The blooming agricultural fields in the vicinity of Doddaballapura near Thupugere tell the success story written by a small town man from Telangana in the last 20 years through flower trading and floriculture.
Hard work, dedication and willingness to implement modern farming techniques have helped him to become a known face of Indian floriculture.
Coming from a family with an agricultural background, 40-year-old, Srikanth dreamed of owning land and do farming 22 years ago. However due to poverty, he had to leave his hometown Bodan in Nizamabad district to start his career in Bengaluru in 1995. Srikanth was assigned to supervise a newly set up greenhouse project for a floriculture company near Bangalore and was entitled to earn a salary of Rs 1,000 per month.
After two years of working in the same floriculture company, he had gained a lot of knowledge in this line. By saving from his two year’s salary of Rs 24,000, he planned to start trading flowers on his own by sourcing from different companies, farmers and other distributors. He starting his trading business in a small 200 square feet place in Wilson Garden, Bengaluru which also was his residence. He used to go out to collect flowers from the growers, and pack and parcel the flowers to the customers all by himself. Later he hired two employees to help him in his work, as he started getting more orders by supplying to restaurants, wedding and other events. After initial success he slowly started promoting a lot of growers from Ooty, Coorg, Kodaikanal and other places.
What they grow in their farm is not enough to meet their demand from trading business. To bridge this gap, they are sourcing flowers from different growers in India and also from other countries like Thailand, Holland and Australia. Besides imports they also export to Dubai. They are one of the most respected suppliers in restaurants and many other events held in the city.
Adapting improved technology for better business
Speaking about technology, Srikanth says, “It has been four years since we started growing by using the latest farming techniques”. Srikanth has implemented the following technologies at his farm:
- Greenhouse/Polyhouse to grow his flowers as a first step in high-tech agriculture with an objective to provide the optimum growing conditions for his high quality planting material for crops like Gerbera, Gypsophilia, Carnations, Roses and other filler crops.
- High tech agriculture was supplemented by the use of drip irrigation, fertigation mechanism, use of right kind of water soluble fertilizers, soil enrichments, neem cakes, judicial use of pesticides and insecticides and growth promoters and growth retardants.
- To control the right quality of sunlight he chose the correct greenhouse covering and to control the amount of sun light, the right shade percentage of shade net. He also used insect nets on the perimeter of the greenhouses to achieve his goals of reduced use of pesticide and thus augmenting integrated pest management.
- He used air circulation fans inside the polyhouse to regulate the humidity and used geo membrane/pond lining for rain water harvesting and meet the peak water demand.
Suggestions to the youngsters who are aspiring to be farmers
“Serious growers are not entering in agriculture as it needs lots of money and involvement. Today many of the growers are coming into this business because of other benefits like getting subsidies from the government body. If one has to take up farming, the chance of success is higher only if the owner himself is involved in to this business,” says Srikanth. As for him it’s a better job than any other professions like software engineering or medicine. They need to adopt the right technology and get involved seriously. They should also have the same enthusiasm from beginning to end to make it big.
Srikanth and his family
Not just Srikanth, but also his better half, Raga Srivanthi is part of his floriculture business since they got married more than a decade back. She is actively involved everyday by communicating to customers and taking orders. Their son Harshavardhan and daughter Moksharee are also passionate towards farming, as they dedicate their free time in helping their parents in the farm. He claims farmers are his mentors and guides, as in his initial stages the farmers helped him in getting flowers as people were concentrating on exporting outside then.
For more information:
Om Sri Sai Flowers
Rajeeb Kumar Roy
+91 99167 55555