Home Interviews Atul Mehra - Chairman and Whole time Director of Tasty Dairy Specialities Ltd.

Atul Mehra - Chairman and Whole time Director of Tasty Dairy Specialities Ltd.

by Surendra Sharma - Apr 14, 2020

Atul Mehra, a first generation, far-sighted entrepreneur, saw tremendous scope in the dairy processing industry and started exploring opportunities within it. Tasty Dairy was incorporated in 1992 as a private limited company and it started with manufacturing of milk and milk-based products with 200 litres of liquid milk per day. Today the company has  a processing facility of about 3.5 lakh litres of milk per day, giving direct and indirect employment to many people in and around Kanpur.

Tasty Dairy has state of art ISO 22000:2005 certified milk processing unit in Jainpur, Kanpur Dehat where we produce a wide range of quality dairy products like Pasteurized Liquid Milk, Cream, Butter (White/Salted), Pure Desi Ghee (Clarified Butter), Paneer (Cottage Cheese), Skimmed Milk Powder, Instant Chena Mix, Skim Milk Concentrate, Dairy Whitener, Khoya, Peda (Indian Sweet), Instant Gulab Jamun Mix, Mithai Powder etc., available in packaging from 200 ml to 25 kg and bulk packing under the company owned brand names “UJJWAL”, “SHIKHAR”, “VERIFRESH”, "CIMA" and "MITHAI MASTER"; which are available in all major parts of India.

The idea behind the company was to utilize the opportunities available in the dairy sector and to handle the abundant availability of quality raw material i.e. milk in and around Kanpur. Our focus on maintaining quality and increasing productivity has won company awards such as MSME National Award, Business Leadership Award, Recognition among Top 50 leading SMEs of India, Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Award (Commendation Certificate), 2007, National Productivity Award (Certificate of Merit), DIC 4 Star Category Award, Udyog Patra Award, CSR Leadership Award, Leaders of Tomorrow Award etc.
Further - we had a discussion regarding the growth and new developments at Tasty Dairy & in the Industry:

Can you tell us something about Tasty Dairy and its journey? 

Tasty Dairy started business with our intent to provide healthy food and nutrition to the people, to provide employment to people in its region and to help the farmers get the optimal price for their product and at the same time to create a value for its stakeholders at all levels. 

In this journey of the last 28 years we have seen sales growth, income growth and established ourselves as a leading player in the north in our core area – milk. The company established as a private limited company on July 30, 1992 is a major B2B player currently and is now looking at getting into value added products like long life milk, ice cream, yogurt, cheese, beverages, whey drinks and varieties of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. 

What is your daily milk processing capacity and from where you procure? 

We have the capacity to process more than 3.5 lac litres of milk everyday which is procured through more than 50,000 farmers in and around our milk shed area in Kanpur. We have a company managed chilling centre from where the milk is brought in to the plant while maintaining the cold chain. Currently, our company is situated in Uttar Pradesh, which is one of the largest milk producing states in India. Our manufacturing unit falls in the richest milk belt of U.P. These facilities are not only in close proximity to our milk procurement region but also to our target market. 

What is your business model from Procurement to distribution? 

We follow the principle of customer first and we consider each stake holder to be a part of the family. In India, milk is mostly produced in small dairy farms with 2 to 3 animals providing daily income for these marginal farmers. The milk so procured is processed at our state of the art plant and the products are sold to premium customers who value the quality of our product.

What are total numbers of SKU you have and total number of end user of your products?

The company produces a wide range of dairy products like Pasteurized Liquid Milk, Cream, White Butter, Table Butter, Skimmed Milk Powder (Certified by BIS), Ghee (Clarified Butter Fats - Certified by Agmark) Instant Food Mixes like Gulab Jamun Mix (a type of an Indian Dessert), etc. packed in various consumer packing from 200 ml to 25 kg and bulk packing under the brand names “UJJWAL”, “SHIKHAR”, “VERIFRESH” & “CIMA”. The company has nationwide sales of its products with its marketing office at New Delhi. The company also supplies to various institutions ranging from MNCs to Government bodies. Apart from the end consumers based in different states of India, the customer list of the company also boasts of many big names of Indian food product manufacturing companies. 

What is your targeted geographical region, which are main competitors and what is your market share in your targeted region? 

We are utilising most of our currently capacity and will be shortly expanding our capacity which is a constraint for us for further growth. We currently work pan India and are also exporting when the global market is conducive. As such, looking at our product mix and the sector that we operate it is difficult to quantify our market share as dairy industries tend to be region specific. Our main competitors are in the unorganised segment which processes 80% of milk in India.  However, in terms of distribution, our products are accepted pan India through the E-commerce websites also. 

What is something that makes us better then competition 

Our approach to put the nation and our people first gives us a close connect with all our stake holders. We are now planning to set up FPO’s as well. We are blessed to have a Government to Private Relationship by way of INDUCED, born out of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between Tasty Dairy 
Specialities Limited and the Netherlands based organization named PUM Netherlands Senior Experts & Dutch Green House Delta, with the objective to establish a Demonstration Dairy. Farm and Centre of Excellence which would work for improving upon the knowledge and skills of dairy farmers and dairy professionals. The aim of INDUCED (Indo - Dutch Centre of Excellence on Dairying) is to work for doubling the farmer’s income by skilling and training them on the latest technology in dairying through government support / intervention; support from business firms / support from multinational companies working in dairy sector. 

Government is doing hard for rural India. How you see the initiatives and what all steps should you think that Government should take in near future? 
Our Hon. Prime Minister dreams of doubling the farmers income. Even in the present times,  despite any challenges the sector that remains essential is to grow clean food and hygienic agricultural practises. In this area, the government has been coming out with several schemes to boost the agri production. With the improvement in infrastructure, investment in cold chain and developments in the areas of IOT, AI we see a tremendous growth in the sector as well. We hope that the government will put in major investment for the creation of infrastructure, providing financial support and initiatives to companies entering or which are already in this field and also come up with favourable policies to bring in best practices in the agri sector. 

What would you recommend the government should do more to help small corporates in current situations? 

We are sure that the government is coming out with very encouraging policies for the MSMEs in the coming few days. The different industries have taken a hit and will take time to recover. What they will need is financial support in terms of long term low-interest debt, reduction and rationalisation of GST, lower taxes on all items of daily need, providing more insurance and security to the people on the bottom of the pyramid, ensuring early payment to companies dealing with the government departments. This will go a long way to bring about normalcy as soon as possible.