Shammi Agarwal, Director, Pansari Group
With its current focus on developing ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook food products for the Indian market, New Delhi-based Pansari Group is on a high growth trajectory. Founded in 1940, the company is also planning on diversifying geographically to build a network for their HoReCa products. With strong domestic sales, the company generated a revenue of Rs 1011 crore during FY 21-22. In conversation with Shammi Agarwal, Director, Pansari Group, nuFFooDS Spectrum brings you details about the company’s future plans. Edited excerpts:
The company has recently launched Indimix, a ready-to-cook food range. How does the company see the future of ready-to-cook food in the Indian market? Are there any expansion plans the company would like to disclose in terms of the product portfolio of Indimix?
Customers and their households are busier than ever, so it’s no surprise that they prefer food options that are quick and easy to prepare.
Indimix has been out there for a while now, and are lower in calories, fat, and sugar. Products that were once only found in specialty health food stores are now readily available to the general public as a result of the rising demand for food and drink that consumers believe will either be less harmful to their health or will actively improve their health, daily performance, and general well-being.
Options like these are great for health-conscious consumers who want to eat properly but don’t want to spend as much time in the kitchen as they would if they cooked from scratch. The Indimix range already has a stellar reputation. Traditional breakfast alternatives that are wholesome and nutritious along with nashta premixes, chatpati treats, and meethi delicacies already have a place in our customer’s hearts. Ready-to-eat biryanis and gravies are something we plan to develop in the future, and we’ve already begun the necessary research and development.
In terms of the company’s HoReCa business, the company is in the process of setting up a hybrid channel of distribution for the expansion of the Chefys portfolio of products and solutions. How is that going?
When it comes to the development of our plans, we are focusing our traditional distribution strength in North India, which comprises the states of Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), Punjab, the Uttar Pradesh region, and Uttarakhand. However, we are giving serious consideration to expanding into the Southern region, and we will have a well-established distribution network for our retail business across India. Additionally, we are in the process of setting up a hybrid channel of distribution to better meet the requirements of our HoReCa customers.
How many countries do you export to and which country enjoys the highest export? What challenges has the company faced in exporting spices, edible oils, and other ingredients?
The developed nations of Canada and Australia make up the majority of our principal export markets. Prices are subject to regular revision in response to the ever-shifting value of the United States dollar, as well as any related changes in government bans or tariffs. We need to give this a great deal of thought before moving forward. There are now 61 countries in which you can purchase one or more of our product lines.
Being a multi-brand company in the food category, how has the increased raw material and procurement cost impacted the overall business? Please shed light on the supply chain issues faced by the company and how it is tackling them.
Because of the state of the market, the price of many inputs has gone up recently, and manufacturers have responded by raising the prices at which their wares can be purchased.
Manufacturing companies are in a precarious situation as a result of the rising cost of raw materials, which will have knock-on effects throughout their supply chains. The two supply chain headwinds that have plagued the industry throughout the epidemic—slower supplier deliveries and labour availability—continue to plague manufacturers as costs rise. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the industry has been struggling with both of these issues.
To be frank, working capital management is a challenge in the face of rising costs, which is why we are always improving our systems, procedures, and even technology to employ artificial intelligence to better manage our inventory.
As the company has been exploring a variety of breakfast mixes, seasonings, and bases, does it plan to enter into the plant-based segment anytime in the future? How does the company see the future of plant-based food in India?
The adoption of veganism as well as other diets that are focused on plant-based foods is on the rise all across the world. However, it would be too soon to decide at this juncture.
Since the company does not intend to enter the market within the next two years (and after that, the strategy will be to “let the market decide”), we will instead focus on differentiating one of our branded items from the rest of the offerings in our store. Once we have accomplished this goal, we will then proceed to work on the creation of other items bearing the Pansari brand.
Pansari Group has re-launched Oreal edible oils with better packaging and benefits which includes the use of virgin food grade packing material. This could be the company’s first step towards sustainability practices. What else does the company plan to do in this direction?
There are still a lot of individuals who are unaware of the different kinds of oils that are available, the reasons why they would wish to use them, or the potential health benefits that they may provide. Oreal has been rebranded as a premium alternative for healthy oils thanks to its brand-new packaging. These oils have a longer shelf life than other foods and contribute positively to one’s overall health. The purpose of this is to encourage healthy lives as well as proper nutrition.
We have always made it a priority to work on getting better as a unit. Since the company’s beginning, Pansari has garnered acclaim for its stringent and unyielding quality control. We won’t make it available to the general public until we are certain that it has completed all of the mandatory safety tests.
What are the plans of the company in terms of expansion, product launches & investment? How much growth is expected in FY 22-23?
The team has set as one of its key goals the achievement of a minimum 30 per cent increase in sales. For the time being, we are giving some consideration to syrups and various other ready-to-eat items.
We plan to devote the majority of our attention to dry spices for the next half a year, before introducing wet sauces, syrups, and other similar products.
On the other hand, we have a Research and Development section that is prepared to supply solutions whenever they are requested. As a direct result of requests from customers, we have now introduced a shawarma seasoning.