In an exclusive interview with Restaurant India, Rizwan Thakur of Chevon Agrotech talks about his expansion plans.
Rizwan Thakur was always interested in the agri-side of the business. Owning lands in Sholapur and usually spending family vacations at some or the other farms gave him an extra exposure to the agri side. Since, Food was something that always excited him, beside co-founding an internet media company way back in 1999 it was in 2008- 2009 that’s when he thought of moving to the agri side. Here are the excerpts from the interview...
How it all Began
There is a huge gap at what happens at the farm level and what is available at the urban tenders. I was looking at various things on what should I do and came across goat meat as a product. I was a passionate goat eater and regularly felt that the major problem at home was that the consistency of meat wasn’t there. One day it was really good and the other day it was not up to the mark. And, that’s when I thought why it is difficult to get the meat consistency right and then I looked into it and realised that there were not many brands in the space of meat. And, while I was doing research I realised that goat meat is healthier than chicken and that’s when I started doing Goat meat as a product at Chevon.
Why Goat Meat
Goat meat is the latest addition to the list of Super foods and it has been mistakenly understood as unhealthy. During my research I found that it is healthier than Chicken and that’s when I started processing it. Goat meat’s status as a Superfood is owed to its being high in protein and iron, while being very low in fat, making it a great source of nutrients for meat eaters. The fat content of goat meat is also 50% lower than other types of red meats and is 40% lower in saturated fat compared to chicken. Studies have also shown that consuming goat meat reduces the risks of coronary diseases, helps prevent cancer, improves cholesterol levels, lowers the risk of obesity, and keeps the body healthy.
The consumer doesn’t have buying, purchasing, cooking skill but they have the ability to pay you for consistency, convenience and hygiene. The newer generation doesn’t even know how to buy meat. So, it’s about skill and experience which the consumer doesn’t have. Modern customer has gone all out and they have tried world cuisine and we are trying to meet their demand by bringing the world to them.
Catering to Diverse Customers’
Chevon Agrotech is a leader in the goat meat segment with solely-owned livestock farms and processing facilities in the country. We are focused on delivering the best quality meat with one ton being processed daily. The company has two main brands of goat meat products, Chevon and KUZO. In the premium segment, Chevon offers two frozen product categories, namely Raw and World Cuisine Heat N Eat, while the KUZO brand offers ready-to-eat products under the Fry N Eat range. We also have institutional packs of the raw and ready to cook range of products for the HORECA segment.
Focusing on Retail tie-ups
If we would have chosen HORECA we were never categorised in quality brand. We are present at all top retail brands including, Metro, HyperCity, Food Hall and Big Bazar to name a few. We are present in 18 cities and are planning to expand to 40 cities by March 2018. Also, we want to go deeper in each cities we are present so that consumer eats and try our products on a regular basis.
Packaging is Key
We are extremely sensitive on this matter. In frozen food if you preserve the food it its already preserved food but we are also vacuum packing the product for three days keeping the natural way of it. Our focus is only on quality and we are getting the recall because of our product as we are very concerned about raw materials, packaging etc.
The funding received will help us capitalise on the vast global opportunity in the goat meat segment, and promote our products in India, as well as internationally expanding to Middle East and South-East Asia. We will also invest hugely in expanding our senior management team and develop new products.