Agri Business

Storage player SLCM eyes perishables

Shobha Roy Kolkata | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on November 24, 2017

Sandeep Sabharwal, group CEO, Sohan Lal Commodity Management

Sohan Lal Commodity Management (SLCM), which is primarily into warehousing for dry goods commodities, is looking to get into storage of perishables, particularly fruits and vegetables.

Delhi-based SLCM has handled a variety of 610 commodities globally, including cotton, barley, bajra, castor seeds, wheat, pulses, maize, spices and aloe vera, among others.

According to Sandeep Sabharwal, group CEO, the company has experimented with some perishable and semi-perishable offerings such as potato, spices and cardamom. Currently, storing perishables such as fruits and vegetables is not commercially viable in India as most of these have a shorter shelf life and higher consumption rate.

Wastage rising

“For storage of fruits and vegetables to become commercially viable, the production has to increase and the need for storing produce for a sustained period has to go up,” Sabharwal told BusinessLine.

A recent Assocham-MRSS India study states the country to be the world’s largest producer for milk and second largest producer of fruits and vegetables; while, about 40-50 per cent of the total production — valued at $440 billion — is wastage for want of storage facilities. The 6,300-odd cold storage facilities with over 30 million tonnes of capacity stock only about 11 per cent of the total perishable produce.

The company, which believes in an “asset light” model, focusses on scientific warehousing processes rather than infrastructure creation and has managed a network of 2,045 warehouses without owning a single one.

Apart from offering storage solutions to farmers and traders, the company also helps them secure finance from banks and financial institutions, using (stored) commodities as collateral.

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Published on November 24, 2017
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