Dharambir Kamboj

(successful innovator)

From Rags to Riches

Dharambir Kamboj, from rickshaw puller to successful innovator, was born in Damla Village, Haryana, in 1963. He was the youngest of five siblings. During his early teens, Dharambir was forced to stop studying to provide financial support to his family. Dharambir Kamboj, who once struggled to make ends meet, now sells his patented machines to 15 countries and earns lakhs of rupees per year.
In the early 80s, Dharambir Kamboj was among the thousands who left their villages and moved to Delhi in search of a better livelihood. His efforts were futile because he lacked a degree, so he took on odd jobs to support himself.
Dharambir Singh Kamboj has an extraordinary rags-to-riches story, and it is all about perseverance that has led to him becoming a farmer-entrepreneur who now is earning in lakhs. 59-year-old Dharambir Kamboj, has a life that combines both hardships and a dash of luck!
Life, according to Dharambir Kamboj, an innovator who overcame many obstacles on his path to success, is all about triumphing over your weaknesses and continuing to work hard. This multifaceted entrepreneur wears many hats. Kamboj is best known for his multipurpose processing machine, which allows farmers to process a variety of farm products on a small scale.
Dharambir found peace in a public library near the Old Delhi railway station after working as a cycle rickshaw puller in Delhi for a year. In his spare time, he would read about farming topics such as growing exotic crops such as broccoli, asparagus, lettuce, and bell peppers. “Delhi was a learning experience for him,” he says. However, following an accident in Delhi, he relocated to his native village in Haryana.
He returned to his village after recovering from his injuries in the accident. For six months, he participated in a training program run by the village development society to learn more about improving agricultural practices.
In 2004, he was given the opportunity to visit Rajasthan by the Haryana Horticulture Department. During the visit, Dharambir interacted with farmers to learn about the aloe vera crop and its extracts for obtaining products with medicinal value.
Dharambir returned from his Rajasthan visit looking for ways to market the aloe vera and other processed products as profitable ventures. In 2002, he met with a bank manager, who educated him on the machinery needed for food processing but quoted him Rs 5 lakh for machines.
“The pricing of the machine was exorbitant,” Dharambir said in an interview. “My first prototype of a multipurpose processing machine was completed after a Rs. 25,000 investment and an eight-month effort.”
Kamboj’s multi-purpose machine is a portable machine with a single-phase motor that can process a variety of fruits, herbs, and seeds.
It also functions as a large pressure cooker with temperature control and an auto-cutoff feature.
The machine has a 400-liter capacity. In an hour, it can process 200 liters of aloe vera. The machine is lightweight and portable, and it is powered by a single motor. It is a one-of-a-kind machine capable of pulverizing, mixing, steaming, pressure cooking, and juice, oil, or gel extraction on its own.
Dharambir’s Multi-Purpose Processing Machine has garnered a lot of recognition. The National Innovation Foundation also granted him a patent for this machine.
These machines are sold by Dharambir Kamboj in 15 countries, including the United States, Italy, Nepal, Australia, Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and Uganda.
In 2009, National Innovation Foundation-India (NIF), presented him with the Haryana State Award for his invention of the multipurpose processing machine at its Fifth National Biennial Awards function.
As Dharambir once stated, “People teased me when I first started my experiments.” They were never interested in me. “When I was working hard and conducting various experiments, my father thought I was wasting my time.”
Dharambir Kamboj, popularly known as ‘Kissan Dharambir’ also received a National Award from the President of India in 2013
Dharamveer Food Processing was one of six companies chosen by the Villgro Innovations Foundation and the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water (CEEW) for the Powering Livelihoods program to help India’s rural economy in 2020. The Rs 22 crore program, according to a CEEW statement at the program’s launch, provides capital and technical assistance to Indian enterprises working on clean energy-based livelihood solutions. The initiative also provided a total of Rs 1 crore in emergency funding to six selected businesses to help them cope with the COVID crisis.
“Before this program, Dharamveer had very little production.” It went from four machines in a month to 15-20 in a month. The revenue also increased rapidly. This program assisted Mr. Kamboj & his son Prince with mentoring and guidance on how to increase production using methods such as solar-powered machines. Villgro also provided Dharamveer Processing Company with approximately Rs 55 lakh during Covid. Dharamveer & his son Prince were able to train multiple people on how to operate the machine and generate employment through social media.

Future Plans

The company plans to export its food processing machines to around 100 countries in the next five years, with a revenue target of Rs 2 crore this fiscal year and around Rs 10 crore by FY27. So far, Kamboj has sold approximately 900 machines, employing approximately 8,000 people.

Message for farmers

Dharambir Singh believes farmers should be able to process what they cultivate that will give them the independence to earn more income. More government schemes & training should be implemented , conducted so that farmers can upskill themselves from time to time & can avail opportunities that would help them secure a future.