Rahul Uppal WooHoo Doodh

Rahul Uppal, Founder of “WooHoo Doodh – A pure, Cow milk brand with a promise to home deliver within 24 hours of milking with 0% preservatives, chemicals, antibiotics or hormones”, Shares Their Startup Story

Brief Introduction about the WooHoo Doodh Company

Happy Beverages and Foods Pvt. Ltd. (HB&FPL) is in the pursuit of happiness, to create quality milk and spread happiness amongst our farmers, their cattle, consumers and the team that makes it happen. We have launched a pure cow milk brand ‘woohoo doodh’ in May 2015, with a promise to home deliver within 24 hours of milking with 0% preservatives.

Woohoo Doodh

Woohoo Doodh is a pure, cow milk brand with a promise to home deliver within 24 hours of milking with 0% preservatives, chemicals, antibiotics or hormones. Followed by thorough research on how the dairy system operates, woohoo doodh was born to bring in effective change to create quality milk with farmers.

“WooHoo” is an expression of happiness that we create across the ecosystem or the value chain. (farmers, their cattle, consumers and the team that makes it happen)

 Please Introduce yourself.

Myself Rahul Uppal. I am an army kid, have lived/studied in 12 towns across 6 states in all kinds of schools (convents/public schools/army schools/KVs etc).  My parents are settled in Indore. I moved to Pune from Indore when i was 18 to pursue my engineering from Army Institute of Technology, I worked with Infosys as a software engineer for a year and then moved on to do my MBA from Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies, Pune.

During MBA i was active in B-school competitions and landed a summer internship through one of the competitions with the Essar group, worked on a project in Essar steel based out of Ahmedabad, Gujarat.  During the second year of MBA I worked on several projects with Manohar Kamath, who was a professor at our B-school and my mentor. Post MBA i joined the Essar group in their Business Leadership Program (BLP 2010), this was a program based on rotational stints across the business of Essar group (Steel, Oil, Ports and Land logistics etc.) where i got a rich experience of working with multiple CXO s of companies across sectors.

After Essar, I joined Manohar Kamath and we started The White boarding Company and took up advisory projects where i got the opportunity to work with founders of 19 start ups across sectors such as Portable sanitation, Education, Sports Management, Hospitality and Dairy industry.

I am a keen sports person, have played Squash, Lawn Tennis, Roller Hockey and Table Tennis at university & state level.

When and how did you think about Woohoo Doodh?

Before starting up Happy Beverages and Foods Pvt. Ltd. I was into start up advisory and was leading a study on dairy where I spent a year and a half researching the Indian dairy industry.

One of our key finding was that India has an existing unique distributed milk supply which has been built over the last 3-4 decades.  This model was built primarily to address milk availability in urban India, now it was time for the quality & freshness wave.

It was after this study that I decided to set off and build a team to add a layer of quality & freshness on the existing milk supply infrastructure in India and couple it with contemporary & innovative products, distribution, delivery and service channels.  Thus, woohoo was born.

Who inspired you to start WoohooDoodh?

I have always sought and been lucky to get great mentors throughout my career. Right from business school up to advisory days Mr. Manohar Kamath was my mentor who taught me the basics of business, he used to take a one day workshop at our business school which is when i met him first.  I worked on 19 start ups over 3 years at different stages of their evolution with him as my mentor.

During the last 3 years of running Happy Beverages and Foods Pvt. Ltd., Mr. Sujit Jain, Founder and MD of Netsurf network has been my mentor.

Tell us more about WoohooDoodh, what makes you special and how is it different from others?

@ Farms (owned by farmers – selected based on woohoo standards):
– Cows are left free to graze and nature-aligned practices are followed, no hormones are injected for extra yield of milk, the cows are given freshly grown green fodder everyday free of pesticides. Even the water that they drink is purified. These practices ensure preventive care and hence reduce the disease instance in cattle making the farmers more productive with reduced effort. For following these practices our farmers are paid 20% more than what a regular cooperative dairy pays them

@ Processing & Packaging

No preservatives or chemicals added. Milk is homogenized and pasteurized fit for direct consumption. We use best in class machinery and are 1st in India to launch Gable Top for fresh milk, eco-friendly, paper based milk cartons used globally.

