“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius
I have chosen a job that I love, that of building a business. I am marketing a product that I deeply love myself. I living my own life and not someone else. Coconut Oil manufacturing has been a family business started by my father. I didn’t get into it as part of his succession planning, I got into it out of my own interest. Rather he didn’t want me to join it as he didn’t want me to face the hardships that he faced. But I forced myself in and building Cocoguru has been my dream.
Here, I like to discuss about my personal preference for Coconut Oil and experiences with it.
My father started a Coconut Oil mill in Puttur in 1988 and I was in 1st standard class then, it was right next to our home in the same compound. So, I have physically been very close to Coconut Oil mill. But mentally, I wasn’t at all involved in it. Even my younger brother used to get involved in it but I didn’t show an iota of interest in it. My parents used to force me to go there. I used to take the tools to repair my cycle. As I was interested in Physics and Mechanics, I used to observe how motors rotate and power is transmitted from motor to the oil extraction machine. As I showed inclination to studies and brother towards business, it was planned in family that brother would continue the business and I would have a white collar job outside.
Till I was 25, I never used to apply hair oil. Once I had felt that my hair was feeling dry and felt the need for hair oil. I bought Parachute. It smelled so nice and different from coconut oil manufactured at our mill. I didn’t know why even though it was Pure Coconut Oil, it smelled like that. Then, I assumed it must be perfumed. Also the oil used to retain the quality for longer time. Then I developed the habit of applying coconut oil on my scalp. One to moisturise hair and scalp and Two to experience the fragrance of coconut oil in the process of applying it. I continue the habit today, but this is how the liking towards coconut oil started.
When I was in hostel, I used to wash clothes on my own. I was famous for that as I used wash clothes more frequently than others. I had to wash more frequently probably because I used to wear one pair only for one day 🙂 After washing, due to detergents the hands used to feel hot and dry. To moisturise and cool, I used to apply coconut oil on hand, remaining oil on hands and legs. Now, I see coconut oil being used for same reason even in commercial establishments like Cement plants. Today, I get bulk orders from cement plants just for the purpose of cooling and moisturising hands after handling cement.
My mother is very health conscious and she used to do oil pulling. She also advised me to do oil pulling for having good oral health. Since I love coconut oil and am looking for new ways to experience it. I started oil pulling, my dental health surely improved. Tooth sensitivity and swollen gums were gone. It is a great way for me to test the quality of our product also. While, oil pulling that is rinsing oil inside the mouth, I wouldn’t mind if I swallow some bit.
I am someone who like to eat regularly, I like to have my breakfast, lunch and dinner early and at same time everyday. But when I travel, I cannot stick to these routines. I don’t like eating junk food outside. When I feel hungry, my energy levels come down. Then I drink about 5 ml of coconut oil. Coconut oil is different from other edible oils in that it is easily digestible and hence provides instant energy. Also it leaves a very good taste in the mouth.
I sometimes go with our sales van to develop new business or get feedback from customers. When I approach a new customer to develop business, he is normally reluctant. Then I pour some drops of oil on his hand to smell it. Since ours is roasted coconut oil it smells more then conventional coconut oil. He now gets interested. He enquires about price and business terms and business starts.
Many times customers have raised doubts about the purity of our product and claim that it is perfumed and not natural. I pour a few drops of oil on my mouth in front of them and swallow it. It convinces them and I get satisfied too.
A lot of smell comes out of our factory during oil extraction. It reaches the road that is a good 150 metres away all nearby residents. For me to sit in the factory and experience it the whole day is blissful. My clothes retain that smell, when I go out, people ask and I feel good about it. It happens only with Coconut Oil.
On the contrary, my experience with other oils especially Sunflower Oil is different. At my hostel at Mysore, Kitchen was on ground floor and Dining Hall was right above it on 1st floor. Meant all the kitchen smell especially that of cooking oil (Sunflower Oil) would be felt at the dining hall. I was slow at eating, meant I had to experience the smell for longer time. If you don’t like the smell, the time spent feels that much longer. The clothes would retain the smell, so I had to feel it for long time even after I had left the hostel mess. So, I used to wear different set of clothes to mess, take it off and wear a different set once I come back. At a lodging in Erode, the restaurant was right below the room and I had to endure the smell for the whole night. There are a lot of restaurants with poor kitchen ventilation where Oil vapours circulate around our eating tables. I avoid such hotels.
I avoid eating all oily foods when I eat out. Because they mostly use cheaper oils like Sunflower Oil, Palmolein Oil or Vanaspati. A good oil can add a lot of taste and juiciness to food. I particularly like oily foods prepared by Goud Saraswat Brahmin community. At our home oil usage is very less and food tastes bland. A close relative used Cocoguru coconut oil for preparing all the items at their function. I tasted all the items there including Poori and Jilebi that I hadn’t tasted as per my recent memory. At our factory canteen we prepare one deep fried dish a week to test the quality of our oil. For diwali, we prepare Boondi Ladu using our coconut oil and distribute it to employees and customers. There are a few local foods like Charmuri, Omlet, Pathrode, Fish Fry and Banana Chips that must use Coconut Oil to taste good.
Overall, I use coconut oil to appeal to my 3 senses smell, taste and touch. Only a poet can explain well how good it feels rest of us have to experience it to understand it.
Inspiring. I’m interested in starting a coconut/copra milling or coconut oil processing but I don’t have technical knowledge. It’s good that your family already have a business so it became easy for you to learn and study all the technicality.
I am from Philippines, we have a small lot coconut farm and I just wanted to maximize our earnings from the copra that we harvest every cropping period.