Witness the inspiring narrative of an Assam native, Diganta Das, whose journey from a security guard in Bengaluru to a visionary entrepreneur launching a thriving paratha startup embodies resilience, determination, and unwavering ambition. His venture, Daily Fresh Food (DFF), represents not just a business but a testament to overcoming adversities and carving success from humble beginnings. Join us in exploring the incredible story of this individual’s ascent from challenges to triumphs in the world of entrepreneurship.
Returning to his village in Assam marked a significant turning point in Diganta Das’s life after his stint as a security guard in Bengaluru. Observing the pervasive challenges that propelled mass migration from Assam, such as the widening rural-urban gap and the recurring adversities caused by floods leading to crop failures, Das was deeply motivated to establish sustainable solutions.
Coming from the backdrop of Sonitpur district, Das had grown up amidst the trials of agricultural struggles. His upbringing instilled in him a fervent desire to seek opportunities beyond the confines of his village, driving him to venture out in search of better prospects. Across two decades, he underwent a diverse array of professions, including roles as a labourer, cook, and coal mine worker. Through the trials and tribulations, his resolve remained unshaken.
In the wake of September last year, Diganta forged ahead to inaugurate Daily Fresh Food (DFF), specializing in the creation of ready-to-eat parathas. His endeavor swiftly gained remarkable traction, witnessing an impressive surge in sales, with a minimum of 1,500 paratha packets now sold daily. This exponential growth stands as a testament to Diganta Das’s unwavering dedication, unyielding spirit, and indomitable entrepreneurial drive.
Transitioning from various menial jobs to establishing his own food business:
After completing his Class 10 in 2001, Diganta Das ventured into the workforce as a construction laborer for the Border Roads Organization at the Arunachal Pradesh border, earning a meager Rs 1,200 monthly.However, dissatisfied with his job, within a year, he shifted to Meghalaya to work in a coal mine. Recollecting the challenges, he recalls the perilous conditions, mentioning instances where strong vibrations from blasting operations led to fatal mishaps, including the demise of a close friend trapped inside due to a ceiling collapse on Maghi Purnima. Devastated by the loss, Diganta decided to return home and later sought employment in Sikkim as a construction worker. After spending two more years there, he set his sights on Bengaluru, joining the stream of youth from Assam migrating to cities like Delhi, Bengaluru, and Pune in pursuit of employment opportunities.
After securing a job as a security guard in the city for a monthly wage of Rs 4,500, Diganta faced challenges due to low pay and irregular salaries, prompting him to resign. Despite his willingness to work hard, he aspired for fair compensation commensurate with his efforts. Subsequently, he worked as a cook in Guwahati before landing a role as a mixing man at a food manufacturing unit in Mangalore. This exposure provided valuable insights into the intricacies of the food production industry, eventually leading to an opportunity as a paratha maker.
However, his progress was disrupted by a life-altering incident in 2017. A severe accident left him paralyzed when a high-voltage electric cable fell on him. This setback compelled him to return to his village, facing months without employment and enduring a grueling recovery period spanning almost two years. During this challenging phase, a friend involved in the paratha-making business sought Diganta’s expertise to help establish a manufacturing unit in Assam. This collaboration marked a turning point for Diganta, presenting an opportunity that resonated with his skills and experiences.
Diganta’s Journey Before and After Entrepreneurship:
Before starting his entrepreneurial journey, Diganta Das hailed from a modest family background in a village in Sonitpur district, Assam. His father worked as a farmer, striving hard in the paddy fields, yet the family struggled to secure sufficient meals. Witnessing his family’s financial hardships and his father’s toil left a lasting impact on Diganta, pushing him to seek better opportunities.
He embarked on a journey seeking livelihood prospects outside his village. Over two decades, he navigated a series of menial jobs, from construction laborer to coal mine worker, cook, security guard, and more. These experiences exposed him to the harsh realities of various industries, marked by challenges, accidents, and struggles.
However, after facing an unfortunate accident that left him paralyzed, Diganta returned to his village, enduring a period of unemployment for many months. It was a trying phase, testing his resilience and determination.
