Woman Entrepreneur Story: Leads Millet Exports of Rs. 135 Crores

Priya Gunasekar, a visionary entrepreneur from Khajamalai, Tiruchi, started a millet business venture with her sister Akila in Ariyalur a few years ago. She never imagined their products would gain global popularity. Priya has transformed her business into a leading millet export enterprise in the state for seven years. It has started reaching the United States, Sweden, Denmark, England, Dubai, Singapore, and Malaysia markets.

She started her venture with a humble investment of ₹1 crore and a team of 10 employees and has witnessed staggering growth, boasting a turnover exceeding ₹136 crores. More than 90% of the workforce constitutes women.

Initially, Priya locally marketed products such as ‘thinai rava,’ ‘kambu rava,’ ‘saamai millet,’ and ‘kuthiraivali rava.’ Leveraging the United Nations’ push for millet as a healthier alternative to rice, she swiftly expanded her reach, capturing international markets. Exports constitute a substantial 95% of her business, with RA Foods shipping an impressive 2,700 tonnes of millets in the last fiscal year.

The United Nations’ declaration of 2023 as the International Millet Year and the global initiatives by governments, including England, promoting millets have significantly contributed to expanding her business. RA Foods operates 11 millet factories across strategic locations like ‘Perambalur,’ ‘Dindigul,’ and ‘Ariyalur.’

Reflecting on her journey, Priya said, “I started casually, but the huge demand for millets in India and worldwide pushed me to focus entirely on the business. Our products now reach over 30 countries. Quality and a longer shelf life are our secrets to success.”. 

Her company has generated contracts with 14 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) for millet supply, in addition to engaging around 500 individual farmers, half of whom belong to tribal communities.


Before her entrepreneurial pursuit, Priya honed her skills in branding and communications in various corporate roles. Her remarkable transition from a corporate professional to an excellent business leader signifies her dedication to championing healthier food choices on a global scale.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *