Arogya Dayani from Telangana's Jaklapally, which manufactures cold-pressed oils, is run by 54-year-old Kotla Jayamma!
The company manufactures oils such as groundnut, sesame, safflower and coconut
The sight of big bulls yoked to a pestle churning out oil is a pastoral sight as old as karma. It is also part of an ancient Indian village tradition, which is making a return due to the growing demand for pure oils. Arogya Dayani, founded and run by 54 year-old Kotla Jayamma in the Telangana village of Jaklapally in Mahbubnagar district, manufactures cold-pressed oils such as groundnut, sesame, safflower and coconut, for both India, Singapore and the Middle-East. The difference between Arogya Dayani and businesses set up by degree-wielding entrepreneurs is Jayamma’s background. She grew up in a farming family in Hanumanpally village, and was then married off young into a family that owned a dairy farm.
“I spent days milking cows, and looking after the farmland. Around 2008, I joined the local DWACRA Mahila Sangham, worked as a member and later was the president from 2010 to 2015. My various duties included the welfare of women and underprivileged communities,” she recalls. The experience honed her inherent leadership and organisational skills. She even won an award for the best president at the district level. We Hub, India’s first state-led incubator to foster and promote women’s entrepreneurship, held a boot camp in Mahbubnagar in 2019. She applied and was selected for a We Hub mentorship. She regularly visited Hyderabad for six months.
“I learned about GST, taxes, registration, bank loans, marketing etc,” she says. In February 2018, life came to a standstill when Jayamma discovered a lump in her chest, but after the surgery, her doctor gave her an advice that changed her life. “I was asked to eat healthy foods such as fruits, millets and cold-pressed oils,” she remembers. She then bought a wooden oil mill and began making all kinds of cold-pressed oils at home. The oils were of such good quality that orders from neighbouring villages began pouring in.
Destiny must really choose its own: Jayamma, a Class VII-pass woman, founded Arogya Dayani in December 2019. The company makes cold-pressed oils using bull-driven ghanis and sells around 25,000 litres annually across India and abroad. “Money is necessary for business. But what is more important is patience, passion and perseverance. Without these, no amount of finance would help. But if you have these qualities, you can rise to any height, even with modest capital and educational qualifications.” It’s her own MBA lesson.