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Published on: Aug. 9, 2021, 12:14 p.m.
Aadvik Foods offers a healthy alternative
  • Rathi and Kumar : a unique concept

By Yeshi Seli. Assistant Editor, Business India

When Shrey Kumar and Hitesh Rathi (both in their early 30s) dwelt on the idea of selling camel milk in India, they felt that the concept was unique, and so, decided to name their business Aadvik, which literally means unique in Sanskrit. “We were both working in our respective organisations when this idea came up in 2015,” says Kumar. “We decided to withdraw Rs5 lakh each from our personal savings and, with that cumulative fund of Rs10 lakh, we set up Aadvik Foods in 2016”. 

The turnover of Aadvik Foods in 2020-21 was Rs8 crore and the promoters are optimistic of doubling it soon. They procure close to 20,000 litres of camel milk from Gujarat and Rajasthan through 200 farmers.

The cost of camel milk is Rs500 per litre and 1 kg powdered camel milk costs Rs5,000. The milk is sold in two forms – frozen or powdered. Aadvik is also making camel milk chocolates and soaps.

Camel milk has a lot of health benefits. It contains a higher percentage of iron, calcium, and vitamin C, compared to cow milk. It is also said to improve immunity and is safe for consumption by lactose-intolerant people. Besides, it is said to control blood pressure and diabetes.

“Hitesh hails from Rajasthan; so, he had a fair idea on procurement of camel milk,” Kumar adds. “We began by buying from just one farmer in 2016 and, today, there are about 200 farmers directly supply milk to us. We are the first branded sellers of camel milk in India”.

Aadvik Foods sells camel milk and products online via platforms like Amazon or through stores like Foodhall, Nature’s Basket, ayurvedic stores, amongst others, across Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Kerala, etc. “Veteran actor Saira Banu ordered camel milk from us sometime back for her ailing husband Dilip Kumar in Mumbai,” Kumar informs. “The feedback that we got was encouraging”.

Aadvik Foods exports its products to distributors in the US, Malaysia and the Philippines. They have two manufacturing units – one in Gujarat and another in Rajasthan – which have incorporated new technologies like ‘freeze drying’ to make milk powder. The company has recently launched camel ghee too.

  • Camel milk has a lot of health benefits

    Camel milk has a lot of health benefits

Amul too joins the game

“Camel milk is a perishable product and our processes have enabled the shelf-life of frozen milk to 60 days and powdered milk to 90 days,” remarks Kumar, adding that the company has sold over 800,000 litres of camel milk till now. Aadvik Foods has also diversified into selling goat milk, which, however, constitutes only a small percentage of their overall business, as of now.

Interestingly, Amul too has begun selling Camel milk. It also sells camel milk ice-creams and chocolates. While there seems to be an emerging market for camel milk and its products in India, the worrying factor is that the population of camels is dwindling. One of the reasons attributed to the decline in the camel population of Rajasthan has been the Camel Act – which has restricted the sale of camel, using it as a means of transport, as also slaughter. The state government is now making amendments to reverse the decline.

“As a result of the Camel Act, the prices of camels sold at fairs has fallen from Rs30,000 in 2014 to Rs3,500,” says an official from National Research Centre for Camels, Bikaner. “We are hopeful that the amendments will help the farmers, who can now earn an additional income by selling camel milk”.

If the population of camels begins to increase, there would be more scope for the expansion of camel milk market. 

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