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INTERVIEW

“Milk analyser is a complete solution to enhance dairy ecosystem”
Monday, 26 September, 2022, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Essae Teraoka is the sole manufacturer in India of milk analysers using ultrasound sensors. The company  was also the first Indian manufacturer of Touch Screen PoS hardware in the country. While cloud kitchens provide  opportunities to install Essae PoS, the need to detect adulterants in milk makes the milk analysers valuable instruments in milk processing and allied sectors, said Prabhu Chandran, MD, Essae Teraoka, in an email interaction with Nandita Vijay. Excerpts:

How is your company positioned to grab the opportunities in the Indian dairy sector with its Touch Screen Point of Sale (PoS) machines and milk analyser?
It is a 32-year-old company and a well-established brand in the manufacturing and supply of high-quality electronic weighing scales, systems, and solutions. It has advanced  manufacturing facility,  with a strong pan-India presence for pre- and post-sales support with a network of 38 company-operated branches, and over 400 dealers / franchisees, catering to  customer needs.

Our products are known for excellence in terms of manufacturing and supply capabilities in bulk, product quality, performance adhering to regulations and rendering timely support to customer. We will opt for funding depending on the market demand and the future outlook.

There are several players in this space of Touch Screen PoS machines and milk analyser, what are the key differentiators in the case of your company?
The company has an in-house availability of technical competence which has ensured that the required  products are  par excellence. The biggest advantage for us is that it has established its credentials as a quality-oriented Touch Screen PoS hardware and milk analyser brand.  In addition, infrastructure pan-India reseller/dealer network and the  ‘Make in India’ focus has given it a headstart. Capabilities in the production of high-quality products, repeat orders from satisfied customers have given it an edge in the market. 

Where are these products manufactured and were there any tech transfers for the design and development?
Both milk analyser and Touch Screen PoS Hardware are made in India as they are manufactured in a state-of-the-art facility in Bommasandra, Bengaluru. The facility is certified and has adopted the latest technologies including robotics to manufacture products of the highest standards of quality, safety, and consistency. Essae milk analyser, though designed in Germany, the functional aspects, engineering and production are completely made in India.

Would the company look at exports, if yes, which countries?
Yes we will be looking at exporting these products and currently we are exploring the Asian and African markets which indicate promising growth prospects.

What is the kind of marketing strategy envisaged by the company to take these products pan- India and which are likely markets of opportunity?
For the milk analyser, we are marketing it through our network of resellers, system integrators besides on-boarding dairy-specific suppliers as our resellers.

With regard to our Touch Screen PoS products, the Essae marketing team that deals with individual entities and MSME companies through  resellers/dealers, independent software vendors, system integrators, IT and banking equipment supplier network etc.

How would you describe the scene in the country for Touch Screen PoS hardware and milk analysers in India?

The Indian dairy is an integral part of the economy. The  country has the world's largest dairy animals with over 300 million bovines, producing over 187 million tonne of milk. India is first among all countries in both production and consumption of milk. Most of the milk is domestically consumed, though a small fraction is also exported. This being the case the opportunity is boundless for milk analysers.

The post-Covid scenario has opened up the markets in a big way. With the rapid digitisation as well as several favourable government initiatives the demand for touch screen  devices in India is growing. 

How much and what kind of technology is embedded into these product offerings?
Our company is the sole manufacturer in India of milk analysers using ultrasound sensors.  This device uses dual ultrasonic sensors for high precision, and faster measurement of SNF, fat, and water content in the analysis of high-fat milk. Such technology ensures superior performance.

The company  was also  the first Indian manufacturer of Touch Screen PoS hardware in the country.  The touch screen PoS stand which holds the main Touch Screen PoS functional unit is completely designed to suit Indian market requirements. The power adaptor which is the most critical part of the unit is also designed and manufactured in India with necessary approvals from competent authority with BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) in place.

What are the challenges encountered in Touch Screen PoS hardware and milk analysing that could be now offset by the two products?

In retail and Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs)  where there is high footfall, a robust Touch Screen PoS system is invaluable. Post-pandemic, market requirements for touch-based PoS hardware have changed drastically. Cloud kitchen operations have emerged in a big way providing great opportunities to install Essae Touch Screen PoS. Industrial-grade embedded systems are the need of the hour which we have adopted in our product variants.

Due to the importance of nutritive value of milk, its testing and quality control is an essential component of any milk processing industry, whether small, medium, or large scale. Milk is made up of 87% water hence making it prone to adulteration. Payments to farmers supplying milk are based on milk analysis. If results of milk analysis lack transparency and accuracy it may end up in a non-optimal pay-out to the farmers. For a long time, these issues have kept both farmers and dairy organisations perplexed and unsatisfied with the manual methods of milk testing. The quality of raw milk is assured if certain basic analyses are carried out at various stages of procurement, transportation, and processing, be it at the milk collection centres, cold storage centres, or processing plants. The milk processor or handler will only be assured of the quality of raw milk if certain basic quality tests are carried out at various stages of the transportation of milk from the producer to the processor and finally to the consumer.

Milk analyser solutions provided by us are ideal since they are technologically advanced, are modular in construction with integrated design. Besides these devices are cost-efficient, hygienic, and comply with regulatory requirements.

What are the efforts of the company for the food and beverage industry?
We  understand the  Touch Screen PoS hardware and milk analyser market, which is constantly evolving. Our digital marketing strategy with a dedicated team indicates the pulse of the industry. Investments in social media management, trade portals subscriptions, website upgrades for the purpose of brand awareness, lead generation, major promotional activities, are being initiated. Participation in segment / product-specific events/expos are also part of the brand-building activity.

This apart, for both Touch Screen PoS hardware and milk analyser, in order to reach out to more customers and locations, the reseller network is being expanded pan-India.

We are aware of the fact that over-dependence for certain critical components on foreign suppliers can’t be continued further. Hence adapting to the changed scenario by providing make in India solutions, ramping up production facilities with the latest technologies, etc. will work well for our business.

As far as the Touch Screen PoS business is concerned, we provide robust touch screen monitors which are easy to install, compact, durable and rugged. We ensure our solutions support customers’ software and are compatible with interfaces. These devices allow efficiency in  long billing environment to ensure efficiency and transparency.

The milk analyser is a complete solution to enhance the dairy ecosystem at the farm level, collection center level, or dairy level. While it delivers accurate, fast, and reliable analysis, we have incorporated new features like correcting the device through a cloud-based app to enable smooth functioning.

How large is your team and are there any plans to hire?
We have 150 plus staff each in the marketing and service departments. There are over 400 reseller/franchisee networks representing us pan-India. Our hiring plans are now linked to factors like ‘need’ and the ‘market potential’ etc.
 
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