In an exclusive interaction with SupportBiz, Arora highlighted the major trends influencing the ice cream industry in India.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
What are the significant trends that you are witnessing in the ice cream segment in India?
The market is rapidly changing in India. The last one decade has witnessed a complete shift in terms of consumer behaviour and consumption patterns. The demographics of Indian consumers have changed, buying behaviour has also changed and, most importantly, earning capacities have increased, leading to much better prospects for eating out. On the other hand, understanding of nutritional values of food and health consciousness have also increased among Indian consumers, leading them to take wise decisions when it comes to the consumption of food.
The ice cream market is witnessing a great degree of change due to a shift in the consumers’ mind share and consumption patterns. In the last ten years, we have seen a great positive shift, which we expect to be more impactful in the near future.
Traditionally, the eating-out culture was only limited to ‘on-premise’ food consumption by the consumers. People used to go out to restaurants and hotels and enjoy their meals. Now, the concept of home delivery is becoming very popular. In the next five to ten years, we will witness huge action in the ice cream industry, specially with regards to the evolving concept of home delivery.
What are the challenges that the ice cream industry in India is facing?
In India, infrastructure is a big challenge. Storage of ice cream becomes quite challenging at times when power supply fluctuations occur. Once this problem is sorted out, things will change dramatically.
Cold chain is also a challenge. In our case, we have built our own cold chain. We have been able to do this successfully with a collaborative approach.
I feel that if the government can ensure better power and energy supply, things can become very positive. We ultimately want to ensure that our products are delivered to the customers in the best quality.
What are the key influencers in the ice cream business?
The input material and input cost is extremely important in our segment. Raw material and components cost almost 95% of the total cost of ice cream production. Cold chain is also a considerable influencing factor in our trade.
What have been your major achievements so far?
We started our journey in 2003, in collaboration with the French dairy major Candia. Cream Bell is now one of the fastest growing ice cream companies in India. We are now among the top five ice cream vendors, a position that we have attained within a few years. We have about 15% market share in the Indian ice cream industry, with a presence in 19 states, covering the top 40 cities of India.
Our quality standards are in consonance with international norms, and no effort is spared to ensure that world-class products reach the hands of the end users. Our Plants are ISO 9001:2008 & ISO 22000:2005 and HACCP certified.
We have three manufacturing plants across India. Also, we have 35,000 retail outlets across the country.
How has your revenue growth been?
As a company policy, we can not share the exact numbers of our revenues, but I can say that we are growing exponentially. Since 2008, we have grown six times.
What will be your key focus area in 2013?
In 2013, we will be expanding our manufacturing facility significantly. Our manufacturing plant in Kosi, Haryana, will become India’s largest ice cream manufacturing plant in the next 24 months. So, our key focus area for 2013 is strengthening our capabilities in terms of production.