Even as Madhu Kargund worked his engineering job in Bengaluru, his heart wanted to return to his roots — farming.
In 2018, he decided to quit his 8-year career to start ‘Tengin’, which means coconut in Kannada.
“I am trying to help farmers make more profits by converting their coconuts to cash flow,” he says.
A zero-waste company, Tengin uses every part of a coconut to make various products by engaging local farmers and women SHGs.
They make virgin coconut oil, barfi, soaps, candles, sugar, chips, crockery shells, coir dish scrubbers, and more.
While his heart was on returning home, he faced a lot of resistance from his family.
“My parents did not want me to do agriculture. They wanted me to continue my job. [But] Agriculture is one of the most difficult jobs in the world, and farmers don’t get enough money or respect for it.”
Madhu has collaborated with 20 farmers in Karnataka and Goa, along with nearly eight women from SGHs in his village to make the products.
Additionally, he also taught farmers a way of farming called zero-budget natural farming with multiple crops.
What started with making 150 ml of virgin coconut oil, has now sold over 500 litres. On average, the company earns Rs 3-4 lakh per month in revenue.