Golden Ice cream is one of the leading Ice cream brands in Bihar. Started in 1948, it is the first ice cream manufacturing unit of Eastern India in organized sector and since then it has been continuously working towards providing best quality product using best quality ingredients and technology.
Golden Dairy Products Pvt. Ltd. is an ISO 22000:2005 certified company and is a regular member of Bihar Industries Association and Bihar Chamber of Commerce. For its successful operation, the company was even awarded by the Department of Industries, Government of Bihar in the year 2006.
Ice cream times exclusively spoke to Mr. Basu Tahalani about his success and indefatigable efforts that he has put for the rapid growth of Golden Ice cream.
What is the history behind Golden brand name and Ice Cream Company? Kindly share your journey of success with the readers of Ice cream times.
First of all I am overwhelmed to inform you that this company is the first ice cream factory organized sector in east India. This was founded by our late Shri. B.N. Bhawani on 22nd April 1948. We take this opportunity to announce that we have successfully completed 70 years of operation in Bihar. Initially we were in the centre of the city, hence couldn’t develop and expand much as area was small and crowded. And looking at the law and order at that time in Bihar, we were not able to do much. But now the scenario is totally different with present situation being very business friendly. State leadership is also quite aggressive that is why we have increased our capacity in six years by six times. We still feel that we need to double it next year because there are lot many enquiries from many places. We have halted and are not catering to any new business enquiries as of now the reason is we are planning for major expansion and coming up with a bigger state of art manufacturing facility in new Patliputra Industrial Area where we have been allotted land. I, on behalf of Golden Ice cream team, wish to thank all the people in Bihar for giving us love & affection and recognition.
What is your observation with reference to the completion with multi-national company?
In spite of so much competition by MNC and national level companies we are still surviving and not only surviving but we are moving faster than them. Even today every distributor that we make is walk-in distributor. We hardly have to go outside and fetch our distributor. In fact, every day we have to turn down some or the other distributors as we are well represented in that area. In Patna, we are the fastest growing company slightly behind some MNC, but very soon with new frame and manufacturing facilities hope to overcome them and be number one in Bihar.
At the time when you took over, how many flavours were there and what were those flavours?
As I said Golden Ice cream was founded in 1948 and till 1994 it was run by previous owners. We purchased the ongoing concern in 1994 and after that there was no looking back. Earlier there were only basic flavours like vanilla, strawberry, kesar pista, butter scotch, chocolate. There were hardly any offerings of the new varieties for the customers. But when we stepped in and later the new generation joined, now the ambience is totally different. Apart from the basic flavours we have recently introduced mango, guava and multiple varieties of kulfi.
We have given a new suit of packaging to our products which has proven to be the best in Bihar. As we are stationed in Bihar likewise our expenses are on lesser side and we can produce at much lower price compared to these MNC’s.
Very soon we are launching a new flavour of natural flavours called “Golden Fruito”. Fruito will be the range where you will get all the natural flavours like tender coconut, custard apple, chickoo, anjeer, pineapple etc..
Speaking to Mr. Neeraj, Production Director of the company, Ice cream times asked him the kind of investments he has done in the machinery and what are his plans for the coming seasons?
As far as the plant is concerned, it is one of the best automated plants we have now. And we have been continuously working towards providing best quality products using the best quality ingredients and technology. So it’s a continuous process and we keep on expanding every year we add something new and we have further big plans that we are expanding in a big way.
What is your plan to go beyond Bihar? Do you see it as a big opportunity for your company to move towards east?
Rightly said, we are expanding just because we have so much potential in Bihar itself. The market is huge here and we down the line have plans of going into Nepal as well because that is the closest international market to explore. So after Bihar, we are looking at Nepal and may be north east Bihar for our future venture.
Is it true that only the costly and most advanced machines work or Indian & Chinese machinery also perform equally well and give good results? What is your experience?
The changing times has brought in massive change in technology. In fact Indian ice cream machinery manufacturers have come up really well and we see this advanced automation when we take part in the ice cream exhibition which is held every year. Though China, Italy, Germany has got the latest technology, we see Indians doing equally good these days. One can at a glance see lot many Indians makers of ice cream machinery now.
Do you believe that not all the machines are 100 per cent perfect? They have to be customized according to your need before installation. Have you faced a similar situation, kindly share it with our readers.
Yes. Many a times the machinery needs modification which the manufacturer is not able to customize it according to our requirement saying it is not possible. We have to do some of our own invention through R & D by adding some fast moving techniques. This innovation helps us to be accurate and increase the production still further.
