This is the story of Milind Laxman Patil, a third-generation cashew farmer from the rural area of Wada of Palghar District, Maharashtra. He initially started with trading and stocking of cashews. He was supplying cashews to restaurants, dry fruit merchants, and other companies. Over the period of trading business, he realised that since the cashews required to be stocked before trading, their quality maintenance was not an easy task.

This realization led him to explore the domain of cashew processing to maintain the quality and increase the shelf-life of cashew. After attending the first level of training in cashew processing under the Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), he established Om Enterprises in 2019 and had set up a cashew processing unit near his house. Through his food processing unit, he started processing cashew nut snacks in different flavours.

Milind wanted to upgrade his food processing unit and expand the scope of value addition of his products. For this purpose, he was looking for financial and technical support. He came to know about the PM Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises (PMFME) Scheme and applied to the PMFME Scheme portal. He received the loan in August 2021 for the up-gradation of his cashew processing unit.

Upon receiving the loan amount, he purchased machines for raw cashew cutting, piece separators, and snack frying. Under the PMFME Scheme, the District Resource Person of Palghar provided him with necessary technical inputs for the purchase of machinery and the upgradation of his unit.

The entrepreneur envisions utilizing the capacity of the new machines and introducing different flavoured as well as coated nuts in the next three to five years. With this expansion, he is expecting a 15% increase in sales within first year.

Milind is currently selling his products in the markets of Maharashtra and Gujarat. He aims to venture into the digital arena and launch his brand on e-commerce platforms.

The PMFME Scheme has enabled him to invest and upgrade his food processing unit during the time of the COVID 19 pandemic and become an Aatmanirbhar Enterprise. The financial turnover of Om Enterprises for FY 2020-21 was around Rs. 1 crore (approx.).