When Purushottam Sidhpara turned 18, he inherited two things from his father — his farms and the zeal to serve people.
Like any other organic farmer, Sidhpara makes sure his food is chemical-free, but what sets him apart is his sense of hospitality.
“Atithi Devo Bhava is a sentiment that I take seriously. I invite my potential dealers or customers to my farm where they can stay with me for a couple of days,” says the now 50-year-old.
He feeds them fresh produce from his fields and if the dealers like it, they can then place orders.
As simple as this marketing strategy might seem, it has helped attract orders from 32 countries — such as the USA, UK, Norway, Germany, Dubai and Ethiopia.
The idea of this form of marketing came to Sidhpara some 20 years ago when Jamka village of Junagadh, from where he hails, saw a major drought.
The villagers came together and raised Rs 45 lakh and built 55 small dams and five ponds for a population of 3,000 villagers to fight the issue.
Impressed by the villagers’ efforts, many experts, students, water activists and media members flocked to the village, where Sidhpara and other villagers welcomed them into their homes.
“After eating our food, people wanted to purchase the crops, vegetables and spices directly from us. For the first time, we were dealing with the customers directly. This was my biggest learning, so I continued hosting visitors,” he explains.
Today, the farmer makes an annual turnover of Rs 2 crore with this unique sales approach.