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“We have Raised PE Funding of Rs 10 Crore for Our New Imported Food Processing Facility in Gurgaon”

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Banyan Fine Foods is targeting a turnover of Rs 25 crore this fiscal, says Rakesh Banga, Director, Banyan Finefoods India & Director – Forum of Indian Food Importers. In addition to that, the company is also setting up a new entity for offering value addition services to its HORECA clients. A new production/ processing facility will be established in Gurgaon by the end of this year in partnership with a Mumbai based venture capital firm, says Banga. He confirms that the company has already raised a PE funding of Rs 10 crore for the same. Banga furnishes details about the company’s expansion plans and suggests importers be involved in framing the food safety policy.

What kind of value addition will your new processing factory provide?

When we say value addition, we mean that for a full fish being imported weighing 10 kgs. for example, we will lay out required portions for the restaurants and hotels. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian products will be taken care of.

How many cold storage units does Banyan Fine Foods have?

Banyan Fine Foods primarily offers food service solutions in hospitality segment and specialises in perishable foods like milk, cheese, fruits and vegetables that are temperature controlled. We have cold storage units in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore where we stock our imported products at a temperature of 18 degree Celsius. Every location has four cold rooms with an 80 ton capacity individually. Per cold house investment comes to Rs 40 to Rs 50 lakh per location. The company offers pan India services. We charge 15 percent margin of the total import cost from our clients. To transfer the supplies from our cold rooms we have our own logistics company but to receive the bulk of imported food products we hire Snowman company.

Are you comfortable working in accordance to the current food safety policy?

The food safety policy is a hurdle for importers. I feel we need to have stable policies which should be decided in consultation with the importers. Currently, we are not involved in the process. For eg. earlier if a brand had to come up with a variant it never had to discuss it first with the government, take approval and then do it. But in the current scenario, this happens which creates problems in expansion of product portfolio. Getting the government approval is a long-hauled process.

What is your assessment of imported food market in India?

More hotel are coming up in the country, especially the budget ones, as there is an ongoing development of the hospitality sector. Considering the same, the requirement of packaged food products is rising in hotels and restaurants. The HORECA segment has grown at 25 percent on its own. Apart from that the existing properties are also flourishing. Overall, the industry is growing at a stable rate of 25 to 30 percent every year. In imported foods, meat industry is not doing very well but dairy, sea food, condiments, sauces, and intermediate products are doing really well in India. Dairy food, sea food, and breakfast items account for 50 percent purchase by the food industry. Major markets for imports are Western Europe, for e.g. from Spain, Italy, Germany, Scotland, Norway, Vietnam, and Canada.

Which all clients do you work with?

We supply to hotels like Hyatt, Taj, ITC, Leela, Novotel, and Hilton. In the restaurant segment, Pan India Foods, TGIF, Hard Rock Cafe, and Olive are some of our clients.