@Consumer convenience

Home delivered within 24 hours of milking between 5am-9am with 0 preservatives. The milk that comes in the morning is fresh, and can be consumed directly without boiling straight from the carton. Our system allows monthly online payment, prepaid, subscription model and monthly-itemized bill. We collect the empty milk cartons from the consumers door-step on a daily basis.

Why this business?

We believe that there is a huge opportunity for fresh milk consumption in India.  After thorough research of the dairy ecosystem we found out that in India more than 60% milk is adulterated. Even National Dairy Development board (NDDB) validates our research.

There is now a discerning consumer who is willing to pay for good quality milk who has created a new space of fresh, pure milk in dairy.

  • India is predominantly a vegetarian country that is developing.
  • Milk constitutes a major source of dietary protein in an average Indian Family
  • In a developing country the protein consumption constantly increases.

Value created

  • We home deliver woohoo to doodh 1500 families in Pune who have become happier after consuming woohoo doodh
  • Mothers don’t have to run around the children for milk anymore, as the milk tastes much more yummy.
  • There are some cancer patients who have started consuming woohoo as its fresh and free of chemicals
  • People intolerant to milk have started consuming milk as woohoo doodh is free of preservatives.
  • Currently our monthly revenue is INR 22 lacs that is growing by 1 lac every month.
  • We have 7000+ likes of facebook page
  • We recently launched woohoo desi cow milk from indigenous breed of cows that is known for its superior quality and medicinal properties.

WooHoo Funding and Investment Partner

  • Woohoo doodh has an investing partner and got seed funding done by Mr Sujit Jain, founder of Netsurf Network.
  • We wish to grow from current 1500 families as subscribers to 15,000 families in the next 2 years.
  • Our future plans include launching Mumbai operations and then enter value added products like Ghee, Paneer, flavoured milk and curd
  • We seek growth capital for the same.

Co-Founders / The Team WooHoo

Team WooHoo is self motivated and highly energetic lead by Rahul Uppal (Founder & CEO). Salil Goyal and Harmandeep Singh Sokhi are the partners in the team.

Rahul, Salil and Harman have all grown up and travelled across the country having had a defense background. The team has had working stints with MNC’s before like Infosys, GE, Accenture, ESSAR and have pursued MBA from Symbiosis international university Pune.

The three of them are big lovers of food and sports.

Salil heads the business operations for woohoo and Harman ensures that the customer service remains of the highest standard. While salil joined they woohoo journey during his final year of MBA since the pre-launch days, Harman was intern for 8 months over weekends before getting involved full time.

What Challenges did you face and How did you overcome?

Having had no prior experience in dealing with dairy products, there was a challenge at every step of the value chain even after spending a year in planning.

From managing the farmers, monitoring there practices, working with veterinary doctors, plant workers, construction workers, packaging partners, setting up a cold chain, to delivery of milk till the doorstep through a fleet of delivery boys, together was an enormous challenge in front of us.

From the beginning our core team worked on a simple philosophy, ‘just do what is required and keep improving’. We were united in our belief about making woohoo successful and that’s what kept us going, understanding and fixing all the unknowns like a jigsaw puzzle.

Prior thorough research, ability to bring people (experts) together and self-belief were the most important drivers of overcoming all the challenges.

Our first challenge was ensuring sustainable quality milk source

Getting the first few farmers on board was the foremost challenge, understanding the rural mentality and convincing them about the benefits of the practices that we were asking them to follow. After a 3 month long battle of negotiation, convincing and further after a few months of stating operations, farmers realized how managing cattle has become less laborious, more efficient and how can they can now focus on adding more cows and grow. There was a mini revolution in Ranjangaon where farmers were now asking to come on board themselves. That was a sense of accomplishment that was fulfilling. This is how we ensured that quality milk supply is not a problem, we have a pipeline of 100 farmers but currently we work with only 15.

WooHoo’s : Website | Facebook | Twitter

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