In the sixth edition of our #socialenterprisestories, we hear from Pooja about her amazing social entrepreneurship journey.
Pooja is the founder of Organiko, a brand that provides livelihood to donkey herder communities by using donkey milk to create high-quality skincare products. She came up with this idea during her masters, and has since pursued it with passion and dedication. During her journey, she overcame several obstacles and has since established this strong social enterprise.
Read on to find out more about her journey and the social change Organiko is creating.
Organiko, a social enterprise, started with the aim of encouraging economic development of individuals and communities in rural areas. While exploring ways to do this, they discovered the untapped potential of donkeys in communities. Since then, this became the driving purpose of Organiko, to change the mindset of society towards donkeys and bring positive impact to the #communities that rely on donkeys for their livelihood.
#Donkey, a gadha, an ass, is traditionally used as a means to carry loads. As technology stepped in, donkeys lost their importance in society. And so, their population has been shrinking year over year.
Organiko discovered this untapped resource while speaking and working in rural communities! After all, people are often only considerate towards resources that bring value to them. By helping communities to recognize that donkeys could bring them livelihood jobs, they would then start respecting these animals while improving their standard of living.
Ironically, despite being unappreciated, donkey milk costs Rs 2000+ per liter, significantly higher than cow milk. This is because of its superior qualities, richness in vitamins, and contains essential fatty acids and trace elements. It has powerful anti-ageing and healing properties alongside other medical benefits.
Initially, Organiko thought to sell donkey milk directly for consumption, but that was extremely difficult since people in India look down upon donkeys and even use them as an insult. Coupled with the expensive price of the raw material and packaging, it became a recipe for extremely low demand. Therefore, they changed their approach to a more acceptable one and to acclimatize people to the idea of donkeys and their byproducts, making soap instead.
Organiko hand-made soaps are blend of donkey milk, which are responsibility and ethically sourced from various underprivileged communities, high quality oils, and natural ingredients. The team has since expanded their product line and introduced a variety of skin-care products, all with their unique benefits.
Organiko's mission is to mobilize the donkey communities and create a globally competitive Indian skin-care brand using donkey milk. Their work changes people's perception of donkeys and uplifts the communities that herd them. Organiko's products are popular across the globe due to their unique ingredients which has ample nourishment characteristics.