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June 21, 2024
Food Beverages Processing | India no 1 Food Processing Magazine

Mr. Priyam Patel, Managing Director of NK Proteins

In an exclusive interview with Mr. Priyam Patel, Managing Director of NK Proteins, we explore into the company’s operations and its expansive portfolio of edible oils, including rice bran and cold-pressed oils. Mr. Patel shares insights on how NK Proteins ensures consistent quality through rigorous quality control measures, distinguishes itself in a competitive market, and incorporates sustainable practices in its manufacturing processes. He also discusses the strategies behind building consumer loyalty for the esteemed Tirupati brand and outlines NK Proteins’ future goals for product innovation and market expansion while maintaining a steadfast commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.

Kindly brief us about NK Proteins and its business operations in India, including the key offerings.

NK Proteins Private Limited, the proud owner and marketer of the popular brand Tirupati Refined Oils, stands as a leading manufacturer of edible oils in India. Founded in 1992 by first-generation entrepreneurs Mr. Nimish Patel and the late Mr. Nilesh Patel, the company has built a trusted reputation over more than three decades.

Our diverse portfolio includes cottonseed oil, rice bran oil, sunflower oil, mustard oil, cold-pressed oils, corn oil, groundnut oil, soybean oil, as well as non-edible oils like castor oil, catering to various consumer and commercial needs. With an impressive edible oil refining capacity of 1,775 MT, we utilise a fully integrated vertical structure to manage every part of the manufacturing process.

Headquartered in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, NK Proteins operates two state-of-the-art manufacturing plants: one on Kadi-Thol Road near Ahmedabad and another in Akola, Maharashtra. Additionally, we are a leading producer and exporter of castor oil and its derivatives, further enhancing our contribution to both domestic and international markets.

Our commitment to delivering high-quality goods and services has made NK Proteins a staple in Indian households, consistently meeting the evolving demands of our customers with excellence and integrity.

With a diverse portfolio of edible oil products ranging from rice bran oil to cold-pressed oil, how does NK Proteins ensure consistent quality across its offerings? Can you discuss the company’s approach to quality control and assurance?

At NK Proteins, we ensure consistent quality across our diverse edible oils portfolio through our principle of “Innovation at Each Step.” Our dedicated R&D team and adoption of the latest technology are central to this effort. We have developed a fully automated, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility that guarantees precision at every stage of the oil production process. Our rigorous quality control measures ensure that our oils balance fat metabolism, reduce oil absorption during digestion, and provide healthy unsaturated fats. Additionally, our innovative “No Spillage” packaging prevents spills and enhances user convenience. By continuously investing in innovation and maintaining stringent quality standards, we ensure that every product meets the highest standards of safety and excellence.

The edible oil market in India is highly competitive. How does NK Proteins differentiate its brands from competitors, and what strategies does the company employ to maintain a competitive edge in the market?

The edible oil industry in India is highly competitive, characterised by high volumes and low margins. At NK Proteins, our biggest differentiator is our unwavering commitment to quality. Providing a superior product to our consumers has always been our unique selling proposition (USP) and the key to our competitive edge.

In addition to competitive pricing, we prioritise understanding and meeting consumer needs. By closely studying consumer trends, we have expanded our product range. Initially, we were offering cottonseed and groundnut oils only, but now we have expanded our range to include sunflower, mustard, and rice bran oils, catering to diverse tastes and preferences.

Furthermore, our innovative packaging, designed for ergonomic handling, minimises spillage and enhances the user experience, setting our products apart from the competition.

Sustainability and environmental responsibility are increasingly important factors for consumers when choosing products. How does NK Proteins integrate sustainable practices into its manufacturing processes and supply chain management?

At NK Proteins, we are dedicated to responsible growth and minimising our environmental footprint. One of our key sustainability initiatives is the implementation of an Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) to achieve Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) and reduce water consumption in our manufacturing processes.

Through our CSR arm, the Karma Foundation, we engage in various initiatives such as educational programmes, and health camps. Additionally, we support local farmers through fair trade practices and training programmes to enhance their yield and income.

We are proud to have taken steps long ago to contribute to model farming for better yield, environmental protection, and farmer benefit. We educate farmers on resource-efficient agricultural techniques that safeguard their yield, land, and water resources. Our methods include promoting minimal pesticide usage, crop rotation, and organic farming to improve soil health and biodiversity. We prioritise continuous education for farmers to keep them updated with the latest agricultural practices.

In our supply chain management, we uphold ethical labour practices, transparency, and stakeholder engagement. We regularly convene meetings with stakeholders, dealers, and farmers to share relevant information and foster mutual growth and success.

As the owner and marketer of the reputed brand like Tirupati brand, how does NK Proteins engage with consumers to build brand loyalty and trust? Can you share any marketing or promotional initiatives that have been particularly successful in connecting with consumers?

In order to build customer loyalty and trust, it is essential to deeply understand our consumers’ needs and preferences. At NK Proteins, we engage in comprehensive consumer surveys to gather valuable insights into what our customers expect from our products. This feedback drives our product improvement initiatives, ensuring we consistently meet and exceed consumer expectations.

One of our most successful marketing strategies was onboarding Kareena Kapoor Khan as the brand ambassador for Tirupati Edible Oils in 2020. Kareena embodies youthful exuberance, a commitment to high-quality standards, and has a significant trust and popularity factor. Her association with Tirupati has significantly increased our brand’s visibility and expanded our reach into new markets outside Gujarat, particularly in the northern and western regions of India.

Additionally, we have strengthened our brand’s presence through innovative content marketing. We collaborated on a limited edition podcast series called ‘What Women Want,’ hosted by Kareena Kapoor Khan. This series features leading women entrepreneurs, influencers, and celebrities who resonate with our consumer base. This initiative not only enhances brand visibility but also aligns Tirupati with inspiring stories of success and empowerment, which deeply connects with our target audience.

Looking ahead, what are NK Proteins’ goals and priorities for the future, both in terms of product innovation and market expansion? How does the company plan to continue its growth trajectory while staying true to its commitment to quality and customer satisfaction?

Recognising the evolving landscape of consumer preferences, we have diversified our product offerings to cater to a broader spectrum of choices. For example, we have ventured into the gourmet range of cold-pressed oils under the brand name ‘Olixir Oils,’ addressing the demands of health-conscious modern consumers. This range includes cold-pressed walnut oil, almond oil, pistachio oil, flaxseed oil, and coconut oil, among others, providing our customers with a variety of healthy and premium options.

With a robust presence in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh we are planning to expand our market footprints in the rest of India in the coming years. This strategic expansion will enable us to bring our quality products to a larger audience, ensuring more consumers can benefit from our offerings.

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