Mr Milk is a Mittal Happy Cows Dairy Farm brand that promises to bring the purest and freshest A2 Desi Cow products to your doorstep. Having served over 300 families in Pune, the brand has now expanded to Mumbai’s suburbs with a launch further into the city planned for next month. We spoke to Naresh Mittal, Founder of The Mittal group behind the brand to learn more about Mr Milk and came away learning a lot more than just A2 milk. Excerpts from the interview:
- Tell us about Mr Milk’s journey from ideation to launch
Unfortunately, milk is adulterated throughout the world. Possibly because of the demand and supply gap, its perishable nature and profits. This adulterated milk, preservative and traces of growth hormones in the milk have adverse effects on people’s health.
Looking at the entire dairy industry scenario and with the passion to provide the highest quality of milk to people, we launched Mr Milk which is procured from our very own desi cows in an automated process wherein the milk is completely untouched by human hands and we deliver it to customers in its purest form.
We started the farm with merely 20 cows with supply to friends and family and now we have about 400+ desi cows at the farm catering to families in Mumbai and Pune. I wanted to make this a model desi cow farm and encourage other farmers to take up traditional cow farming.
- What has the response been like for Mr Milk in Pune and now Mumbai?
Our journey from 50 customers in Pune to now over 2000 families has been incredible. And now serving people in Mumbai is the cherry on the cake. The response has been overwhelming and we thank all our customers for it.
- Tell us how Mr Milk is different from other similar brands?
Mr Milk is a family-owned farm. We do not procure milk from third party sources. We handle each and every aspect, right from cows to processing units to last-mile delivery.
Our cows are nourished and nurtured with organically grown feed suitable for their needs. Our entire milking process is automated hence there is no chance of adulteration. The calves are given first priority for their mother’s milk. The entire process right from procuring the cows to the distribution chain is handled by us. Hence, we can assure customers of purity and integrity of our products. Mr Milk also comes in eco-friendly paper cartons, unlike plastic pouches or bottles.
- As a relatively new milk brand, are you focusing on a particular genre of people for growth? Caring mothers, fitness enthusiasts or such?
Milk is consumed by almost everyone and we believe this is the kind of milk everyone should be having.
- Tell us about the other products made with A2 milk such as paneer and ghee
A2 Ghee, dahi and paneer are the by-products derived from our pure A2 desi cow milk. Our pure desi cow ghee is made with Ayurvedic bilona method, hence making it rich in texture and extremely healthy. All our products are homemade in small batches. We do not use any kind of industrial processes or preservatives hence making all the products pure
- Take us through the process of how your cows are kept happy as well as some of the technological innovations used in the farm
For Food: We have a TMR (Total Mix Ration) where different feed is loaded as per the diet requirement ratio set by a nutritionist. The feed is mixed and given to the cows.
For Water: We have automatic water troughs that works on automatic level sensors so that the cows have enough and fresh supply of water to drink.
Open Paddocks: Each shed has an open paddock where cows can enjoy a sunbath whenever they feel like it.
Soft Bedding: The sheds have soft bedding for comfort rather than concrete bedding.
Massage Brush: There are massage brushes installed in the sheds, where the cows can simply stand and get themselves massaged.
Sprinklers: We use water sprinklers that are activated once the temperature rises.
Cooling Fans: These large dairy fans keep the cows and the shed cool during hot climate.
Shower Tunnel: Cows pass through these shower tunnels while going for milking. This keeps them clean and fresh.
Automatic Milking: Our fully automated milking parlour is made by DeLaval, a Swedish company that pioneers milking technology over the world. The milking clusters give a hand massage-like stimulation for milking. The milking action is similar to hand milking or calf suckling.
Packaging: We use Paper Cartons to pack our milk over plastic/ glass bottles.
- What are the major advantages of A2 milk over packet milk or normal milk?
Most of the packet milk that we get in the market are collected from various sources, milked in unhygienic conditions, packed in plastic and reaches consumers after two-three days. Mr Milk reaches its consumers directly from the farm within 12 hours of packaging.
Many types of proteins are naturally found in milk. Beta-casein is a type of protein that accounts for about one-third of the total milk protein. However, it is the quality of beta-casein protein that makes all the difference. All cows produce beta-casein protein but Indian native breeds produce pure A2 beta-casein protein in their milk.
Research has shown that A1 and A2 proteins are digested differently. Scientific evidence shows that the different protein fragments produced have an impact on the digestive function of the human body.
Most of the hybrid cows’ milk has A1 type of beta-casein protein that produces beta-casomorphin-7 (that has been linked to stomach discomfort and symptoms similar to those experienced by people with lactose intolerance).
- Tell us about the Lonavala dairy farm and how one can visit it at an appropriate time
One can schedule a farm visit by filling a form on our website along with their preferred date and time. Our team would get back with an invitation letter as per the availability. The best time is between 3:30 pm – 5 pm so as to see the milking process.
- Are you also going to look at launching in retail outlets soon?
No, we want fresh products to be delivered directly from our farm to homes and cut short the time wasted in the supply chain.
10 . What are your future plans with Mr Milk?
We plan to reach as many consumers in Mumbai, Pune and nearby cities and get more products, bakery items, organic fruits and vegetables. Similarly, we will make such desi cow modern farms across various cities in India to make such single-sourced milk available to everyone.
- What are the major challenges in the subscription model that you’ve seen? How are you planning on overcoming them?
Milk is a product that is required daily in every household. The subscription model has been working well for dairy industries for many years. Consumers faced challenges for pausing their milk or making changes in their orders. There were always conflicts between the suppliers and consumers during billing.
We have developed our software and own mobile application where consumers can order products, pause or edit their subscriptions without any hassles. The mobile application notifies the consumers when the milk is delivered and also shows the history of orders placed. This keeps the transaction very transparent and easy.
- Do you feel there needs to be more awareness about premium milk to reach more people?
People are becoming aware of the challenges and adulteration in multi-source milk and the benefits of A2 cow milk over other types of milk. People are ready to spend a little more money when it comes to their health and taking care of it.
Instead of making people aware of ‘premium milk’, I would rather say, there needs to be more awareness to highlight such brands who have their own desi cow farm. There are quite a few farms that are working hard to get single source Desi Cow Milk to consumers, but these farmers are not able to reach their consumers due to a lack of marketing budgets and knowledge.
- Tell us a little bit about the Gir and Sahiwal cows at the farm and the advantages of having them over other breeds?
We house Gir and Sahiwal cows at our dairy farm. Gir cows are found in the western parts of India near Gujarat and Sahiwal are found in the northern parts of India. Both these breeds are desi cow breeds and give extremely high-quality A2 milk, which is rich in fat. These breeds have good immunity and stay healthy throughout the year and are adaptive to any topography.
- How is the milking process done? Do you employ locals for this? What is the current team size at Mr Milk?
The entire milking process is fully automated right from milking to packaging. This doesn’t require a lot of manpower. We have an operation team of about 15 people which includes a team of veterinary doctors available for our cows.
Have you tried A2 milk before and found a significant difference compared to normal milk? Are you excited to try Mr Milk? Let us know in the comments below.
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Priyanko Sarkar is the Founder Editor of Gurgl.in. He has been a writer for over 15 years and this site is his attempt to document India's growing beverage sector with impactful and interesting stories. His favourite drink is Vietnamese Coffee and his favourite spirit is Turkish Raki.