Chairman & Managing Director
Natural Ice Cream
Ragunandan Srinivas Kamath, founder of Natural Ice Cream, which was the awarded the title of India’s “Most Admired Foodservice Chain of the Year: Desserts & Ice Cream Parlours” at the Coca Cola Golden Spoon Awards 2015 recently, is a pioneer of the Indian foodservice sector.
Starting with an experimental combination of Kulfi and ice cream, he launched Natural Ice Cream at a small parlour in Juhu, Mumbai in 1984, making way for a new era of frozen desserts in India. However, like most successful businesses, success did not happen overnight. Kamath’s journey has been long, taking over quarter of a century.
The journey began in his youth; while assisting his father, a fruit dealer, he gained his expertise in fruits. Later on, while working with his brother who ran a chain of eateries that served ice cream, he learnt all about ice creams. This powerful combination lead to the creation of Natural Ice Cream.
In the process he also invented a machine that could de-seed fruits in a very short time and created a unique brand that is deeply rooted in tradition and uses traditional methods to make ice cream. Only the choicest and handpicked ingredients go into making the products, and most are sourced from India. The products contain no preservatives, stabilisers and artificial colours, and also contain less air because it has a low overrun.
With over 30 years of being in the business, 118 outlets across the country and a recently launched state-of the-art factory in Mumbai, Natural Ice Cream is a remarkable indigenous foodservice success story, and largely driven by Kamath’s tenacity.
“I think my key professional accomplishments have been inventing ice cream flavours that were unheard of and using just three ingredients to make an ice cream product,” he remarks.
“I have stayed with this dream for so long because I enjoy being in retail. Because I get to see the result of an idea in real time by way of instant customer and employee response,” he says.
And what is his advice to other Indian retailers trying to create similar success stories? “Indian retailers must innovate and adapt to changing times,” he notes.