Wednesday, February 18, 2009: 09:32:54 AM

TFPJ Personality of Fortnight

The Ice Candy Man

Prabhakar S Kamath Founder, Ideal Ice Cream

When adversity strikes, even the most unyielding optimist is likely to become a cynic. Prabhakar S Kamath, the brain behind Mangalore-based Ideal Ice Cream, is not one of them, though. In fact, he faced the odds with a lot of resilience and zeal, and is today a successful entrepreneur and owner of the popular Ideal Ice Cream.
 
Starting from scratch
 
After his father’s death, Prabhakar Kamath took over the operations of Ideal Traders, selling general items, tailoring material and fireworks. Seasonal fluctuations in the trade made him look for more secure lines of business that would be in demand throughout the year. Three months of trial and error resulted in Ideal Ice Cream.
 
Mr Kamath taught himself the art of ice cream making and conducted home-based experiments, testing his creations on enthusiastic neighbours. He launched Ideal Ice Cream Parlour on Market Road in Mangalore on May 1, 1975 with 14 flavours.
 
Quest for Perfection
 
Within two years his ice creams were so much sought-after, that people actually waited in queues to get their hands on an Ideal ice cream. Mr Kamath’s quest for perfection continued, and he carried out more experiments with more products, thus building a fairly successful business.
 
His business expanded at a rapid scale and his wife took over the responsibility of preparing the compositions at home. As a result, Mr Kamath was able to fully concentrate on building the parlour business.
 
With the growing demand, expansion was inevitable. Today, Ideal Ice Cream has three parlours in Mangalore city, and a restaurant-cum-ice cream parlour in the Infosys office complex in Bengaluru.
 
Passion for quality
 
Mr Kamath’s passion for quality has elevated his ice cream brand to an iconic status in coastal Karnataka. He is content running his ice cream parlours, sticking to the old ideals of quality, quantity and price, which are the mantras of his success. "I will never compromise on these three aspects, come what may", he says.
 
It is a combination of hard work and the desire to be different from the rest that has enabled Mr Kamath to create a niche for his brand of ice creams in the market. The expansion was slow but steady, and was achieved by placing importance to the minutest of details at every stage of production. 
 
Good manufacturing practices, cordial relationship with employees, maintaining high levels of hygiene and strict compliance with the law are the factors that have played a pivotal role in helping Mr Kamath make Ideal the numero uno ice cream parlour in Mangalore.
 
Secret of Success
 
"My success is largely due to the fact that I did not believe in making huge profits alone. I wanted to give value for money and concentrate on offering a sumptuous quantity of the best quality at a minimum price. The policy of minimum profit and maximum turnover was my motto, and I have succeeded by implementing this idea", he recounts. 
 
Mr Kamath is not the one to rest on his laurels. He keeps in tune with the changing times, and is prepared to take risks. In fact, it is through his constant innovation and element of newness that he ensures that his products are always lapped up by customers.

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