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Success Story: Two Kathua engineers come up with an organic aromatic  oil brand   
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Success Story: Two Kathua engineers come up with an organic aromatic  oil brand   

Post by Bivek Mathur on Wednesday, December 28, 2022

First slide
Jammu, Dec 27: Until 2019, the 34-year-old Sandeep Razdan and his 31-year-old friend, Ajay Sharma were among the government job aspirants like most youth in the Jammu and Kashmir. 
But in 2019, the duo started reading about the success stories of then emerging entrepreneurs of the country through different newspapers, magazines and social media platforms. As their curiosity in knowing about the new and successful start-ups continued to grow, the duo also started discussing different ideas to convert them into reality and finally agreed on one: working on the aromatic oils and their products in Jammu and Kashmir as one of them, Sandeep Razdan, was a chemical engineer and had the knowledge of the subject due to his former association with CSIR-IIIM Jammu as a project assistant.
“When I discussed the idea of working on the aromatic crops in J&K, Ajay seconded me without giving any second thought. But since we didn’t have the land to grow the aromatic crops, we met various local farmers and somehow convinced them to make them rent out their barren lands to us on a contract basis in lieu of a fixed annual payment,” Razdan said. 
Son of SK Razdan from Chadwal Morh, Hiranagar, Kathua, Sandeep Razdan further said, “in our very first attempt, we succeeded in creating a land pool of 15 kanals for our project to grow aromatic 
Rosa grass and lemongrass on the given land”.
To help them grow the aromatic crops successfully for the first time, CSIR-IIIM Jammu scientists also stepped in under the Mission JAG formerly known as J&K Aroma Arogya Gram Mission, which has now been named as Mission Aroma.
In 2020, when COVID pandemic spread across the country, Sandeep Razdan said, “we initially got discouraged but our family members and the CSIR staff and scientists didn’t let us feel low. So, we continued working on improving the health of the aromatic crops by visiting our fields regularly and learning the basics of maintaining the plants in good health from the CSIR-IIIM scientists”.
He said, “after one year, when we harvested our first crop, we got to know about the market prices of the lemongrass and Rosa grass oil, which were very low”.
“So we discussed further about how the income could be raised from the aromatic oils. Accordingly, we studied more about the processed oil products from different institutions of the country and CSIR-IIIM itself. And finally we decided to make household items including water-based, chemical-free aromatic surfactants, candles, fragrances and other eatables which were completely organic,” Sandeep Razdan said.
According to him, at this stage, Ajay Sharma also applied for a loan of Rs 10 lakh under Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) as the amount was required in setting up the machinery, buying packing facility and other raw materials.
“We’ve also returned around 2.5 lakh of the loan,” he said.   
Razdan and Sharma’s company, ShaRaz’s products are available in different standard sizes including one kilogram, half kilogram, 250 grams and small pouches.
How is the duo marketing their products?  
For marketing, Ajay Sharma, 31, son of Sohan Lal of Chadwal, Hiranagar, Kathua said, “we’ve been selling our products through major retailers of Jammu including, Wave Mall, Vermani Super Market and other major retail giants.”
“We’ve also registered our product on Amazon, Meesho and have taken into loop the purchase heads of the V Mart, Shop 99 and Jammu Basket,” Sharma said.
The duo also sell their products through the exhibitions of CSIR-IIIM Jammu and SKUAST-Jammu.
3 lakh’s annual turnover 
In the very first year of establishing their business, the duo claimed, their annual turnover has reached Rs 3 lakh after paying the farmers and other stakeholders their genuine dues.
“And from next year, we’re planning to process the marigold and lavender oils as well. We’re expecting a further hike in our annual turnover,” they said.

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