Interview: Mr. Samarth Setia, Co-Founder & CEO of Mr. Milkman, a SaaS platform for dairies

Samarth Setia - Co-Founder - CEO of Mr Milkman

Interview: Mr. Samarth Setia, Co-Founder & CEO of Mr. Milkman

With a strong yearning to solve issues plaguing the dairy industry, Samarth founded Mr.  Milkman in 2017. 

Mr.Milkman is a state-of-the-art last-mile dairy supply chain SaaS platform that empowers  dairies and other industries to manage customer subscriptions and deliveries with unrivaled  efficiency.

From the farm all the way to the end consumer, the real-time analytics platform  easily tracks all sales data, provides a complete performance overview, and enables informed  business decisions.

Samarth decided to launch Mr. Milkman when he experienced first-hand the problems faced  by local milkmen.

The idea to digitize local milkmen by making smarter businessmen of the  local doodhiyas evolved to create a SaaS platform for the dairies themselves.

The company  not only organizes its customer management systems but also helps various dairies keep up  with the trends of the industry and even introduces better technology to other aspects of their  business.

The platform ensures that there is an adequate application of modern facilities in  the dairy industry. Mr. Milkman was acquired by America’s largest independent dairy  technology, services, and intelligence provider, in 2021.

This start-up, though, is not Samarth’s first rodeo. A serial entrepreneur, he was associated  with the development of The Campus Connect in 2013, an organization aimed at bringing  together campuses and bridging the gap between them.

He graduated from RV College of  Engineering and is passionate about technology and the various ways in which it alters daily  activities. Golf and reading autobiographies of imminent business owners are other activities.

Tell us a little about yourself

Samarth Setia: I graduated from RV College of Engineering in 2015 with bachelors in Electrical and Electronics. I have been passionate about technology and the various ways in which it alters daily activities. 

Throughout my journey I have been fortunate enough to solve one problem successfully as an entrepreneur and look forward to solving more in this lifetime.

During my college time, I was associated with the development of The Campus Connect in 2013, an organization aimed at bringing together campuses and bridging the gap between them.

Later I joined Mu-Sigma in 2015 which I left within two months of joining in order to organize the complex pain points of dairy farmers.

Please tell us a little about your entrepreneurial journey

Samarth Setia: Being a solo founder was the biggest challenge for me in the initial days of my entrepreneurial journey. Initially, Mr. Milkman connected local milkmen to consumers via the platform and enabled them to deliver milk to over 2,000 subscribers daily for two years.

During this period, we implemented technology to the problem areas while testing their results live through their milk delivery operations.

Our team operated along with the local milkmen daily at 4 am to understand the challenges and build the product.

Eventually, Mr. Milkman pivoted in 2017 from a Marketplace and evolved into a full-fledged SaaS (Software as a Service) platform that now not only organizes and automates the customer management for large and small-scale dairies, but also helps various dairies keep track of their operational processes by reporting sales anomalies and providing extensive reports.

What service(s) or product(s) do you offer?

Samarth Setia: Mr Milkman provides a cloud based platfrom that is focused on optimising processors’ operations via digitisation. It automates various dairy distribution processes which increase the profitability and allows dairy brands to invest in their own growth.

This increases margins and reduces hidden costs in the sector. Our solutions for the plant include, dispatch to schedule milk collection and minimising the distance driven by haulers and optimising communications from the cooperative to the customer.

Additionally, we provide a Laboratory Information System to aid plants in testing and documenting milk quality while also offering cloud-based dairy distribution management solutions to milk producers in order to allow them to operate much more efficiently and help them reduce losses.

What is unique about your label brand?

Samarth Setia: In India, the dairy sector and milk brands will need to employ technology at every level, right from milk procurement to the last delivery mile, to grow and be successful.

Milk brands in India and around the world operate on slim margins. Since milk prices have a cap, the only way to be profitable is to become more efficient – which can only happen by implementing technology from one end of the operations to the other.

