Forbes India-listed Bayes alumni siblings launch The Little Farm Co, a community-led organic business venture

Listed by Forbes India in 2020 and 2024 respectively, Niharika Bhargava (MSc Marketing, Strategy and Innovation, 2015) and Aditya Bhargava (MSc Management, 2019) recount their journey through Bayes, their respective accolades and the creation of their family business venture The Little Farm Co.

What brought you to Bayes Business School in the first place?

Niharika: “Marketing was the direction that I wanted to pursue. At the time, Bayes stood out as one of the few to offer such an MSc with strategy and innovation fully incorporated into the programme. I was accepted by all five of the schools I applied to but opted for Bayes without hesitation, drawn also by the appeal of studying in a major capital and business hub such as London.”

Aditya: “I came from a commerce background but had my mind firmly set on Management at Master’s level and beyond. I received plenty of offers but based on the homework I had done into Bayes, my decision was quickly made, swayed in part by some of the study trips abroad and scholarship opportunities. My instincts were proven right as I got to visit Barcelona and Prague as part of the MSc and was the very happy beneficiary of a £10,000 scholarship!”


What do you feel you derived from your time at Bayes?

Niharika: “Besides the obvious broadening of my knowledge and the practical insights gained from case study work, I’d say I returned to my native India with much more self-confidence. This was helped in no small part by the practical skills including things like public speaking that I developed at Bayes. People who knew me in my pre-Bayes days certainly noticed the difference in me afterwards. I then took three months out to really brainstorm on where I felt my future lay. This eventually led to The Little Farm Co, inspired by our father and co-led with my brother.”

Aditya: “Alongside my studies, I actively sought to gain experience in fields related to the MSc, be it volunteering at Bayes, getting involved in a research project co-led by the School with Oxford University and Bocconi, as well as working with start-ups. In fact, I’d say the main shift in professional focus that I got thanks to Bayes was towards entrepreneurship. I returned to India with my mind set on business creation. And here we both are today!”

Describe the development of your business, as well as future goals.

Niharika: “The ideation process began back in 2016 and then we started to really roll out the business over 2018-19. So far, the main produce we deal in are pickles and chutneys, all naturally grown on our own farm, preservative-free, made using quality ingredients, and handcrafted by tribal women. An important part of the ethos behind the project was for it to be community-led, and primarily by local women. In return, we have taught them vital skills such as observing hygiene practices, intelligent use of farmers’ markets and shared our business acumen.”

Aditya: “So far the focus has been on sales online only, directly via our website and via platforms such as Amazon. However, the next phase will see us also selling offline, firstly within India. And beyond that, it is our firm intention to set up an export service. Needless to say, the UK is among our target markets for that next, exciting stage!”

What is the reality of running this business? How have your roles evolved?

Niharika & Aditya: “In both our cases, we’ve certainly had to broaden our expertise. By getting your hands dirty in such a range of areas as accounting, finance, operations, HR, distribution, and product development, you inevitably end up becoming a jack of many trades, for the good of the business as well as your personal and professional growth! It’s been a steep learning curve where you are kept on your toes at all times. There’s no taking shortcuts in order to run a business effectively, so it’s a daily challenge but a highly enriching one at the same time!”


In the past four years you have both been listed by Forbes India. How dos that make you feel?

Niharika: “In my case, back in 2020, it was for a feature focussing on self-made women in India, so yes very proud indeed.”

Aditya: “I was listed this year in the Forbes India 30 under 30 Consumer category, so a nice recognition of the work we’ve both put in these past few years and in no small part thanks to our time at Bayes.”