Agri Business

NDDB expands footprint into pulses marketing

Vishwanath Kulkarni Bengaluru | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on May 19, 2015

A view of Safal pulses at Mother Dairy's booth in New Delhi KAMAL NARANG

Launches range of unpolished dals under Safal brand

After milk, edible oil and vegetables, the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) is expanding its footprint into pulses through subsidiary Mother Dairy Fruits and Vegetables Ltd (MDFVL). A range of commonly used unpolished pulses such as tur (arhar) and chana under the Safal brand have been introduced in the Delhi market recently and would be soon rolled out to other states over a period of time.

NDDB’s Safal brand of pulses would be competing with the likes of Tata i-Shakti and a host of regional brands such as Rajdhani and Mangatram among others in a nascent but rapidly emerging market for branded pulses that is largely being driven by the growing modern retail format and the online grocery stores.

Tie-up with farmers

Besides reaching out to the retail consumers, NDDB also plans to target the bulk and institutional buyers through the Safal brand. “We are testing the waters in Delhi and will expand slowly to other states. Our focus will be on maximising the gains for farmers,” said NDDB Chairman T Nanda Kumar. Initially, Mother Dairy plans to sell around 100 tonnes of pulses a month through the Safal brand.

As part of the backward integration, MDFVL will be tying up with the farmers, farmer producers organisations in major growing States over the next three to four months so as to be prepared for procurement during the upcoming kharif harvest, Nanda Kumar said.

While MDFVL mainly aims to procure pulses from the farmers directly, some private purchases cannot be ruled out to ensure steady supplies to the consumers throughout the year.

MDFVL would also be looking at tying up with millers and could also look at setting up its own milling unit.

Branded pulses

Till recently, the Safal retail units in Delhi were selling Mangatram brand of pulses, clocking a monthly sale of around 50-60 tonnes. “We would also be leveraging our edible oil brand Dhara network to expand the reach of the Safal pulses brand,” Kumar added.

The branded pulses segment has caught the fancy of several big companies such as the Tatas and the Adanis in recent years. Tata Chemicals, which sells the i-Shakti brand of unpolished pulses, had clocked a sales turnover of ₹175 crore by December 2014 and was expected to end fiscal 2015 with a turnover of around ₹250 crore.

Published on May 19, 2015
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