IT Professional Shifts to Plantations and Builds Rs. 9 Crore Turnover Agri Startup in Two years
Vol 15 | Issue 5
Former IT professional Sandeep Chaudhary has quietly evolved from working with codes and pixels to growing crops and managing plantations through his agritech startup Amyra Farms.
Sandeep ventured into agriculture in 2022 by founding Amyra Farms on a 100-acre land in Chikmagalur. In less than two years the farm has achieved a turnover of Rs. 9 crore.
|Sandeep Chaudhary launched Amyra Farms in 2022 quitting his IT career (Photos: Special Arrangement)
The farm's approach is grounded in sustainable and organic practices. By shunning harmful chemicals and pesticides, Sandeep ensures that the farm's produce is not only healthy but also environmentally friendly.
“We firmly believe in the power of natural farming. It's about nurturing the land that feeds us,” Sandeep asserts.
Living in Bengaluru, Sandeep regularly travels to his farms in Chikkamangalur and Sakleshpur, which lie about 220-250 km from the city, ensuring he is directly involved in the farming operations.
The farm's diverse produce includes coffee, vanilla, pepper, and clove. “We chose each crop not just for its market value but for its quality and our ability to grow it sustainably," explains Sandeep.
His venture into bee farming and dairy farming further extends the farm’s commitment to biodiversity and ecological balance. The dairy farm is multifunctional, providing manure, producing ghee, and generating electricity with a biogas plant.
At Amyra Farms, customers can find products as Apple Cider Vinegar blended with Ginger, Garlic, Lemon, and Honey, and traditionally made A2 Gir Cow Ghee using the Bilona method. These specialty products are available on their website and at their own cafes.
|Sandeep's farms are located at Chikkamangalur and Sakleshpur
While they previously offered their products on platforms like Amazon and Flipkart, the focus has now shifted to enhancing sales through their own channels.
Last year, Amyra Farms established its presence in Bengaluru by launching cafes at two locations, in Divyashree Chambers and Langford Road.
The menu at Amyra Farms spans a range of options, starting from the humble cookies priced modestly at Rs. 29 to the most indulgent Pepper Chicken Sandwich, priced at Rs. 139.
For those who enjoy cold beverages, both Milkshakes and Ice Tea are available at Rs. 110 each.
Tea enthusiasts can relish Chai for just Rs. 30, while coffee lovers can savour Filter Coffee at Rs. 35. For a refreshing twist, Mojitos are offered at Rs. 98, and for a cozy drink, Hot Chocolate is available at Rs. 85.
These products, priced competitively, have found a loyal customer base, thanks in part to the growing consumer awareness about organic and sustainable products.
“Our products are a reflection of our ethos. We offer our customers not just food, but a piece of our farm’s soul," Sandeep notes. The farm-to-table concept at Amyra Farms is not merely a business model but a philosophy.
“We want our customers to experience the journey of their food, from our farm to their tables. It’s about bridging the gap between the producer and the consumer,” he explains.
|Some of the products offered by Amyra Farms
The shift from IT to farming for Sandeep was not a sudden impulse. After making his mark in the IT industry in Bengaluru, he felt a deep-rooted call to embrace a simpler, more grounded lifestyle in the countryside. His fondness for travel and a persistent inclination towards agriculture eventually led him down this path.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sandeep seized the opportunity to realign his professional goals. "My life has undergone many changes in the last two years, since I entered the field of agriculture and set up the cafes," Sandeep reflects.
His journey has justified his beliefs, silenced the sceptics, and strengthened his resolve to trust his instincts over the opinions of others.
Sandeep's brothers, Kuldeep and Nishant, have joined him in his business venture. Kuldeep, with his engineering background and an MBA from Germany, and Nishant, a Computer Science graduate from Narsee Monjee University in Mumbai, bring a wealth of knowledge to the table.
Together, the three brothers are driving Amyra Farms on a path of growth and innovation using their diverse skillsets.
Born in 1984 in Faridabad, Haryana, Sandeep's upbringing was deeply influenced by the values instilled by his parents, Roop Singh and Veermati Chaudhary.
His father, a former farmer turned real estate consultant, taught him the importance of perseverance and innovation.
Sandeep finished his Class 12 from Apeejay School in Faridabad and went on to earn his Bachelor's degree in Information Technology from CITM, Manav Rachna University, Faridabad, in 2003.
Sandeep worked in companies such as Xavient Information Systems, Wipro Technologies, and Nikulsan Technologies, where he was involved in software development and managing information systems.
|Sandeep with his brothers Kuldeep and Nishant
But, deep inside, Sandeep always felt a strong connection to farming, a passion rooted in his family's background.
“My father’s stories about our ancestral lands and the challenges of farming always resonated with me. They were a constant reminder of where we came from,” he shares.
In 2022, Sandeep took the bold step of venturing into agriculture, establishing Amyra Farms on a 100-acre land in the green fields of Chikmagalur with an investment of Rs 3 crore.
Sandeep's vision for Amyra Farms is focused on building a community around sustainable living and farming. “We are not just growing crops; we are cultivating a way of life,” he shares passionately.
Looking ahead, Sandeep has ambitious plans for Amyra Farms. “We aim to expand our reach, both in terms of acreage and our product range. We want to be at the forefront of sustainable agriculture and be a model for others to follow," he states. Currently, there are 14 workers at the farm, including eight women.
With plans to expand the farm's retail presence and participate in international events like the Gulf Food Festival, Sandeep is determined to position Amyra Farms at the forefront of the organic farming movement.
The support of Sandeep's family has been a cornerstone of his success. “My family, particularly my wife and mother, have been incredibly supportive of my shift from IT to agriculture,” acknowledges Sandeep.
|Members of the Amyra Farms team with Sandeep
“Interestingly, my in-laws, who were once farmers, are now seeing a change as they step back from farming and I, their son-in-law, step into it. My wife is the backbone of our family, looking after our 11-year-old son while I handle the business.
“Our children, as well as my brother's, enjoy the farming activities and the natural surroundings. However, their primary focus at the moment is on their education.”
Sandeep's move from IT to agriculture is more than just a career switch; it is a journey of reconnecting with his roots and making a meaningful impact in the world. - ©TWL