Tuesday, March 17, 2009: 07:02:51 PM

TFPJ Personality of the Fortnight

Milking Success — Anup Kumar Varshney, Varshney Bandhu Foods Pvt Ltd

Varshney Bandhu Foods Pvt Ltd (VBFPL) is fast becoming one of the renowned names in the food and beverage (F&B) industry in India. VBFPL is primarily engaged in the manufacture and export of milk-based products such as milk powder, dairy whitener, butter, ghee, paneer and the like. Its founder and Managing Director, Anup Kumar Varshney, is largely responsible for the quick growth of this Ahmedabad-based mid-sized firm.

New beginnings

Mr Varshney always nurtured dreams of starting his own company. He reminisces, “I did not want to be employed by someone else; someone who would dictate work processes that I would have to abide by. I would have felt constrained in such an environment, and wanted to be my own master.” Having obtained an MBA degree from the Birla Institute of Management, he spent considerable time reviewing various business proposals that he could take up and which would turn into a profitable venture in the future. After some thought, Mr Varshney launched Varshney Bandhu Foods Pvt Ltd in 2005, along with his brother Sanjay Kumar Varshney.

The enterprise required a lot of effort on his part, beginning from financing to raw material requisition. His hard work and diligence, however, soon fructified and his undertaking was a success.

Making a mark

Recalling the difficulties, Mr Varshney tells us, “I faced a lot of challenges in the beginning. Sourcing raw material was a major hassle. Most dairy owners in and around Ahmedabad prefer to sell their merchandise to big names. I had a tough time convincing these vendors to sell their milk to me. At times, I had to make lump-sum payments for the milk as they did not trust me entirely. However, as our products started gathering a reputation in the market, they began to have faith in us, and we gradually overcame the hurdles.”

Mr Varshney also found it difficult to establish credibility for his products. Since his was a small start-up, positioning his brand in the market was another major challenge he had to face. Quality control proved to be an effective tool for him in this direction, and helped him win consumer confidence and slowly expand his company’s footprint in the export market.

Quality first

To ensure that VBFPL’s milk products were of superior quality, Mr Varshney has personally taken interest in the recruitment of skilled workers. He also put together an efficient R&D team which is responsible for new product innovations that can meet customers’ changing preferences. Mr Varshney actively coordinates with this team and motivates it to perform better all the time.

Mr Varshney has installed high-end processing machines in his factories which ensure hygiene and remove any scope for product contamination. He attaches utmost importance to quality of the end-product and closely monitors his team of quality inspectors who conduct numerous tests not only on the finished products but also on the liquid raw material that is sourced from various vendors.

Today, his persistence and struggle have reaped results, and VBFPL’s products are appreciated and trusted by consumers.

Future plans

Mr Varshney is content with what he has achieved in the short span of four years. However, he feels that there is still a lot more to achieve. He is constantly exploring new technologies to improve the quality of his products and prospective business avenues in other geographies.

Mr Varshney feels that there is great scope for small and medium companies to grow in the F&B industry. According to him, some of the formulas of success in today’s market are having a positive outlook, willingness to take risks and the ability to make the right decision against the backdrop of the ever-changing consumer preferences.

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