Raju Jituiri, dairy technologist and a consultant speaks to Snehal Rebello.
Who are the big players in the ice cream industry in India?
Right now Amul and Walls are ruling the industry. In fact, the quality of ice creams and the investment in modern technology and machinery brings them on par with companies in the US and the UK.
Where do you think the other players are lacking?
Transport and distribution is the biggest hurdle that smaller entrepreneurs are facing in India. It is also difficult to compete with bigger players who are pumping in huge amount of money in developing the latest machinery.
What is the difference between traditional and industrial ice cream?
Industrial ice cream has chemical origins, preservatives so that it can last longer and has more air. The cost is relatively higher. On the other hand there are no preservatives and the production is lesser in traditional ice creams compared to an industrial one. Batch freezers are used in traditional ice creams like natural and gelatoes.
How much is required for an initial investment to start a business?
Industrial ice cream is very cost heavy. But on the other hand, traditional ice cream has less investment and overheads. You can set up a plant with Rs 12 lakh and you can produce 50 litres an hour.
What is the future of the ice cream industry in India?
The ice cream industry is growing at 25-30 per cent and there is tremendous scope in this field - be it traditional or natural. The consumption will become 10 times in the next 5 years in India. One needs to concentrate on the hygiene, ingredients and quality of the product to make it more popular.