Mr. Basu, it’s a known fact that throughout these 10 years of working together you and your group of manufacturers keep sharing information and experience with each other whether good or bad. How does this help you, your friends and other people who are connected with you?
It has been a wonderful experience. About 46 factories has spread all over India like Bihar, Kolkata, Jabalpur, Nasik, Punjab, Bangalore, Goa & all such places. Since we know our boundaries are fixed, we cannot ever go to sell our products in Bangalore and likewise Bangalore person will not go to Goa. So there is a gentlemen agreement, not to encroach upon each other’s territory. This is the reason why, we openly meet at one place and discuss what should be done to improve our product, which machinery to buy and which one does not perform well. So any bad experiences surfs up and the news immediately floats around the group that certain machine is beneficial and which one to refrain from.
Since we are in a group having a very good bonding all together, we get ice cream machineries, deep freezers, raw material from the manufacturers at a much lesser price and with better terms. We meet at least thrice a year where ever there is a function or event like ice cream congress expo held anywhere in the country.
We all meet at the events and we do have a separate meeting to discuss on how to buy raw material, ingredients and facilitating machines like the deep freezers at a lower price. The bargain is struck with those manufacturers and we come out with better prospects from them because we all together make a good number of machines.
Mr. Neeraj, do you think that it is very important to have best kind of packaging with modern looks to make a brand big or someone can really work with lesser quality?
Yes, good packaging truly works. Packaging holds a vital place in today’s world. A lot of R & D keeps happening in the packaging industry. You give good quality and packaging to the consumer and it will click. So we have one of the best packaging suppliers with us from almost all parts of India and time to time we keep changing the design. .
Consumers travel from place to place, they experience some different kind of flavours or experience ambience in the parlours. Do you feel that considering consumer’s choice, you should keep upgrading & changing?
Yes, we are continuously updating the tastes in flavours, bringing about changes with the onset of seasons, maintaining high standards of ice creams. So, it’s a continuous R&D process. We are coming out with new natural flavors as well which we get in big cities. Making it available in Patna is gone be a challenge but we will definitely work on it and it will come out very soon.
Maintaining the quality is also very important. If suppose, a flavour is liked by the consumers year after year how do you maintain the essence of the quality?
We at present have the best dairy technologists with us, who are working on quality and making better shelf life for all the flavours. Natural flavours have lesser shelf life but we are using good stabilizers, emulsifiers and everything to cope up with the better shelf life.
Mr. Basu, what is the message you want to give to your buyers? What is your assurance from Golden Ice cream to them?
I, on behalf of my team, assure my consumers that Golden Ice Cream will always give you the best of the quality, at the best of the prices and best of the packaging.
Ice cream times also spoke to Puneet Tahalani – Marketing Director, Golden Ice Cream. Some excerpts.
Ice cream can be sold on different counters like parlours, refrigerated vans, push carts, shops, direct selling. How do you spread your market in these regions and what is best selling idea of your company?
For us, selling through push carts is the best module in Patna and closeby regions. We also sell well on the corporate levels like hotels, restaurants (HoReCa) or through retail which is a very good too.
Past 5-6 years has been frequent visits of younger generation in parlours resulting in higher profit margins in metro cities as well as B class cities how do you take this challenge for your company and what are your plans?
We have a very attractive plan for giving out franchise for the parlours and we have made our own parlours in Patliputra, Patna. We are giving franchise the same way as our company’s showroom. The appearance of franchise parlour décor is just like company showroom presentation. One will find our presence in the malls in Patna as well because of the kiosk module. Golden Ice cream has two modules namely kiosk module and parlour module. Both of these modules are in vogue which is a new way coming out. The parlours that make your own ice cream with exactly the same way of presentation.
How do you do branding and what ways are you utilizing to promote Golden Ice Cream in this modern world?
In Patna, Golden Ice cream is very famous. But still the knocking has to be done at all the time. Hence, we go through promotions and taking help of different media channels viz. TV, radio, newspaper, shop branding and banners, deep freezers, danglers, push carts etc to make our presence felt. The best way of presentation is through push carts as it is colorful and most visible vehicle in the market. I think that is best way to promote the brand.
Recently, you have been approved by IRCTC for railways. So brief us about this achievement.
It was not a journey but of course an effort. I had to go to Delhi for IRCTC office quite many times and finally, as the quality was found satisfactory with the IRCTC norm, we got the approval from them and now will be getting into railway catering business too.