Rajat Salgotra


An MBA graduate made Lakhs from cow dung

Yes. You read that right, Rajat Salgotra from Jammu makes eco-friendly products such as diyas from cow dung, agarbatti from used flowers, flowerpots and biodegradable Ganeshji for Ganesh Chaturthi.
Although cows are worshipped in India, they still face so much cruelty. Till the cow is lactating it is of value; but as soon as it stops producing milk they are left on the road, where they either die in a road accident or gets choked on plastic. On the other hand, Gaushala dumps the cow dung in drains where they clog and become a breeding ground for chronic diseases. He felt it was high time to resolve this issue and so he started to work towards the welfare of these voiceless beings. He planned to make eco-friendly products while he was pursuing MBA from Jammu University and executed the plan after completing his studies in 2019. The company Samast Eco. Pvt Ltd. was founded in the year 2021, the initial investment was about 2 Lakhs. Until 2021 all the research work was done which included easy availability and handling of raw material i.e cow dung, in large quantity and how numerous products can be made using cow dung. After various failed attempts he found that perfect diyas were made only with the cow dung of Desi cows.
He didn’t straightaway start with the work but first gained knowledge, and experience from UNDP, Jammu in the project Plastic waste management. Where he learned about sustainable development and how resources can be used for our generation as well as can be kept for the use of future generations. Then, with the help of Disha Foundation (an NGO), he started making diyas from cow dung. The usage of cow dung solved two problems; the farmers thought that cows could now generate extra income even after they stoped lactating, and due to the waste management technique the drains of his city are cleaner now.
In the initial days, the family questioned him about his decisions as he had no agriculture background, and why would an MBA graduate reject all the high-paying jobs but rather work with cow dung. But he didn’t doubt himself ever and believed in himself. He faced different challenges at this time; the fragrance of the natural ingredients in agarbatti was not liked by the consumers. And the major issue was the transportation of cow dung from farmers to the manufacturing unit. At every step from the initial days till today, Disha Foundation has played a big role in supporting him.
Jammu like any other city has many temples and there is never a shortage of used flowers from temples. He has selected 2-3 temples of Jammu city which provide him waste flowers from which he makes Agarbatti by drying the flowers followed by processing. The cow dung is firstly powdered by the grinder and then made into a paste for Diyas, which is then poured into moulds for shape while agarbatti is handmade. Then the products are kept in sunlight for drying. He collects a total of 500 kg of cow dung cakes from farmers daily.
The team includes Rajat and 3 more people from the same NGO with an addition of 40 women from self-help groups. The women were given training on how to use the mould to make Diyas and how to give the finished look to Agarbatti and Diyas to make it attractive for the buyer. Rajat’s initiative has generated employment for them. Now, these women are independent and can earn a living for themselves.
All the raw products are provided to these ladies and all they have to do is make beautiful eco-friendly products. The sales and marketing is handled by Rajat himself where his education has helped.
He has been appreciated by the government of Jammu several times. He proudly told Apni Kheti that the DC of Jammu has shown full support for his work and appreciates him always. Other departments which have supported him include the Forest department of Jammu and Kashmir, Municipal Corporation, Pollution Board and Indian Oil.
He also provides cow dung to farmers to start a living for themselves, and he is also interested in opening franchise outlets in different cities as well.


  • First prize in unique idea by Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology in 2022
  • First prize in Waste to Art exhibition by Jammu Municipal Corporation in 2021
  • Third prize in unique idea by Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology in 2021
  • Appreciation award by Pollution Control Board of Jammu in 2021

Future Plans

He soon plans to sell his eco-friendly products on e-commerce websites like Amazon and will have a pan-India presence in the market.

Message to farmers

Vision is very important in life. If you believe in yourself, others will believe in you. I always knew eco-friendly products have the potential to stand in the market competition and worked hard towards my goals.