How Australia’s Emus brought tears in Indian eyes in 2012


Emus are soft-feathered, brown, flightless birds with long necks and legs, and can reach up to 1.9 metres and are native to Australia. Indians, on the other hand are natives of India who never ever tasted Emu meat or egg. But that did not prevent the executive of a French company to present a paper at the Indo- French Food Seminar held in Bangalore in 1997 about the lucrative prospects of Emu farming in India. His projections were astonishing. A pair of Emus can produce 30 off springs per year. Thirty birds can produce meat of 60 pounds each. At a rate of $10 per pound, the meat alone could fetch $18000 every year. Emu hides were supposed to bring another $10500 every year. The feathers will fetch $1500. A year before the Indo – French Seminar, few farmers at Kakinada in Andhra imported 350 pairs of birds for commercial farming.

Based on the French presentation, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) published a lucrative business model which attracted budding entrepreneurs to Emu farming in India. Perundurai, a panchayat town in Erode district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu took a leaf out of the Emu story and made it big. In 2006, first flock of Emus landed in this country town. Little children from all around the village surrounded these flightless birds with their curious eyes and widely opened mouths. Soon these little children were replaced by sophisticated investors. Business men started offering big investment schemes. Mum and dad investors swallowed the bait of big returns. It was the beginning of a big scam that totalled more than a thousand crores Indian rupees. Susi Emu Farms India Private Limited was one of the biggest in the game. More than 20,000 people invested in these Ponzi schemes.

M.S. Guru of Susi Farms, promised a return of 3.34 Lakhs within two years for an initial investment of 1.5 Lakh rupees. The company provided investors three pairs of Emu chicks on the payment of Rs. 1.5 lakh as caution deposit. It also provided the infrastructure to rear the birds and offered Rs. 6,000 a month for the maintenance of the birds, besides a yearly bonus of Rs. 20,000. In the typical Ponzi style they made prompt payments to existing investors from the money they received from new investors. In no time the company became a house hold name in whole of Tamil Nadu. Quick profits lured more and more investors.

M.S Guru’s success resulted in mushrooming of Emu farms all around TamilNadu. But everyone overlooked a few staring facts. Indians are not used to eating Emu meat. There are no facilities in India for processing products derived from Emu. What was logically sane to happen, happened in 2012 with the bursting of Emu Bubble. Susi Emu Farms failed to pay the monthly maintenance fee to the investors. Queues of investors wanting their money back from Susi Emu farms became longer and longer day by day.

On 6th August 2012, Mr. Guru and his entire family disappeared, along with them, the hard earned money of thousands of investors. Susi farm alone believed to have swindled around 200 crore Indian rupees.

The Government had to intervene to feed the birds abandoned by the farms. Within a year of the bubble bursting, government decided to auction the birds to recoup the money. Around 10,000 Emus were put to auction. The auction received disastrous response from buyers. The auctioneers found it difficult to get even fifty rupees for a bird.

After the failure of Emu farming in TamilNadu, fraudsters took it to North India and Kerala looking for new  investors. The story again begins with the health benefits of Emu meat.

Emu meat is healthy and tasty – lower in fat and cholesterol and higher in protein and energy.

Emu’s eggs, meat, skin, oil and feathers have a high value.

Emus take less food and convert them to various types of valuable products. They can even survive by eating cost saving foods.

You can easily raise Emus with other farm animals.

Indian climate is very suitable for Emus and they are nearly disease free animals.

It is a great source of income and will fetch you huge profits.

You can also apply bank loan for setting up commercial emu farming in India.

Emu farming doesn’t require technical or management knowledge. Anyone can become an Emu farmer with minimal investments.

The bait is the same but the fishes they catch will be innocent uninformed investors again lured the by easy money.

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