MSME SuperPower:

Reaching new customers through modern trade

Mohammed Taqi Vakil

Administrative & Finance Director, Kings Crispy Onions, Bhavnagar, Gujarat

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The food business is among the toughest to be in today, as a sharper focus on safety, hygiene, quality and regulatory compliance puts pressure on producers. Being an indigenous brand with a traditional product offering makes it even more important to stay up-to-date.

Kings Crispy Onions has been producing dehydrated onions for more than three decades. When my father started the business in 1994, we had an annual production capacity of 300 tons. By 2006, that had grown to 3,600 tons, and now we can produce 15,000 tons per year. We sell various forms of crispy onion—rings, slices, kibbled, chopped, minced, granules and powder—and we hold a number of key international certifications and are Kosher- and Halal-certified.

Our goal is to become Asia’s largest manufacturer of crispy onions. Indeed, we have been working hard to build a contemporary business with global operations on par with the best in the world. I credit the Walmart Vriddhi program for providing me with guidance and support to modernise our business.

Walmart Vriddhi helped me embrace modern trade and take a more organised approach to better analyse market demand, create strategies for new product launches, manage inventory to avoid out-of-stock situations, and maintain adequate working capital.

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World-class manufacturing

Our approach to building Kings Crispy Onions into a world-class business is based on four key pillars: state-of-the-art production facilities that comply with global food safety standards; a consistent quality delivery system; modern in-house cold storage warehouses; and customised packaging and private label options.

Our Bhavnagar factory undergoes regular factory audits from a Europe-based third-party auditor. It is equipped with the latest international technology to maintain hygiene and eliminate impurities for optimal product quality.

Supplies are timely and regular throughout the year, and we can store up to 500 tons of finished product at our in-house warehousing facility. We pack shipments at the factory premises under close supervision to avoid mishandling of goods.

First-rate quality

It all comes down to knowing what our buyers need and producing our specialty products in line with their requirements. At Kings Crispy Onions, our motto is “Quality Matters.” To consistently satisfy quality-conscious customers around the world, we focus our research and development efforts on procurement, production, products, packaging, and more. For example, we have a modern in-house laboratory where we can analyse the physical, chemical and microbiological parameters of our products using the latest technologies to maintain the highest quality standards.

With quality assurance capabilities in place and an expanded production capacity, we are now ready to expand our reach to modern-trade customers like supermarket chains.

We plan to develop new product lines and offer products in smaller packs so as to gain a foothold in the modern-trade market. We got this idea from the Walmart Vriddhi team, along with the necessary support in this direction.

Targeting the modern-trade channel will enable us to reach new customer segments. It will also inspire us to innovate and evolve with the times. In this way, our traditional products can continue to be a part of people’s treasured cooking and dining experiences into the future.

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