Ice cream times also spoke to Mr. Harinder Kumar Budhiraja – Managing Director, Kamal Milk Foods, Lotus Ice Cream and one of the directors in Fun India dairy.
How and when did you start this business of ice cream? Kindly brief us about history of your company.
We have started our business in the year 1991 and previously we were in the business of milk dairy. Slowly, we got an idea to enter into ice cream business and there on we are growing steadily. It is a very good business.
With how much capacity have you started and what is the current capacity you have now?
We had started with 500 ltr/day and now with the new plant, the capacity is 50,000 ltr per day. Out of which, we have reached 25,000 to 30,000 ltr already.
How much did you invest in your machinery and what are your plans for expansion?
We have invested approximately Rs. 20 crore in the machinery with the capacity of 50,000 ltr/day. We plan to give good quality and rate to increase our market share.
Do you think that only expensive machinery can give good quality or the cheaper one can also do the same?
It is not about the cost of the machine, it is about the quality & performance of it. Many times it is seen that expensive machines do not perform and cheaper machines steal the show and really perform good. No doubt, the machine should be of good quality, performance and reputed one.
You are in perishable product like ice cream. Do you think that buying machines from a good supplier who can give good maintenance service is necessary? What is your experience?
Our machine suppliers are the best and they give full back up for the machines and even suggest things about other machines also.
You have very wide range of Ice Cream with different flavors and you are supplying to Jammu Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh. How many flavors do you have at present?
We have approximately 125 to 150 flavors which are easily made.
Some flavours are seasonal, do you focus on certain flavours according to the season?
Yes. We do focus on seasons with the production of fruits. Like in summers, we focus on Mango flavour and in winters on Fig Almond, Almond pereline, Til Laddu. These seasonal flavours generate good sales, but some flavours are all time favourite throughout the year.
Your ice cream packaging is very attractive. You have used good multipacks. How do you think that packaging plays an important role in creating a successful brand?
Packaging holds an important place in branding of the product. Colours and designs should be eye-catching. If the packaging is of good quality and attractive, the consumers naturally opt for it.
What are your future plans for expansion?
At present, our machines are not running to their full capacity. In coming 1 to 2 years we will be focusing more on it to give optimum utilization. Based on the performance we shall go further for expansion.
Your son has joined you in the business and putting a lot of hard work. Do you think that future of Lotus Ice Cream is bright with the young generation?
Yes absolutely! My son Shiv is doing remarkably well and is taking care of production & marketing. Business has increased and is running systematically since he has joined Lotus Ice cream.
Your message to Ice Cream industry and consumers about how to do business?
Honesty is the best policy. Fair trade practice is required while taking good raw material and produce good quality which consumers like. This will help grow the business automatically. We should take care of the quality of the product, our employees, dealers and customers. This in turn will help us grow more.