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'We plan to foray into overseas markets in 2011'

Q&A: Raghunandan Kamath, Founder, Kamaths Ourtimes Ice creams

Pravda Godbole  |  Mumbai/ Pune 

The Kamath family hatched an ice cream business a quarter of a century ago in Mumbai. And, as the popularity shot, the store count went on increasing. Summer, the most demanding time of the year for this kind of a business has brought in with it scores of opportunities that the family is busy scooping! One of the finest frozen desserts available in the artisanal ice cream space—Natural ice creams has big expansion plans.

Pravda Godbole spoke to Raghunandan Kamath, Founder, Pvt. Ltd., whose son Srinivas Kamath now heads the business development.

How do you plan to structure your company?

We have big expansion plans and hence we are going to adopt complete ERP (enterprise resource planning) solutions to be able to turn our dream of expanding the business into a reality.

Currently we hav 72 outlets in 8 locations, and we plan to scale up to a 100 stores in yet to be explored territories like Kolkata, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jaipur, Indore, Chennai and the like along with overseas expansion plans on the cards.

What kind of overseas presence are you looking at?

We have had many franchise inquiries from Europe. We will definitely consider it but before that we have plans for 2011 to enter countries closer home like Dubai, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. On the local front, we plan to grow from 72 outlets to a 100 by December 2010.

Will that require you to scale up your manufacturing?

The company recently invested Rs 25 crore in a new manufacturing unit in Mumbai and a food processing plant in Mangalore. While the factory's capacity is 12 tonne per day, it can be scaled up to 15 tonne per day.

The manufacturing facility will take care of supply for the whole of national market. Activities like processing and pulping fruits and then storing them will be carried out in this facility which we opened last month.

What kind of new offerings will be introduced for this season?

We will soon launch a low fat kulfi—this will be our fourth offering apart from ice cream, milkshakes, and malai ice cream with fresh cut fruits.

Innovation is the key here. People know us as an ice cream brand alright but we are looking at a multi market presence. Our factory is probably the biggest in Asia in this category of ice creams and we play with local flavours. For example, we plan to introduce beel a local fruit from Jaipur the way we serve jack fruit in Goa. These flavours are unique to their locations.

What is the current size of the company and what are your targets?

We hit Rs 30 crore in year ended March 2010. We target to close in to Rs 50 crore in the next financial year with an investment budget of Rs 3 crore in the next three years required for expansion plans and scaling up to meet the business demand that rises by close to 30 per cent in summer.

First Published: Mon, May 17 2010. 00:40 IST