Gujarat man builds successful business by selling donkey milk at Rs 5,000 per litre

Dhiren Solanki, a resident of Patan district in Gujarat, has found success in an unconventional business: he sells donkey milk to earn a living. Starting with just 20 donkeys and an investment of Rs 22 lakh, Solanki has built a business worth Crore. Due to the increasing demand for the product, the man now has 42 donkeys on his farm. Compared to cow’s milk, which sells for Rs 65 per litre, Solanki claims that donkey’s milk sells for a whopping Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,000 per litre. To maintain freshness, the milk is stored in freezers. But his journey was not without challenges. Initially, there was little demand for milk in Gujarat and Solanki struggled to make a profit in the first five months. He then decided to expand his reach in South India, where the demand for donkey milk was higher.

According to reports, Solanki is now supplying his donkey milk in Karnataka and Kerala. His customers also include cosmetic companies, which use the milk for their products. Despite not receiving any help from the state government, the man hopes to gain more attention in the sector. Moreover, he has expanded his product by offering dried milk as powder, which can be sold for one lakh per kilogram. One of Solanki’s key success strategies was setting up an online portal. This decision not only expanded his customer base but also allowed him to demand higher prices for his product. Interestingly, Solanki’s website suggests that the company’s annual turnover is between Rs 0.5 Crore and 2.5 Crore.

Speaking about his business, Dhiren Solanki said, “I found some private jobs, but the wages could barely cover my family expenses. It was around this time that I learned more about donkey breeding in southern India. I met some people and set up this farm in my village about eight months ago.”

According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM): “Donkey milk is believed to remove wrinkles from facial skin and make it softer and whiter. Some women have been known to treat their cheeks seven times a day, paying close attention to this number. It was Poppea, wife of the Roman Emperor Nero, who started this fashion and even used it for the baths, and for this reason she took herds of donkeys with her when she went on journeys.”

Donkey milk has made a comeback for human nutrition in recent years. It was popular in ancient times to feed newborns and even the Egyptian queen Cleopatra enjoyed it. According to NLM, it was believed that she bathed in donkey milk to maintain her beauty and skin glow. For the routine, Cleopatra reportedly needed about 700 donkeys daily. Donkey milk also has medical benefits.

Buzz staff

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first print: Apr 22, 2024 12:15 IST