Wednesday, June 24, 2009: 07:34:02 PM

TFPJ Personality of the fortnight

Perfectionist in fine foods — Moni Varma, Veetee Fine Foods

Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome!

Mr Moni Varma, Veetee Fine Foods

For a successful entrepreneur, every challenging business proposition is a lucrative growth opportunity. Moni Varma, Chairman, Veetee Fine Foods Ltd, is one of those dynamic entrepreneurs who believe in addressing business challenges with dedication, hard work and commitment. Starting his company with limited funds, Mr Varma has taken his New Delhi-based company to greater heights of success, becoming an industry expert on the way.
Formative years
Mr Varma spent his early years in the African country of Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe. Born into a business family, Mr Varma completed his higher studies in India. Thereafter, he returned to Zimbabwe to begin his professional career. Initially, he worked for a printing firm, where his excellent salesmanship made him one of the best employees in the company.
Mr Varma worked with some other companies and gained considerable market exposure and expertise. The experience that he gained in Zimbabweprepared him for the challenges that he would face in his endeavour to become a successful entrepreneur.
Entering the F&B market
While progressing on a steady path of professional growth, Mr Varma’s ambition prompted him to establish his own company. With this objective in mind, Mr Varma left Zimbabwe for the UK to set up his steel company in 1980.
In 1985, Mr Varma was approached by relatives in India who were looking for rice buyers in the UK. Although, Mr Varma was not too keen on venturing into the F&B industry, his family members persuaded him to tap the burgeoning F&B market. Subsequently, he started Veetee Rice that gradually evolved into Veetee Fine Foods.
Targeting consumers
Veetee Fine Foods was established to cater to the overseas market, particularly the UK, where there was a substantial demand for Indian food items. Realising the potential of this segment, Mr Varma expanded his company’s reach and enhanced its manufacturing capacity to meet the growing demand for Indian food abroad. Today, the company is one of the biggest rice suppliers in the UK retail trade.
Secret of success
Mr Varma’s relentless approach towards his work has driven his company on the path of success. Mr Varma says, “Persistence is the key to my success. It was accompanied by a lot of hard work and some good fortune.” He adds that one should not be deterred by failure and keep striving to reach the zenith of success.
He credits his mother for instilling in him the confidence to accomplish a goal entirely on his own.
Bullish on Indian food sector’s growth
Mr Varma sees great potential in the Indian F&B industry, which, according to him, is driven by consumers who place great importance on quality and hygiene. He says that each product manufactured by his company passes through stringent quality checks before reaching the consumers.
Mr Varma also expects SMEs in the Indian F&B industry to play an important role in the near future. He feels that small companies in the segment should offer quality products at affordable prices to remain competitive.
Beyond work

Apart from being a dynamic entrepreneur, Mr Varma is also a keen sports enthusiast. Cricket is his biggest passion, while playing golf is a favourite sport activity. Not surprisingly, he is an ardent food lover and is fond of the tilapia fish curry prepared by his wife, Shoba.

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