Founder & CEO
Email Id: firstname.lastname@example.org / Phone No: 9740330316
Mr Madhu Kargund is an IT professional and hails from a small town near Arsikere in Karnataka. He ventured into his entrepreneurial journey by launching ‘Tengin’, which is a brand of cold pressed Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO). With a rural background, he is well-versed in the medicinal, culinary and beauty related benefits of coconut oil. Through ‘Tengin’ he aims to empower women groups and educate rural farmers by constituting self-help groups. His eco-friendly initiative of using glass bottles for packaging ‘Tengin’ virgin coconut oil has earned him accolades from his customers.
1. What made you venture into the business world? By venture, I mean your founding vision behind your organisation?
Honestly, Steve Jobs has been a big inspiration. He had his roots in a small town of Mountain View, California. I grew up in a small town in Karnataka. I always want to remember my roots even as I reach greater heights. Growing up, the coconut oil was both the external and internal medicine in my village. It just had to be that when it came to starting on my own.
2. Can you tell me about the initial obstacles that you faced while setting up your business? And how did you tackle them?
Actually, the conditions have been pretty helpful. I procure coconut from farmers and process them for cold pressing to extract virgin coconut oil. We have a small group of farmers working with us, and I am also working on empowering women groups. The only obstacle, if any, is that I am working in an IT company and moonlighting on my own company. Time management – the only obstacle so far.
3. Is your home environment conducive to your entrepreneurial aspirations?
Yes of course. In my difficult times, my parents have always stood by my side and have helped me. My family is my strength and the reason behind my success.
4. What are the core values of your organisation and how did you evolve to be a successful establishment?
The core values of my organisation are rural empowerment, women empowerment, eco-friendly ethics and 100% customer satisfaction.
5. Did you build your organisation with your own capital or you opted for crowdfunding or partnership?
I started ‘Tengin’ by investing my own capital and I have also borrowed from my friends. Looking forward to expanding in the future by raising some funds.
6. How was the competition in the market when you were initially set up the roots for your business? And how did you outshine your competitors?
Yes. It was like many birds fighting for the same worm, there were nearly 5 to 6 competitors. I am working with the noble cause of helping rural farmers and it has been a factor that has been nurturing me over the long run. As a matter of fact, I have been providing my ‘Tengin’ virgin coconut oil in a glass bottle. As you can see, I have avoided plastic bottles and taken an eco-friendly initiative. This factor garnered trust from my customers and it has helped me in outshining my competitors. Initially, I gave my virgin coconut oil samples to all my acquaintances and got a terrific response which also boosted my sales.
7. As you know strong foundations make a strong building and, in this context, according to you, how important is it to have a nurturing work environment for harbouring good talent?
There is no one as technical staff supporting me right now, and I am single-handedly doing all the business chores. But well there is always scope for improvement and when I will be expanding in the future, I think I will surely provide a conducive environment to nurture good talent.
8. Today’s market is consumer driven, so, how did you build a strong customer base and impeccable brand loyalty?
Gaining trust has been my main area of focus be it in marketing, supply or production. I strongly believe in word of mouth marketing. I have always encouraged customers to use my virgin coconut oil and a majority of them have returned to me with good feedback. The eco-friendly glass packaging has also helped me in creating strong brand loyalty.
9. If you want to pick one important factor that played a major role in your success story, what would it be?
Hard work and perseverance have been the backbone of my business. You need to give your heart out to your goal and always try to think differently from others. Be happy with what you are doing, and you will surely succeed.
10. We all learn from our mistakes and you might have done at least one such mistake in your journey as an entrepreneur, what is it?
Ok. Sometimes, I think that my spirit of rushing everything is a drawback that I must improve upon. I always strive hard to rectify my mistakes that might be the result of my over-enthusiasm. I must learn patience and practice it more for achieving much in life.
11. Every person craves the fruit of his/her hard work, for you which was the most successful and happy moment in your professional life?
Yes. Well, the first day I went to sell my ‘Tengin’ virgin coconut oil to some shops, 2 consecutive shops refused to buy. Then I felt gloomy and approached the third shop, but to my astonishment, I bagged an order for 15 bottles and wow! I got my first paycheck! I got my first order! It was the most cherished and memorable moment of my life.
12. There are moments in life when you feel that you are completely drained out. In this context, what energises you to get up and move forward?
Well, the Mumbai dabbawalas are my inspiration, and they have served customers even during the floods. For me, the customer is god and the driving force, even when I feel drained sometimes. I always look out for what the future has to offer me, which gets me going.
13. We know that the latest marketing technique when successfully adopted brings in more business, so what are you doing to market your products and services?
I have always opted for word of mouth marketing to promote my product across my social circle. I always educate my customers on what is virgin coconut oil, how are we helping farmers. Then, of course, I have a website and a Facebook page. I also do Instagram marketing, WhatsApp marketing, arrange and attend events regarding rural farming, coconut usage and many more.
14. In the modern-day scenario, evolving technology is considered to be the backbone of any business, then how would you predict the effects of technology on your business in the next 10 years?
Well. Today’s Facebook can be something else in the future, so, embrace all future technologies according to your capacity and needs. Mobility, artificial intelligence, big data and others have been game changers for many business establishments. As I plan to expand my business, I want to adopt more and more emerging technologies in the future.
15. You are a successful entrepreneur and with this expertise, what would you suggest to others to make the best use of their time?
I would suggest they must study more about their market and try to put themselves in the customer’s shoes and think for them. Of course, I don’t want to sound boring, so, yeah, please also watch some Netflix or listen to some Alt J.
16.‘To grow beyond stars’ is something that literally everyone wants for their business, but can you just tell me about your near future business goals?
Yes, of course. I plan to take my brand to the next level. I am planning to educate and uplift the rural farmers of my village. I want to teach them about organic farming and help women by creating women empowerment groups. In fact, I am also thinking of introducing a couple of more products from my village.
17. Your business clients are the ones giving bread and butter to you. In this context, have you turned down any of your clients?
I have not turned down a single person among my customers. Human relationship is above all other things for me. Even if anybody doesn’t buy from me, he should always remember me as a good friend. I often give suggestions to other entrepreneurs and store owners, whenever they ask for it.
18. Now that you are successful and happy, would you like to be a mentor and give a single success mantra for the newbies in your field?
Hard work! Whatever you do, just practice hard work. Sometimes sacrifice your wants for achieving greater success. Enjoying what you do, also plays an important role in your achievements. So, guys, get up and get on to it!