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Spreading Wings

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The 21-year-old , which has played a crucial role in the growth of catering and bakery sectors, is set to open 10 fried chicken outlets across Kerala with an initial investment of Rs 10 crore

Nila Group Chairman M. Unnikrishnan informs that Kerala has not utilised the business aspect of chicken, even though around 90 percent of Keralaites are consuming chicken. Demand for quality chicken products is also rising by 20 percent in both domestic and international markets. “Even though.chicken-based business has a huge potential in the state, it remains untapped. The vast variety of chicken-based dishes makes chicken a hot product, but exclusive chicken-based shops are very few. This prompted us to venture into the fried chicken business,” he says.

Headquartered in Ottapalam, Palakkad, Nila, a home-grown brand, will bring the ‘Nila’ touch to the chicken preparations, service, and ambience of the outlets. Targetting youngsters, the outlets will serve several chicken dishes along with the trademark Nila snacks, at competitive prices.

P. P. Musthafa, Managing Director, Nila Group, says that the mission is to serve delicious chicken products to youngsters in Kerala. “Apart from fried chicken, a wide variety of chicken dishes will be introduced, and we will also have some vegetarian dishes. We will maintain affordable prices for all the dishes even though production cost (from raw materials to labour)  has doubled.” They plan to hire 20 to 30 staff exclusively for the QSR venture.

To know the pulse of the youngsters, they opened a trial store at Infopark in Kochi on June 1.  “We are getting tremendous response from the employees at Infopark. We are planning to increase the menu and the timing of the shop gradually,” says Musthafa, who manages the operations department. He informs that the first outlet will open at Ottapalam in July.

Unnikrishnan informs that they will invest Rs 10 crore for this ambitious project. “Our objective is to set up 10 outlets across Kerala by the end of the year. Eat-N-Pack and home delivery facility will also be arranged. Initially, all outlets will be operated from our side; later, we will explore the feasibility of franchising.”

“We will use top-notch machinery to prepare the food items, and we will ensure that they meet regulations for food safety and standards,” adds Musthafa.

The general public has been invited to suggest the name of the shop via opinion poll counters at Infopark. Those who suggest trendy, catchy names will get gift hampers from the Nila Group, and winners will be announced by June end.

Nila, one of the fastest growing companies in North Kerala, runs foodcourts at the 20,000 sqft L&T Tech Park and at the 25,000 sqft at Infopark, Kochi. Nila Bake House that started in 1997 with a single retail outlet, now  operates five company-owned outlets and 25 franchisees.

To cater to the wholesale market, the Group launched Nila Bakers and Confectioneries India Pvt Ltd at Shoranur in 2011. The factory at Shoranur manufactures breads, buns, rusks and cookies. The second factory at Ottapalam manufactures different types of halwas, chips, savories and peanut products. Nila has set up a strong distribution network at Thrissur, Palakkad and Malappuram regions.

Its bakery products are exported to various countries such as Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and UAE. Realising the huge potential in industrial catering, Nila launched an exclusive unit at Thrissur in 2010, which provides breakfast and other meals according to consumers’ choice. Industrial clients include Kalyan Silks, EMKE Silks, and Avatar Gold.