Food items, clothes and other products made by inmates of the country's biggest jail, Tihar, are set for bigger retail play, with jail authorities gearing up to bring the brand 'TJ'S' closer to consumers.
The jail authorities are talking to several organised retailers, including Mother Dairy and some leading private chains, to make the 'Made-in-Tihar' range of products available to modern shoppers.
To capture the general trade, the authorities will soon finalise a set of distributors that will supply the products to small retailers across Delhi and the NCR.
"We are just awaiting a final go-ahead for our products to be retailed at Mother Dairy outlets," Tihar Jail Deputy Superintendent (Factory) Prateek Sharma told PTI.
Once the nod is granted, the TJ'S range of products will soon be available at Mother Dairy outlets across Delhi and the NCR, he added.
When asked if discussions were on with private retailers, he said: "We are in talks with a few big private organised retailers, but they are asking for more margins that we are not willing to give. The proceeds from the sale of these products are used for the welfare of the inmates, victims and their families."
Besides tapping the organised retail sector, Tihar Jail has also invited applications from interested parties for wholesale distribution.
"Within the next ten days, meetings will be held with the applicants to finalise atleast 5-6 big distributors, who will supply these products to the retail market, making it easily accessible to the end consumer," Sharma said.
According to him, the TJ'S range of products -- which includes bakery products, namkeens and other food items, handloom and textiles, furniture and home decor items --registered a total sales turnover of Rs 15 crore last year.
"The bakery items alone had a total sales of Rs 2.5 crore," he added.
With the increase in the retail network and distribution, the jail authorities have set bigger sales targets, he added, without giving details.
At present, TJ'S products are sold at about 35 retail points in Delhi and NCR, which includes kiosks at court complexes, government-operated Kendriya Bhandars and a few hospitals.
The brand is being promoted through advertisements on FM radio channels in the NCR region.
Asked about the plan to take brand TJ'S national, Sharma said: "We will be definitely be interested to sell these products nationally, but currently, the production capacity is limited."