At just 16 years old Abhay Rangan, now 21, founded his first company called Veganarke. What started out as at home plant-based milk delivery system, with Rangan riding over 500km (or 311 miles) to deliver plant milk he and his mother made in their kitchen, is now a startup rebranded as Goodmylk.
Today through Rangan’s increased efforts and local financial and moral support, he has been able to outsource some of the manufacturing and hire a logistics team. His organization started out as an animal rights initiative, which it remained for approximately two years following its founding. Later Rangan realized he wanted to do more.
A big complaint in India was the expensive prices of humane and vegan alternatives. Across India, there weren’t many vegan businesses whose products were accessible to him on his student budget, which of course has larger implications for how affordable it is to low-wage earners. He then decided that he wanted to make vegan alternatives affordable for everyone.
Plant-based alternatives are popular in India, however they may not always be affordable. Lack of access could mean that people go without, make their own or go back to using animal products. While India is well known for the variety of vegan and vegetarian options offered and their sacredness of cows, the country has a high beef export rate. This is directly linked to dairy consumption in the country, as India is the largest producer of dairy milk.
The dairy industry in India, like other countries in the world, is linked with the veal and beef industry. The only difference in the country is that these industries typically export cows outside of the country for slaughter. Unfortunately, even without the existence of slaughter and beef feedlots in the country, cows are still separated from their mothers at birth and females are repeatedly inseminated and made to give birth to stimulate milk production.
To escape the cruelty of this exported slaughter and the dairy industry, many Indians are going plant-based. All this means that Goodmylk has a pretty good chance at making it on the market. Since rebranding, they’ve launched an online sales initiatives to reach more Indians. They may even be the first Indian company to produce vegan yogurt (which is made using peanut and rice curd) and make it available across via their online platform.
Their online platform currently provides several options for consumers hoping to order plant-based milk. These include coconut milk, which ranges in price from INR 50.00 – INR 150.00 (approximately $0.77- $2.31), almond milk for INR 60.00 – INR 220.00 (for approximately $0.92- $3.39) and the aforementioned peanut and rice curd yogurt for INR 80.00 ( about $1.23).
Their products are high in protein, made using a small list of ingredients, don’t need to be refrigerated until opened, have shelf lives similar to cow’s milk due to few preservatives, and provide a good option for the health conscious, vegans, lactose intolerant customers and those who are concerned about the amount of hormones or additives in their foods.
Instead of placing a one-time order, customers can also order a subscription to receive products to their door every morning, just like in the good ol’ days. These subscription packages are also reasonable in price, with the most expensive of them costing less than $5. Their site is much more than the awesome products mentioned before and their delivery service, however their website is also a dedicated place for healthier eating that doesn’t harm animals. On their site, they list free recipes for various vegan foods like a mango choco chip cake, tofu palak gravy or peanut curd beet root raitha (raitha is a common condiment in India, typically made with yogurt, cucumber, and mint).
Their Facebook and Twitter page likewise, provide a window into pressing issues for vegans, vegetarians and others concerned with animal welfare. In this way this startup extends past offering products and services badly needed at a price that suits the needs of its customers, it becomes a platform for a lifestyle change in line with eating habit changes.
Goodmylk has become catch-all for the interests of those in its demographic target group. What started out as a mother-son duo with a dream has turned into one of the first startups of its kind in India. The Abhay family (all vegan) poured their hard work and resources into the startup and they were repaid with $400,000 in seed funding. The funding went to machinery used to produce and bottle their products and customer acquisition.
The startup is now able to offer nutritionally dense dairy alternatives to customers and companies at prices comparable to similarly priced milk products. Though it’s still a work in progress, there is an expansive need for plant-based products in international markets.