Rooted in Bareilly, BL Agro is a Rs 2500 crore edible oils and food products company that’s on an aggressive expansion mode. The company has recently stepped into South India by setting up its base in Bengaluru given the market demand and opportunities. A company which was started by just a handful of people, is now over 2,000-strong team. To track the company’s growth and learn more about its expansion plans, NuFFooDS Spectrum spoke to Ashish Khandelwal, Managing Director, BL Agro, Bareilly in detail.
How do you foresee the market when it comes to investing in Southern India?
Our foray into the southern market is a part of our national expansion plan. We started our retail operations through a super stockiest / distributor model in Bengaluru and Bengaluru rural areas, and as we progress further, we will expand across Karnataka, Goa state and some key cities like Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Vizag. We have plans to expand across all five states of Southern India by 2022. We expect at least 5 per cent of our revenue generation to happen from Southern states by 2022-23. Major thrust will be on our food Brand ‘Nourish’ and edible mustard oil ‘Bail Kolhu’.
Where are your facilities located in India? Do you plan to launch any new facilities in the country?
BL Agro has its manufacturing unit, refineries and warehouses in Bareilly. All the products are being transported from here only to our wide distribution network spread over 200 cities across 13 states of India. We have our stronghold across states such as Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, and expanding.
Are you planning a global venture as well?
As of now we have initiated some surveys and sampling activities in the UK and other parts of Europe. Based on our internal survey and marketing strategy, we will disclose the same in future.
What type of quality measures do BL Agro follow to ensure that products are safe to consume?
We have an exhaustive checklist where all products are being run for multiple quality checks. From five micro testing to laser sorting machines, we at BL Agro ensure that only the best leaves our warehouses. We also ensure that all products right from the PET pre form to final produce is run through our full service at NABL accredited laboratory, Rohilkhand Laboratory & Research Centre (RLRC).
Any new technological upgrades at your facilities you want to implement?
We have already initiated a series of modernisation of our production and packaging facilities, which slowed down due to the pandemic. Now that things are getting back to normal and travel restrictions are being lifted, we are looking at expediting and completing various stalled projects that will help us in increasing our production efficiency and storage capacity multi-fold.
Do you import the food processing machinery at your facilities or are those indigenously manufactured?
Our commitment to deliver only high-quality products has led us to establish a benchmark in terms of the infrastructure based in Bareilly. We rely on the most efficient machinery , sourced either domestically or imported from various parts of the world that have specialised systems to ensure highest precision and standards. Majorly, for our products, we have had a longstanding partnership with French supplier – Sidel and Australian leader Tomra.
How much revenue was generated in FY20-21 and what is the growth expected this year?
FY 20-21 saw a generation of Rs 2500 crore approximately, and this year we expect to grow by 25 to 30 per cent.
Are there any new product launches expected in 2022, and what’s in store for the upcoming five years?
We have plans to expand our exclusive breakfast range that includes Cornflakes and Muesli and Snack & Namkeen range as well. In the next five years we would like to be in the top 5 National players in Packaged Food commodity items and a leading number 1 brand in the Mustard Oil segment.