj Darji, and brother-duo Satyajit and Ajinkya Hange – proved that everything is possible when you are aligned with your mission or purpose in life.
This week, SMBStory covered the inspiring stories of these entrepreneurs who broke several barriers to build scalable businesses.
Aarav Solutions Founder and CEO Raj Darji
Every morning, a young Raj Darji would watch his father, the Late Ishwarbhai Darji, go to his farm to tend to his crops.
Based in Ablauva, a village near Mehsana in Gujarat, the young boy would occasionally accompany his father and watch him harvest crops with the help of other workers. What struck him was the way his father treated the farm labour.
“The farm labour in our village particularly looked forward to working for my father. When I asked him why, he told me that since he takes care of them well, they take care of him in return,” Raj says.
These words left a lasting impression on the young boy, and went on to shape and define his entrepreneurial journey.
Many years later, after moving to Bharuch and then Visnagar, Raj pursued his engineering in IT, and went on to work in the US with Oracle, Hyundai Motors America, and Siemens, among other companies, between 2007 and 2011.
In 2012, he came back to India to start a product engineering and IT consulting services firm,, which he registered in Ahmedabad.
Applying the lessons he learnt during his childhood from the farmland, Raj has grown his bootstrapped business without receiving any external funding – not even from friends and family.
Though Raj doesn’t disclose his business’ current revenue, he says, “Today, Aarav Solutions has over 130 employees and has corporate locations in India, the US, and Canada. Since inception, we have been growing at 100 percent year-on-year.”
Two Brothers Organic Farm
Ajinkya and Satyajit Hange, Co-founders of Two Brothers Organic Farm
Going back to the roots and starting something from the scratch isn’t easy. However, after spending almost a decade working for corporates, two brothers – Satyajit and Ajinkya Hange – found their true calling in the agricultural sector.
“I was working with Citibank and Ajinkya was with HSBC. We had worked with a few corporates and later, we realised that we didn’t want to do this,” Satyajit tells SMBStory.
Satyajit further adds that his father did not want them to pursue farming as it had become “unsustainable, uneconomical and socially not acceptable”. Satyajit says that despite living in cities like Mumbai, Gurugram and Pune, he and his brother were drawn to their roots.
A little before 2013, the brothers quit their high-paying jobs and shifted base to their native village. They decided to explore organic farming, mixing their passion for farming with the business acumen they had developed.
With land inherited from their father and ancestors and using their personal savings, they started Two Brothers Organic Farm as a seed-to-shelf organic products company in 2014.
Using sustainable farming methods to grow different crops, and thereafter, manufacture and sell different organic products, they generated a turnover of Rs 12 crore in FY21.
Other top stories of the week –
Nishit Gupta, Director, Kalki Fashion
Kalki Fashion was established by Shravan Gupta in 2007 after he saw a gap in the designer ethnic wear market.
The business opened its first store at Worli, Mumbai, and after its success, Shravan opened the second store in 2008 at Santacruz, Mumbai, and since then, the journey has only been upwards.
While online shopping was not new to India, the pandemic only accelerated its growth — with more offline retailers and buyers taking on the ‘trend’.
Kalki Fashion faced challenges of operating amid the lockdown. However, the 14-year-old ethnic wear brand was quick to tackle them head-on by turning to video shopping.
The brand relied on Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp, and now, Zoom to enable customers to try out different outfits.