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Business Growth 29 Sep 2014

Brown rice has a nascent market in India: Aayushman Gupta

After brown bread it’s the turn of brown rice to capture the market by offering necessary nutrients which lack in white rice.

After brown bread it’s the turn of brown rice to capture the market by offering necessary nutrients which lack in white rice. In an interaction with Aayushman Gupta, CEO, Best Food Ltd, shared his views about the utility of brown rice and how is he planning to take this forward.

What is the objective behind launching a product like brown rice?

The objective behind launching brown rice is to improve the nutrient level in the most staple food of India: rice. Nutrients are of two types, one is macro nutrients and other is micro nutrients. Macro nutrients include carbohydrates, proteins, etc and micro nutrients are manganese, zinc, iron which is very important for body’s metabolism. And in the processing of white rice these are deliberately removed while in brown rice it is retained.

At present the price of your products, especially brown rice is high as compared to white rice, why is it high and is it expected to go down?

Since we are not compromising on the quality aspect of our rice and we offer the best possible rice in the market, the prices are high but as and when the market will expand the prices are expected to go down by 25 per cent.

What is the ratio between domestic sales and export and where all do you export?

In India, brown rice has a very nascent market. At present the ratio between export and domestic sales is 70:30. Brown rice is very popular in the developed countries. Europe is where we have a very good market.

What was the turnover this year and at what pace are you growing?

Our turnover crossed Rs 1,500 crore and we are growing at around 35 per cent per annum.

How are you distributing your products?

We have a tie up with almost all organised retailers. Apart from that we have 40 retail outlets in delhi where we market all our health products. We are also planning to open around 500 best food outlets in the metropolitan cities in the next 14 months. The outlets will be a mix of franchise model and company owned retail outlets.

How many plants do you have and what is the total manufacturing capacity?

At present, we have 17 plants and our manufacturing capacity is much greater than what we are producing. The production is increasing as the demand is. At present we are producing over 45,000 tons per month.

Are you projecting brown rice as a substitute to white rice?

No. We are not projecting brown rice as a substitute to white rice. It’s a healthy addition to your daily dose of nutrients. It need not replace white rice totally from your plate but can be used if not daily but regularly, so as to maintain the nutrient level in your body. Many a households use it as a salad as an additive to their daily meal.

Apart from selling your product what are you doing to spread the awareness about the brown rice?

We have our retail outlets which are not only meant to sell products but to let the consumer know the reason he is buying brown rice. Not only this, we are also doing campaigns on TV, print and online where our experts talk and let the user understand about the utility of our rice. We have planned to spend Rs 60 crore on marketing the best food which also intends to spread the awareness about the health factor involved with our brand.

What are your key target regions?

We are targeting all the metros and key urban areas where organised retail has marked its presence. We also supply to major hotels and restaurants.

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