For years, Dehradun-born Sachin Kothari was living a life stuck in the corporate rut. “I worked in Delhi between 2008 and 2011 and changed four companies during my stint. Each time, the company was better and I received a pay raise. But working with giant corporations and multinational companies made me realise that my hectic and stressful professional life would never change,” he tells The Better India.
The former management professional says that despite changing organisations, the work culture remained the same. “I was slogging until odd hours, attending weekend meetings and following an unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle. I was spending the majority of my work hours glaring at the laptop screen and meeting endless targets, which affected my health,” the 37-year-old says.
Sachin soon realised he was not built for corporate life. “I started looking for alternatives. I was inspired by my brother-in-law, who owned a nursery in Dehradun. I spent most of my free time at his place and found it an interesting business proposition,” he adds.
This ‘interesting business proposition’ is now earning Sachin lakhs per month, without the burden of a hectic lifestyle. We caught up with Sachin to see how he started afresh.
Sprouting from failure
Sachin says he researched and planned meticulously to set up the nursery. He roped in a friend who owned land, and both decided to invest a sum of Rs 6 lakh.
“I arranged Rs 1.5 lakh from my savings and borrowed an equal amount from my father. My friend invested another Rs 3 lakh, and we established the Dev Bhoomi Nursery. In 2012, I quit my job and started the nursery,” he recalls.
However, without proper guidance and support, Sachin and his friend failed in their first attempt. The plants died and despite repeated attempts, he was unable to identify the soil, coco peat and fertiliser mix required. Losing confidence in the business, his friend gave up, leaving Sachin alone to run the venture. Sachin’s parents asked him to find a job and return to corporate life. “But I wasn’t ready to give up on my dreams yet. I consulted my brother-in-law, experts and online media to learn more about saplings, creating an optimum environment and fertile soil mix to grow them. I had no option left,” he adds.
Sachin spent the next three years rebuilding the nursery. “I learned on the go and started with creating seedlings and transferring them to pots. I relied on insecticides and pesticides to prevent pest infestation. By 2015, I rented land in Sarkhet, about 15 km away from the city, and eventually bought a 1,500 square feet space nearby. I could now afford a new team and hired assistants,” he says.
Today, he sells over 20 varieties of flowers such as marigold, petunia, osteospermum and pansy, as well as vegetables like broccoli, tomato, bok choy, brinjal and cauliflower, earning him Rs 30 lakh per year. He says the plants are in high demand in neighbouring cities like Saharanpuri, Ghaziabad, Chandigarh, Delhi, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Amritsar.
Despite the challenges that weather conditions, pests, plant infections pose, Sachin says has been able to establish a 100 per cent profit-making model for himself. “Initially, I faced high mortality of plants with fungus, infections and other diseases. They continue to date, but I can effectively manage the infestations. Customers want a healthy plant, and keeping a close watch and monitoring helps bring the expected outcome and effective plant growth,” Sachin says.
He says he also faced challenges in raising finances and procuring loans.
Regardless, his decision to quit and start afresh has favoured him and enabled him to live a comfortable life. “I have repaid my loans, bought a piece of land, and a car. I do not have to rush to the office and decide on my working hours. Moreover, I do not spend odd hours to meet targets. I am living a luxurious life living in a clean, pollution-free environment whilst earning lakhs per month,” he says.
He adds, “I feel glad that my life is not revolving around a laptop. I have no regrets and thank myself every day for the decision I made.”
Edited by Divya Sethu