B Soundararajan and GB Sundararajan, prominent figures in India’s poultry industry, have risen to become some of the wealthiest poultry farmers in the country. Their remarkable journey began back in 1984 when they embarked on their poultry business venture with a modest initial investment of Rs 5000. The location of their first poultry farm was Udumalaipettai, situated approximately 72 km away from Coimbatore. Fast forward nearly four decades, and they have achieved an awe-inspiring feat, establishing India’s largest poultry business with an impressive annual turnover of Rs 12000 crore.
Their renowned firm, Suguna Foods, has cultivated strong partnerships with an astounding 40000 farmers hailing from over 15000 villages spread across 18 states. Spearheading this behemoth is B Soundararajan, who holds the esteemed position of chairman, while his son Vignesh efficiently manages the company as its managing director.
Suguna Foods primarily garners its revenue from the southern and eastern regions of the country, where it commands a dominant position as the market leader in broiler chicken and eggs.
The journey to their current success commenced when Soundararajan, fresh out of school, ventured into agriculture by cultivating vegetables. However, faced with financial challenges in this endeavor, he decided to explore other avenues. Consequently, he joined an agriculture pump company in Hyderabad. But his true calling awaited him back in his homeland, where he reunited with his brother and ventured into the poultry business.
Initially, their venture involved selling chicken feed to local farmers. Through this process, they garnered valuable insights into the intricacies of poultry farming as shared by the farmers themselves. Armed with this knowledge, they devised a groundbreaking concept in India known as contract farming. In 1990, they launched this model with just three farmers, providing them with all the necessary resources to raise chickens. In return, these farmers would supply fully grown birds, receiving payment for their efforts.
With dedication and perseverance, the duo saw their ranks swell with the inclusion of 40 additional farmers over the next seven years. This marked a significant milestone as their turnover surged to Rs 7 crore during that period, and Suguna Chicken swiftly earned recognition as a household name in Tamil Nadu.
In their continuous pursuit of improvement, the company started offering technical expertise to their contracted farmers, guiding them in cultivating produce in a healthier and more efficient manner. Furthermore, Suguna Foods ensures that farmers are adequately compensated for their efforts, providing them with payment for growing the chickens. Additionally, a minimum growing charge is extended to farmers in cases of subpar performance, with payments issued every two months.
As a testament to their extraordinary growth, the farming business now accounts for over 80 percent of their overall revenue. Their products are distributed to markets specializing in meat and eggs, and the company has also diversified its portfolio by producing animal feeds.
An astounding aspect of their success story is the fact that both brothers managed to achieve all of this without any formal business background or education. Their passion, vision, and dedication have proven to be the driving forces behind their prosperity.
In the financial year 2021, Suguna Foods achieved a remarkable turnover of Rs 9,155.04 crore, a notable increase from the previous year’s turnover of Rs 8739 crore. Furthermore, their profit in FY 2021 amounted to an impressive Rs 358.89 crore.
The journey of B Soundararajan and GB Sundararajan from humble beginnings to becoming pioneers in India’s poultry industry stands as a shining example of the potential for success that lies within hard work, determination, and innovative thinking.