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Corporate Report

Published on: Oct. 8, 2020, 12:20 p.m.
Pagaria Foods’ Kwality brand is an instant hit
  • Jain and Pagariya with their progressive ‘Made in India’ brand

By Yeshi Seli. Assistant Editor, Business India

While many sectors are struggling to survive as an aftermath of the pandemic, companies manufacturing ready-to-eat food like breakfast cereals and instant mixes, have witnessed a surge in demand.

“The pandemic has encouraged people to try new recipes at home and has also made them watch their weight, as a result of which we have witnessed a surge in our products like breakfast cereals, ready mixes and, of course, masalas. The demand for our breakfast cereals increased by 30 per cent during lockdown,” says Dheeraj Jain, director Pagariya Food Product Private Limited, which sells its products under the ‘Kwality’ brand.

Pagariya Food began its journey as a small corner store in 1970 and today it exports its products to 30 countries (US, Australia and the Middle East, amongst others) with a turnover of Rs50 crore. The projection for next year’s (2020-21) turnover is Rs75 crore.

“Our company’s journey began way back in 1970 when my maternal grandfather Bhawarlalji Pagariya left Sojat in Rajasthan and moved to Bengaluru. He set up a small provision store for masalas and ran it for 30 years. In 1998, my maternal uncle, Naresh Pagariya, set up the Kwality brand and in 2002 I joined the business,” says Jain.

“We set up our current manufacturing unit in a two-acre manufacturing unit in Harohalli, near Bengaluru, in 2014 at an investment of Rs10 crore (50 per cent was raised by banks and 50 per cent through internal funds). At present we manufacture 5,000 tonnes of products every year (this includes breakfast cereals, masalas and ready mixes),” says Jain.

Second largest exporter

At present Pagariya Foods has a network of 450 distributors and 45,000 retail outlets across India. Their products are available in all supermarkets and retail outlets like Reliance, More and even on online platforms like Flipkart and Amazon.

From being a company that traded in masalas, they diversified into making breakfast cereals as they found there was much scope for growth in this sector. “At the moment, we are the second largest producer of breakfast cereals in India, after Kellogg’s, and also the second largest exporter of breakfast cereals,” Jain added.

The brand has taken the initiative of introducing a unique muesli with turmeric, honey and ginger, among two other launches – Crunchy Muesli with almonds, raisins and honey and Muesli Mixed Fruit. All three variants have no added refined sugar and are coupled with the goodness and immunity-boosting capabilities of age-old ingredients and 100 per cent natural contents.

  • The demand for our breakfast cereals increased by 30 per cent during lockdown

At present, they have nearly 25 products in their breakfast range including sugar-free varieties and 55 types of masalas. Kwality Food is ISO 22000 certified and has won many awards including ‘Best Manufacturing Excellence’ award by the Karnataka government.

“The products by Kwality Foods have been performing well on our platform. Growth has been positive, even in terms of market share as we get repeat customers for their products,” says Kiran Kulkarni, senior manager, business development, Flipkart.

“We are a progressive ‘Made in India’ brand with the promise to provide affordable, quality products to every Indian home; the company aims to work towards bringing out food products that keep health and convenience in mind. All the products and raw materials are sourced locally, empowering farmers and local industries. The brand creates the perfect balance of quick breakfast cereals that today’s generation wants, fused with traditional and healthy Indian ingredients,” says Naresh Pagariya, managing director of Pagariya Foods. 

Sources say the company will remain private, and has no intention of going public. Meanwhile, the breakfast and cereal market in India has been on an upward growth trend over the years with demand for cornflakes, muesli and oats increasing in both Tier I and Tier II cities. In the Indian market, Tier 1 cities are considered to be premium buyers and the competition increases with Tier II cities because of their large consumer base and growing awareness.

The increase in demand for breakfast cereals has led to increasing revenues for companies like Pagariya Foods and with the way things are at present, this trend will continue for a long time!

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