We have the edge over others due to the tried and tested advanced suite of solutions from (America’s largest independent dairy supply chain technology provider), which acquired Mr. Milkman in 2021.

Their solutions cover the entire dairy value chain. Therefore, we are now even more capable of supporting the connected agriculture supply chain and ultimately empowering it to feed a growing world.

We look forward to working to assist Indian customers to achieve greater growth, and profitability locally and on a worldwide level.

What made you choose this type of business?

Samarth Setia: Before leaving for a vacation with my family in 2015, my mother had given me several chores. One of them was to tell the milkman to stop the delivery of milk while we were going away.

What seemed like a simple task unveiled the way milkmen operated—they would usually deliver the milk at 4 am and leave, creating a communication gap between them and their customers.

This gap became my side project in college: an app for the milkmen to manage their orders, deliveries and billing. Every interaction thereafter with them got me closer to the challenges of the dairy sector.

What was your mission at the outset?

Samarth Setia: I created a platform that digitized the accounts of the local milkman’s customers and automated billings for the local doodhiyas. Mr. Milkman’s job was to turn a local doodhiya to a technologically-advanced ‘Mr. Milkman

How many employees in your organization?

Samarth Setia: Over all the organization has over 450+ employees and the India team today stands to be at around 40+ for 2022. We plan to double the number of employees this year.

What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?

Samarth Setia: When Mr. Milkman started back in 2017, managing everything alone was not easy, be it client management, addressing technical issues or taking care of finances. I learned a lot from my mistakes.

We did face quite a lot of challenges convincing the clients that we were not selling a software product but giving them the license to use it, which is how SaaS works.

It is said that India is a market to build SaaS but not sell. However, this is changing and Indian businesses have started accepting technology as an important infrastructure to invest in.

Luckily for us, the clients and the dairies we reached out to, understood the importance of technology and its use.

 What was the inspiration behind turning an entrepreneur?

Samarth Setia: After building an application for my college assignment for milkmen, a chance encounter with my city’s largest dairy became an eye-opener on how India’s largest and oldest industry was still running on registers and [Microsoft] Excel!

Excited to see the opportunity, and by making minor modifications to my app which was built for the milkmen, evolved a platform for dairies and milk brands.

Entrepreneurship is all about the passion to solve problems. This problem motivated me enough to take the leap and jump into entrepreneurship.

Technology and how its right use can change businesses and alter the way we live is a continuous motivator for me to now stick to entrepreneurship.

With just two clients as our source of knowledge, in late 2017, we set out to build a platform that today helps over 75+ large as well as small milk brands and dairies across India track product lifecycle, do sales predictions, and reverse logistics of crates, and accounting.

The impact that we are making today and the responses that I get from the clients who are benefiting from a solution that was envisioned back the college days, pushes me to drive more innovation in this field and new areas/industries in the future.

Key things to consider before starting a startup?

Samarth Setia: If you are putting in your hundred per cent, then there is no stopping you from growing.Leveraging long-standing ties, networking in the right circles, and keeping an open mind when speaking to new people can help fasten this process.

Focus on your strengths, identify your shortcomings and fix that on the go. But above everything is authenticity.

Be authentic and true to yourself, your consumers, buyers, employees, investors and business associates.

It is this trust and integrity that will help you create the dream company that was born out of your passion. Ethics take you a long way.

What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?

Samarth Setia: Entrepreneurship for a straight out of college kid is not easy and one is bound to make many mistakes.

The first mistake I made was not studying the market and the users enough. Sometimes we get so carried away with a solution that we envision that we forget to check whether there is a large enough need for that solution. If there is not a large enough need.

Your success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneurs

Samarth Setia: To build a successful business it is important to know what you are passionate about. Combining passion with entrepreneurship provides sustainable motivation.

The lack of passion can be sensed by everyone around you including your partners or employees. But with some planning, soul searching, and hard work, anyone can embark on a satisfying and profitable business journey.

And lastly, always keep in mind that failures are a part of the journey, so do not let down on your dreams and welcome them as a learning experience.


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