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INTERVIEW

“We see Rs 1,500 cr turnover by FY end”
Monday, 23 July, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Gopaljee Dairy Foods Pvt. Ltd known as Ananda Dairy was established in the year 1989. It started as a retail dairy shop, sourcing from farmers, now it offers a wide range of milk and milks products, like paneer (cottage cheese), ghee (clarified butter), rabri, dahi (yogurt), lassi, chaach (buttermilk), flavoured yogurt, flavoured milk, dairy creamer and more. The company also manufactures non-dairy products, such as tea, corn flakes, boondi, sugar, and oats. Sometime ago, the company infused Rs 500 crore in the business. Radhey Shyam Dixit, chairman and managing director, Ananda Dairy Ltd, reveals more on the company’s expansion plans in an email interaction with Harcha Bhaskar. Excerpts:

Tell us about your milk-based products portfolio.
Ananda as a brand is solely established on the vision to positively contribute to build a healthy and happy nation by providing customers with international quality & food products at an affordable price. We offer a diverse range of milk and milk-based products across categories i.e., Family Milk, T 20 Milk, Paneer, Ghee, Supreem Milk, Masala Chaach, Rabri, Panchamrit etc. Our vast product portfolio caters to nutrition requirements as well as taste preferences, offering something for everyone who is seeking quality in their everyday consumption. Our ubiquitous slogan “Anand Karo” defines everything that the brand stands for – Health, goodness and unbridled joy; brought to life through a basket of fresh, pure and nutritious dairy products directly from farm to fork.

How much is the per day procurement of milk and from which area? What are quality checks done during the procurement?
We currently have over 5,000 villages and more than 2,00,000 dairy farmers from Western Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Uttarakhand under its supply network. The current processing capacity of the company is 12 lac litre of milk a day, out of which we collect over an average of 8 lac litre of milk from dairy farmers.

Quality for our consumers is the group's top priority. This applies to our entire product segments and forms the foundation of all we do. Our Quality Management System starts on farms. We have a long history of working together with farmers in rural communities to help them improve the quality of their produce and adopt environmentally sustainable farming practices. The Quality Management System not only ensures our ongoing access to high quality raw materials. It also enables farmers to protect or even increase their income. Often the standard of living of entire rural communities is raised as a result.

Our quality parameters are built in during each and every process of product development and according to the requirements of the consumers. All the plant activities, right from processing to manufacturing are guided by ISO 22000:2005 and Food and Safety Manual (HACCP). To ensure highest quality standards, we put each milk sample to stringent quality controls for ensuring right FAT and SNF percentages in accordance to 32 recommended BIS and Agmark standards. There are a number of quality checks that milk must pass before it reaches consumer table. This should ideally begin right on the farm and continue until you open the packet at your home. Preservatives, neutralisers, adulterants, bacteriological tests like Standard Plate Count and Coliform Bacteria are conducted to maintain the quality check. The Ananda Quality Code establishes non-negotiable minimum standards that we ask our suppliers to respect and to adhere to at all times when conducting business.

Which are the areas in North India, where your products are majorly consumed?
In addition to a great general trade network, we have over 200 Company Owned, Company Operated (COCO) stores across Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. Earlier this year, we unveiled 105 COCO stores, in the region of Delhi/NCR in a day and had made an investment of over Rs 5 crore to make this record-breaking single-day store launch event, successful.

We are determined to give consumers a holistic experience, by opening the company’s entire fresh and wide dairy produce range, including confectionery and bakery items for them to purchase. Moreover, well-trained professionals, who are able to guide consumers to the right products, based on their unique dietary requirements, will staff the stores. Our philosophy is to create happier consumers through a product portfolio that adds positive value to their health and contribute to their overall well-being.

The company, with its focussed approach towards rapid expansion, is all set to chalk its strategy to eye a bigger piece of the Northern India market. We anticipate to launch over 500 COCO stores whilst achieving a projected turnover of Rs 1,500 crore by the end of FY18-19. Further, the brand is targeting to report an overall growth of 25% with its company outlets.

Which state in North India highest production of milk? What is the scope of development of dairy industry in North India?
For us, Uttar Pradesh has its highest production of milk in North India. Having built an enduring relationship with the state, our dairy recently announced an investment of Rs 500 crore in the state, UP Investor’s Summit 2018. The company will be taking its commitment a step further by setting up a new dairy manufacturing unit, alongside building capacity for its existing assets and distribution centres in the state. With these plans in UP, the company is expecting to generate over 1,500 new employment opportunities, involving the local farming community.

How do you identify yourself to be different from your competitor?
We are constantly expanding our product portfolio, to offer a range of nutritious and healthy products to our consumers. At present, we have a portfolio of over 75 dairy and dairy-based products and are constantly investing in expanding this to cater to the diverse taste of our consumers. Our only focus is to deliver the best to the consumers and not compete with others in the market.

How are the farmer prices decided for milk?
The farmer pricing for us is at par, the dairy industry standards and we believe in providing maximum benefits to our core farmer community. To empower local communities, we are regularly investing in capacity building in the state to reach over 200,000 farmers in 5,000 villages for milk procurement and supply of dairy products to consumers. For farmers, we are committed to offering a platform of economic independence and giving them a new horizon of dreams, hope, and life. We are educating the farmers and ensuring a better/ comfortable life for them through veterinary health camps, sustainable livelihood, livestock fodder, etc.

Are there any new launches scheduled for this year?
As mentioned earlier, we anticipate to launch over 500 COCO stores in Northern India. The launch of these exclusive COCO stores is in line with the brand’s vision to give consumers direct access to a wide variety of nutritious and pure milk and milk products. The company is also preparing itself to launch around 25 new products to add in its current portfolio of 75 dairy and dairy-based products.

Do you have any expansion or acquisition plan? Is there any new market of distribution network you are going to venture into?
Currently, we are focussed on expanding its base in its key northern states, such as Delhi/NCR, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. In addition to this, we are also foraying into international markets such as the US and Canada and will be well established in the months to come.

Within the dairy segment, what are the major trends noticed by you?
India has witnessed remarkable growth in its production and consumption of milk and dairy products in recent years and this trend is almost certain to continue. We believe, that in order to survive and thrive today, and well into the future, we need to place our consumers’ best interests at the heart of everything we do, and deliver products that always put the health and safety of the customer. Therefore, our company is solely made on the vision to positively contribute to build a healthy and happy nation by Providing customers with international quality & food products at an affordable price; Making available a plentiful health and happiness through our delicious products to a common man and their families, at the closest proximity.

Which are the countries to which you export?
At present, we are exporting products to Nepal, Bangladesh and other adjoining countries to India apart from USA.

What are your plans for non-dairy products?
We may look at entering the non-dairy product segment, in the near future. However, we are still at a planning stage.

How much is the expected turnover of the company? At what rate is the company growing?
Our projected turnover for the FY18-19 is Rs 1,500 crore. It is because of the company’s sheer dedication in harnessing the power of the dairy farmers that the brand is growing consistently at a fast rate of 20% in an industry that itself has a growth rate of 10% and the group has plans to double its revenue by generating a turnover of Rs 3,230 crore in the next five years.
 
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