We are the end of 2021 – this has been a period of pandemic with incredible challenges across sectors, economies, nations and societies. As the year 2021 ends corporate leaders across sectors have made leaps in their learnings since the start of pandemic. Estrade Board Room had the opportunity to speak to Rajappan Jaykumar, CEO & Co-Founder, Grami Superfoods, https://gramisuperfoods.com, who shed some light on the happenings in his line of business. Following are excerpts from our interaction with him,
“With Indian health market pegged at 10000 Crores , we are confident that Millet will be the grain of the 21st century.”
Tell us about Grami Superfoods and your association with the company. What was your information for starting Grami Superfoods?
Grami Superfoods was formed by two passionate individuals who moved back from the US after working in companies like Microsoft and Amazon , to provide a platform to connect traditional farm products and local superfoods to the Urban market. We found that India has a rich bio diversity in foods that could provide complete nourishment to the body.
Who is your target customer? Kindly give some details about your industry of operation – local, India and the world: market size, challenges, opportunities, key metrics, etc. How do you see the future growth of this market?
We are seeing renewed focus and interest on health foods and healthy grains. We are seeing a good demand for our Organic lines as well as Millet lines. Our Organic and Lakadong turmeric lines are seeing a huge uptake.
India being the Diabetes capital we are finding increased lifestyle changes creating serious illnesses. Fast paced life has resulted in lifestyle changes which are the leading indicators for the below problems STRESS: leads to high blood pressure, cardio problems, diabetes, obesity, cancer, etc.
IMPROPER FOOD HABITS: leads to obesity, tiredness, risk of developing illness, etc.LACK OF NUTRITION: leads to fatigue, lack of appetite, apathy, etc. GRAMI believes in the ancient human philosophy, that food is a medicine which can prevent illness.
To prevent the above health issues, GRAMI products formulated on traditional smart grains/recipes, has shown when consumed on a regular basis help prevent major lifestyle based illnesses.The biggest challenge is that Millet being a world recognized super food is yet to find it way back into a lot of Urban kitchens. We are seeing great opportunity to provide wider growth in the Millet segment . With Indian health market pegged at 10000 Crores , we are confident that Millet will be the grain of the 21st century. We are already seeing a 100%YOY growth in the Millet segment and we think we are ready to ride this wave. With 2023 being announced as the YEAR OF THE MILLET, we think this focus will further boost our Superfood products.
“With the pandemic, we are seeing renewed focus and interest on health foods and healthy grains.”
How has the market received your product until now? Where would you place Grami Superfoods products in comparison to other similar existing products?
GRAMI’s focus is continued innovation.
Grami Superfoods’ products are available to the consumer at which price points?
Grami Products are reasonable priced and provide utmost nutrient value. Whether it our drinks or organic products our product lines provide maximum value to our customers in terms of nutrient density.
“Did you know that a glass of Ragi malt provides 4 times the calcium as MILK? We are working to stay in the forefront of innovation…”
How has the pandemic affected your industry? How do you see the market and general sentiment of Indian consumer evolve over this period?
With the pandemic, we are seeing renewed focus and interest on health foods and healthy grains. We are seeing a good demand for our Organic lines as well as Superfood lines. Our Organic and Lakadong turmeric lines are seeing a huge uptake.
“We stay ahead of the competition by innovating constantly and at any time we have atleast 15 products in the development pipeline.”
What do you feel is the future of Grami Superfoods with evolution in technologies like Big Data, ML and AI? How these are augmenting your market reach and enhancing customer experience?
GRAMI’s focus is continued innovation. We are focussing on Bio-availability and digestablity of Millets and how we can make this the Superfood of the future. Did you know that a glass of Ragi malt provides 4 times the calcium as MILK? We are working to stay in the forefront of innovation whether it is Protein isolates from grains or on various forms of powdered millets. We are working on making Millets products more bio-available to ensure that nutrients are easily metabolized and are investing heavily in it. We are coming out with a new range of Millet based INSTANT foods all based on this. We are also working on new delivery methods for last mile to make it truly farm to fork. We use technology constantly to deliver personalized offerings to specific body types etc.
Who is your competition? How do you perceive the threat from your competition? What is the biggest challenge faced currently by your industry?
Millets like most superfoods are notoriously difficult to work with since they don’t have Gluten. One of the issues that we found was the lack of equipment and working methods and methodology we need to develop for the Millet food Industry. For the first few years we had European bakers creating new lines for us using Millets. We have modified and invested creating new methodology to develop new lines of Millet foods. We stay ahead of the competition by innovating constantly and at any time we have atleast 15 products in the development pipeline.
What are your expectations (policy direction) from the Government for your industry?
2023 has been declared the year of the millets. We are expecting with drop in nutrition of our population that we continue to focus on nutrient rich grains and the government policies support this.
“We are finding there is greater acceptance of Millet based products globally…”
What are the few industry related issues for which you feel that the industry players should come together?
We have huge export opportunities and ability to open out the world market to Millets. We at Grami feel this is an opportunity that can be served collectively by the Millet and indigenous food players. We hope that there are exhibitions and Melas organized that would help on this front.
What is your vision for Grami Superfoods, in terms of, (1) Near term, over FY 2022, (2) Long term, over a 4 years horizon.
THE FUTURE OF GRAINS IS MILLETS due to its ability to be both drought resistant and being rich in macro and micro nutrients. GRAMI SUPERFOODS is positioned uniquely to provide a number product solutions to fit this range. We are finding there is greater acceptance of Millet based products globally as more and more people are seeing the health benefits of Millets. Grami wants to be in this forefront of the Superfood revolution that is taking the World over by storm!!