Godrej Korber , which provides warehouse automation solutions, is bullish on the growing cold chain segment in the country and is targeting industry verticals such as dairy, food and marine processing units.
“Cold chain is relatively new to us, and we have just started capturing this segment. We have been present in the dairy-based segment and also trying to expand our presence,” said Suunil Dabral, Senior Vice-President and Business Head, Godrej Korber .
About Godrej Korber
Godrej Korber is a joint venture between Godrej & Boyce and the Hamburg-based German group, Korber , providing warehouse automation solutions. The company provides storage and automation systems that go inside the cold store and has about 45 installations with the largest number of them in the pharmaceutical sector.
“We are focusing on modern cold stores, which are employing modern technologies and where the investment on robotics and automation can be justified,” Dabral said adding that the company has about three customers in the dairy sector and in talks with some more.
Besides dairy, the company is also focussing on meat and poultry processing, marine produce processing units, and the food processing sector with its cold chain automation solutions.
Growth of cold chain segment
The company sees demand for its cold chain automation coming from the southern region, mainly from areas around Hyderabad and also from the coastal belt, where the cold stores are basically used to store sea food, he said.
Dabral said the traditional cold chain operators in the country are expanding and automating their systems, while the demand is also coming in from regional associations and companies that are attracting overseas investments.
Dabral said the potential in the cold chain segment is huge and the Government’s push to expand the cold chain segment by providing subsidies is driving the growth. The subsidies offered by the Government to set up cold chain range from 35 per cent to 50 per cent on the capital equipment. Also, the Ministry of Food Processing’s move to set up 44 mega food parks is driving the industry growth. The cold chain industry is expected to grow to around ₹2.86 lakh crore by 2027 from around ₹1.6-lakh crore, registering an annual growth of around 15 per cent.
Plans for expansion
Godrej Korber , which develops and manufactures its solutions at Ambernath, near Mumbai has a team of around 260 employees and is expanding. “We are investing in people because this industry is more of skills and knowledge. We are trying to hire the best talents across the industry, because this is a very specific domain and you don’t get ready-made resources for that. Even though we have plenty of software professionals in India, but when it comes to a domain like this, you hardly get. So, we are hiring people and are training them,” he said.
Last year, the Godrej Korber grew by 18 per cent and expects to sustain the growth trend. “So, next year, we are having an ambitious growth plan of up to 22 per cent, and subsequently for next three years, we will be on an average, growing at 20 per cent,” he said.