The turning point came when his friend, aware of his expertise in paratha-making, approached him to establish a manufacturing unit in Assam. This opportunity ignited Diganta’s entrepreneurial spirit. With his friend’s support and his entire savings, he ventured into the packaged paratha business, marking a significant shift in his life.
Post-establishing his venture, Daily Fresh Food (DFF), Diganta’s life took a positive turn. His hard work and dedication in introducing Kerala’s authentic parathas in Assam garnered significant success. The venture gained popularity, bringing financial stability and recognition to Diganta and his family. Through determination and entrepreneurship, he not only battled poverty but also built a thriving enterprise, achieving the life he had long aspired for his family.
Bringing a Taste of Kerala to Assam:
In 2022, Diganta ventured into the packaged paratha business, establishing DFF (Daily Fresh Food) in Assam. With machinery assistance from a friend and an investment of his entire life savings amounting to Rs 7 lakh, he introduced these parathas, which quickly gained popularity within a year.
Distinguished by their authentic Malabar culinary experience, these parathas offer a crispy, flaky, soft, and multi-layered texture, reminiscent of the delicacies from Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Their ready-to-eat nature eliminates the need for dough preparation and rolling, offering convenience to consumers. However, the journey of introducing this South Indian culinary delight in the Northeastern state was challenging. Diganta embarked on a door-to-door campaign, offering samples to various restaurants and encouraging people to taste his parathas. Despite initial reluctance, once individuals sampled the parathas with curry, they appreciated the quality and taste, prompting many to include the dish on their menus.
Priced at Rs 60 and Rs 100 for packs of five or 10 pieces, these packaged parathas have a shelf life of three days, extendable up to seven days if refrigerated. They have become a preferred choice, especially among working professionals. Akhilesh Gupta, an Assam-based tea stall owner, lauds the parathas, praising their softness and multi-layered texture, stating they serve as an excellent alternative when wheat runs out at home. For Diganta, this journey signifies a triumph over poverty, enabling him to create the life he desired for his family. I am thrilled to have achieved success, starting from where it all began – my village.”
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How did Diganta Das start his entrepreneurial journey?
Diganta Das began his journey after returning to his village in Assam. He established Daily Fresh Food (DFF) specializing in ready-to-eat parathas.
2. What motivated Diganta to start his own business?
Witnessing the challenges driving mass migration from Assam, such as rural-urban disparities and crop failures due to floods, Das aimed to create sustainable solutions.
3. How did Daily Fresh Food gain momentum?
Despite starting in September last year, Daily Fresh Food swiftly gained traction, now selling a minimum of 1,500 paratha packets daily.
4. What distinguishes the parathas from Daily Fresh Food?
The parathas offer an authentic Malabar culinary experience, known for their crispy, flaky, soft, and multi-layered texture, setting them apart in Assam.
5. What are the pricing and shelf life of the parathas?
The parathas are priced at Rs 60 and Rs 100, coming in packs of five or ten pieces, with a shelf life of three days and extending up to seven days when refrigerated.
In the story of Diganta Das lies a remarkable journey — a testament to resilience, perseverance, and the unwavering pursuit of dreams. His transition from a life of various jobs in different cities to the entrepreneurial landscape is a story of determination and courage. Diganta’s initiative to introduce Malabar parathas in Assam not only brought a unique culinary experience but also created opportunities for himself and his community.
His success with Daily Fresh Food (DFF) showcases the power of dedication and the ability to create something from the ground up. As his venture gains momentum, selling thousands of paratha packets daily, it reflects the acceptance and appreciation of his efforts by the local community. His journey isn’t just about selling parathas; it’s a testament to transforming challenges into opportunities and inspiring others to pursue their dreams despite adversities.
With a mix of perseverance, entrepreneurial spirit, and the desire to create a change, Diganta’s rise from a migrant worker to a successful entrepreneur paints a picture of hope and possibility, serving as an inspiration for aspiring individuals facing similar challenges. His journey stands as a testament to the notion that with determination and hard work, anything is achievable, even turning a simple paratha into a symbol of success.
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