What started as 6 bottles a day endeavour, slowly & steadily expanded into a more established business. Talking to Restaurant India, Murtaza Mala, an MBA from California who looks after the biz talks about their journey.
Started in Panchgani in 1958 by Taiyyab Mala with small productions of 5-7 bottles, Mala’s has today spread its wings to over 15 states in India and has wide distribution network including some of the top hotels.
You have a legacy attached to your brand. Have your thought that it would turn into a business?
We started at a time when people were unaware of the Jam as it was British influenced culture who gave our country an English breakfast system. Those were the days when people were not familiar with Jam and didn’t know what jam was and these habits have come down from British basically. When we went to people during that time they asked us how to consume it and today we are doing over 50 to 60 thousands jams in a month and that’ what we have achieved in all these years.
Tell us about your presence in the market?
We are stronger in the HORECA segment than in the retail. We are getting into retail now. In the last 5-6 years we have done a lot of work to get in retail. HORECA for us is divided into two parts and we call it institution. We supply to ice cream makers, bakery and five star hotels.
Which are the areas where you have a strong presence?
We have done lots of work in last 5-6 years. We are very strong in Maharashtra and Gujarat. We are focusing on modern trade because that helps give visibility to the product. We also have the opportunity to sample our products at events like Aahar. We can best do advertising by sampling our products at certain events.
What about entering the e-Commerce markets?
We are in talks with certain retailers and we recently launched our own website. We are taking the e-Commerce route but again to reach out to consumers to visit the website it will take some time.
How many products are there in Mala’s today?
We have 190 products and SKUs with us today. We have crushes, syrups and certain items in confectionery and squashes and ready to eat drinks for summer. And, then we have one section which is doing speciality jams and speciality products which are meant for bakeries, dairy and other such segment.
What is your expansion plan?
We have got all units in and around Panchgani and expanded to wai. We are present in about 15 states and we are very visible. We are in the process of building our new factory that would be the largest factory that we have at present. We are building up capacities because if we have expanded in the market and we don’t have the capacity to supply that all effort will go wasted and then we will enter into other states. We are also in the process of setting up our own depots to services our distributors in more effective way.