Mr. Shammi Agarwal ,Director Pansari Group

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1. Please brief us about Pansari Group's foray into the HORECA range.
Chefys is a new brand of products and solutions for the hospitality and restaurant industry that was introduced by us in April at the Aahar International food exhibition in Delhi. HoReCa is striving for taste consistency, but there aren't a lot of companies out there with goods and services that can help them achieve it. We hope to close the gap.

There are currently 21 different product lines under the Chefys brand, including seasonings, tikka bases, coatings, enhancers, and sprinklers. For the foreseeable future (at least the next six months), the company plans to concentrate on dry spices rather than wet ones (such as gravies, syrups, etc.).

Talking about the expansion of our plans, we are concentrating our traditional distribution stronghold in North India, which includes the states of Delhi and NCR, Punjab, UP, and Uttarakhand. However, we are giving serious thought to expanding into the South, and will have a well-established distribution network for our retail business across India, is in the process of setting up a hybrid channel of distribution to better meet the needs of our HoReCa customers.

2. Share with us your vision behind tapping the food and restaurant industry.
Taste uniformity is a goal of the hospitality and food service (HoReCa) industry, but few vendors offer products and services that can get them there. We are aiming to make up lost ground.

A common trend we have noticed is that to improve their health, consumers are increasingly cooking and eating at home. And since, the number of rivals in the market has shrunk, and the number of products available to HoReCa establishments has fallen significantly.

We are becoming the preferred alternative for many Indian families as a result of the pandemic's increased focus on health. For decades, we have provided consumers with a wide variety of healthier options, from edible oils to fast mixes of ragi and multigrain.

3. Brief us about the trends and future of the FMCG market in India? And how do you see the scope of your products?
Consumers and their families have busier schedules than ever before, so it's no surprise that they want more convenient options when it comes to food.

Products with fewer calories, less fat, and no sugar have been on the market for quite some time now. The demand for food and drink that people feel would either do less harm to or actively improve their health, day-to-day performance, and general well-being has resulted in the widespread availability of products that were previously exclusively available in niche health food stores.

All of our pre-measured ingredients are safe and sound to consume. They provide alternatives for health-conscious shoppers who want to eat well but don't want to spend as much time in the kitchen as they would if they cooked from scratch. The meal at Pansari has a well-deserved reputation for excellence. As soon as it passes all necessary safety tests, it is released to the public.

4. What are the Inflation struggles in the FMCG business in the HORECA sector? How are they affecting your company?
Prices of FMCG at retail in India have been rising at an unprecedented rate for the past several months. Retail inflation in India hit a 17-month high of 6.95% in March 2022 on the back of rising food and energy costs, and it to an even higher 7.8% in April 2022. The CFPI (Consumer Food Price Index) has risen sharply as a result of higher food costs.

With the continued global rally in energy, fuel, and food prices based on the Ukraine crisis, the Indonesian palm oil predicament, and sub-prime wheat production in India's wheat belt, the markets are unable to forecast a stabilization in these figures. In addition, the Union government has just recently announced a complete export embargo to stem the spiraling cost of the crop in the country.

We are presently supplying dry seasoning to the hospitality industry and plan to expand into sauces and other liquid condiments shortly.

We have established a sizable foothold in the northern part of India and are looking to expand our operations. We aim to have our name recognized by everyone in the world.

5. How has the increased raw material and procurement cost in HORECA impacted the business?
The current market conditions are increasing the cost of a wide variety of raw materials; as a result, purchasers are being inundated with price hikes for a variety of different products.

The cost of raw materials is going higher, putting manufacturers in a difficult position that will have repercussions throughout their supply chains. As costs continue to rise, manufacturers are still facing the two supply chain headwinds that have been ailing the industry throughout the epidemic: slower supplier deliveries and labor availability. Both of these problems have been affecting the industry since the pandemic began.

6. With the high consumption pattern in the HORECA sector, how are you managing the supply chain and inventory management?
We will need a large number of SKUs and market segments if we are going to have a bigger consumer play, which requires us to enter several categories. Although bulk trade is based on volume, there is still an opportunity for financial gain in the branded game. But this is something that will take some time.

Before we add wet gravies, syrups, and the like, we would like to put the majority of our attention on dry spices for at least the next six months.

On the other hand, our research and development (R&D) team are prepared to provide solutions based on demand. Based on the demand from the market, we have just lately introduced a shoarma seasoning.

7. Do let us know about your star products in the FMCG segment and what is keeping you ahead of your competitors?
Our ready-to-mix products are in every way healthful. They provide consumers who are looking for alternatives to traditional cooking methods, which take more time to prepare, but who are unwilling to compromise on the health benefits of such methods with nutritious options. When it comes to the preparation of cuisine, Pansari has always been regarded for maintaining exceptionally high standards. After passing all of the required safety tests, only then will it be distributed on the market.

We have already started preparing gift packs appropriate for the next festive season in anticipation of its arrival, which is drawing near. These gift baskets will include a variety of product categories, such as rice, grains, and oil, all of which have a longer shelf life than other food items and are beneficial to one's health. This is done to encourage healthy ways of life as well as clean eating.

8. What are your plans and thoughts about your products and how it's going to expand in the market with the future ideology?
Primarily, we are going to focus on distinguishing one of our branded products from the others. After we accomplish this goal, we will start releasing other products under the Pansari brand. The Pansari brand name was initially applied to refined vegetable oil as well as rice, flour, spices, and cereals. While retailers were enticed with generous profits, consumers were wooed by a broader selection of high-quality goods offered at prices that were lower than those offered by competitors.

9. Shed some light on your expansion plans in the coming years?
We have recently started HORECA operations and launched Chefys at Ahaar. We have already introduced Chefy's in the north Indian states across India such as Punjab, Delhi, UP and Himachal Pradesh, etc. Currently Chefy's is all about dry seasoning which have consistent quality and authentic taste, recently we have added pizza dough and chicken broth powder to it as well to increase our customer base. Our expansion plans for Chefy's includes introducing syrups and liquid flavours for the customers. We have already hired a specialised team for Chefy's to target the HORECA customers and the same team will help in the launch of the new product range in the near future.