Many of us see Dairy through the prismatic lens of a traditional legacy business. The notion is reinforced through our folklores and mythologies which, since millennia, celebrate the country as a land of milk and honey. Some of our most enduring epic stories are woven around the magnetic cowherd figure of Lord Krishna and his overweening love for milk and milk products, especially “makhan”.
Just as the Krishna mythology continues to captivate over the ages, so has our love for milk and all such products that belong to “the milky way”. And playing a stellar role in making our interest in milk products all the more abiding is Jayshri Gayatri Food Products (JGF), a nearly Rs. 400-crore company in annual revenues with headquarters in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, which has grown strikingly strong roots from its modest beginnings as a family-run local dairy business.
The transformation of the once small and localized operations into a flourishing modern dairy enterprise powered by the latest cutting-edge technology and processes has been wrought by family scion Kishan Modi. Born with business DNA in his bones, the 39-year-old entrepreneur pursued higher studies in dairy technology at Karnal, Haryana with the goal of scaling up his family’s local dairy business to a standing worthy of national clout and prestige.
Under his exceptional leadership skills and informed risk-taking ability, JGF has scaled up to really greater industry heights in a short span of time. Upon taking over the business reins, he set out to incorporate the business in its new corporate livery. JGF was incorporated in 2013 and began its corporate journey as a B2B manufacturer & supplier of dairy products in the Indian domestic and international markets.
Today, it is one of the leading dairy manufacturers in India, both in the B2B and B2C domains, and is also aspiring to become a global dairy brand. In an impressive burst of entrepreneurial dynamism, Modi has successfully implemented his vision and reengineered his family’s traditional dairy business into a well-organised corporate entity with an expansive export business and 100% annual growth. Last year (FY 2019-20), JGF clocked sales revenue of Rs. 384 crore (audited figure), which was a 95% growth jump over FY2018-19.
Acting as the company’s productivity flywheel, and at the beating heart of this expanding business is its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Sehore in MP from where JGF manufactures all its products. The plant also happens to be the biggest dairy manufacturing unit in Central India, processing 4 lakh litres of milk per day to produce high-in-demand dairy products such as fresh and frozen varieties of paneer (25 MT capacity), butter (30 MT capacity), whey powder (15 MT capacity), cheese variants (20 MT capacity) and skimmed milk powder (30 MT capacity) on a daily basis.
B2C Foray into Consumer Retail
Recently, the company launched its operations in the B2C Indian domestic market under the “Milk Magic” brand. Milk Magic has a wide product basket, which includes fresh and frozen varieties of paneer – one of its most popular product offerings; butter – salted & unsalted varieties; pure ghee variety; an assortment of cheese, khoya, as well as Indian sweets such as gulab jamun, rasgulla, rasmalai and kaju katli.
Talking about his company’s dive into the consumer retail side of the dairy business from its earlier steadfast B2B and institutional selling trajectory, Managing Director Kishan Modi, says: “We saw that the household demand for dairy products witnessed an exponential rise due to the pandemic-led lockdown. However, in the face of supply-chain interruptions, many national brands were unable to fulfil this heightened B2C demand. JGF saw this as a huge opportunity to expand its dairy products range under the ‘Milk Magic’ brand in the B2C domestic market and launch our products in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Orissa and Telangana among others.”
Despite the risks inherent with any new venture move, the gamble has paid off in spades and how! Within a year of making its bold B2C move, the Milk Magic brand has grown to be very popular in Rajasthan, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Telangana, among others. “The pricing of our products is very competitive, and so customers are able to get a superior quality product at reasonable pricing, adds Modi.
Retail and Distribution Strategy
Thanks to the initial overwhelming ground response, the brand has been launched in other places like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. “We are now expanding the brand’s footprint further into entire Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and the North-Eastern states as well,” informs Modi.
To further boost its B2C penetration in the domestic market, the company is setting up a national retail network with the support of its distributors and through direct tie-ups with large format food & grocery retailers like Reliance Fresh and D-Mart among others.
Already, the company has a pretty formidable institutional retail network in place and is the exclusive supplier to major domestic and global brands. “In the domestic market, we supply to market majors like ITC, Britannia, Anik Dairy, Vadilal, Top N Town, Kwality Wall’s, Tasty Bytes, Vista Food, Vimal Agro, Sanjeevani Agro Food, among many other national and regional brands. Our global clients include McDonald’s, Domino’s, and Subway,” reveals Chandra Prakash Pandey, Director – Marketing and Business Operations at Jayshri Gayatri Food Products.
In the next phase of its retail expansion, the company will look at the e-retailing platforms. “We also have robust plans to build our own distribution channel with hubs in each city, which will be followed by the launch of our own retailing outlets,” adds Pandey while pointing out that JGF has recently opened its first retail Milk Magic outlet in Bhopal.
To capitalise on its early success and build on the strength of its flagship product paneer, the company has – under the Milk Magic brand – innovated variants of the ready-to-eat variety, which is infused with natural spices. This product range has been exclusively developed for the domestic market, and it is designed to withstand ambient temperature and comes enriched with vitamins and proteins. Additionally, the company is also launching a range of flavoured milk with some unconventional variety as well.
At the same time, the company continues to expand its product offerings to include cheese spreads, filler cheese, margarine, mayonnaise, khoa, Indian sweets like gulab jamun, rasgulla, chena kheer, and curd, butter milk, lassi and liquid milk in pouches, and much more.
Technology Upgrade and Investment
In its endeavour to produce hygienic and high-quality dairy products (in terms of taste, aroma & nutritive value), JGF continues to invest in the latest technology of global standards. The company is setting up a new plant with modern dairy equipment for manufacturing of salted table butter (2 MT Per Hour capacity), mayonnaise (1 Ton Per Hour capacity), table margarine (1 MT per Hour capacity), along with the setting up of a cold storage with 800 BPD capacity.
The new manufacturing facility is being developed adjacent to the existing plant, which will enhance the production capacity manifold. The new plant will be a 16,000 sq.ft. facility housed in a multi-story complex with highly sophisticated and state-of-the-art technology to produce high nutritive value products. With a capacity to process 5 lakh litres of milk daily and a storage facility of 4000 MT of products, this well-equipped and modern facility will go on stream by end of this year.
Over the years, JGF has expanded its portfolio to non-dairy products as well and has grown its exports to over 20 countries globally and is on way to reach cumulative exports volume of 300 MT per month. The company started its export business with its flagship product paneer and today it is exporting cheese, butter, skimmed milk powder and other value-added products to various countries in the Middle-East – Dubai, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Sharjah, Bahrain – and many South-East Asian countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and Japan.
JGF has also been extremely successful in developing many co-branded dairy products with well-known multinational brands in the Middle East and Asian countries. Furthermore, it has been exporting its array of products under its brand names ‘Milk Magic’ (dairy products) and ‘Inde-Chef’s’ (non-dairy) to countries such as the USA, New Zealand, Egypt, Jordan, Sri Lanka, and Mauritius.
Expansion Plans and Goals Ahead
Looking ahead into the future, JGF will continue to focus on growth, and will continue to tap international and domestic markets for B2B businesses – supplying value-added-products to manufacturers and to the HORECA segment – and also explore co-packaging and branding opportunities for expanding its brand portfolio.
“The growing demand for different dairy products will provide us an opportunity to expand a range of value-added products and in introducing a variety of paneer products especially. However, more focus is required on the part of manufacturers on upgrading to modern processing techniques, building a modern supply chain and marketing infrastructure, all of which will be important for meeting the international quality requirements,” avers Modi.