Maharashtra’s Dairy Industry - A Huge Contributor to India’s Growth

 

‘Gowardhan’, founded by Parag Milk Foods Pvt. Ltd. in 1992, is one of India’s largest private dairies. Devendra Shah, the entrepreneurial mind behind Parag Milk Foods, plans to take the Indian cheese and curds market way ahead on the international front. The ‘Gowardhan’ milk and ‘Go’ cheese brand of dairy products owned by Shah are made out of 100 per cent cow’s milk ; and in demand not only in India, but also abroad. On the occasion of Maharashtra Day, this futuristic thinking entrepreneur speaks to Bharat4india about his journey into the business world of Dairy and its products.

 

The Birth of Parag Milk Foods and the subsequent Gowardhan brand

The owner of the famous brands ‘Gowardhan’ and ‘Go’ owes his ideation and being to his father Prakash Shah and his cold storage-like facility way back in 1972, that provided services to the potato farmers. “Our association with the farmers goes way back since the 1970s,” Shah reminisces, “Back then, despite numerous governmental organisations and co-operatives in place, the farmer community in Maharashtra faced a huge crisis. The crisis being - many farmers with cows would toil daily and collect milk, but at times it did not get sold; and the entire produce would get wasted. This is when I decided to step in. I believed strongly that there was scope to make use of all the produce by these farmers. Thereby, continuing our mutually trusting and benefiting relationship with the farmer community.”

 

Gowardhan ProductsWith this concept in mind, Devendra Shah, a commerce graduate got into the dairy business in the year 1989 and launched Parag Milk Foods in 1992. When launching the brand ‘Gowardhan’, the name was one of the many suggestions made to Devendra Shah by a family of poets. What struck Shah was the metaphorical similarity of the name with his venture’s location. One, the dairy was at the foothill of a hillock. Two, the name was associated with Hindu deity Lord Krishna who is said to be fond of milk and its products like butter, curd, etc. Hence, Shah decided to go by the name of Gowardhan; and, according to him, it has proved to be very lucky for him ever since.

 

The Gowardhan dairy plant, one of India's largest private dairies, and the cattle farm in Manchar near Pune is spread over 35 acres. While the dairy plant has an output capacity of 1,000,000 litres per day, the cow farm houses around 3 thousand cows and is equipped with one of India’s first Rotary Parlors, which has mechanised the whole milking process; thereby ensuring high quality and hygiene. Located in a lush green village called Manchar in Maharashtra which is about 60 km from Pune, Gowardhan prides itself on owning the largest cow farm in India as well as Asia’s largest cheese plant. Their recently commissioned cheese plant has the capacity to produce 40 tonnes of cheddar, mozzarella and processed cheese everyday.

 

Their product portfolio includes skimmed milk powder, whole milk powder, ghee, processed cheese, butter, curd, and proprietary foods like Dairy Whitener and Gulab Jamun Mix powder under the brand names of ‘Gowardhan’ and ‘Go’, all made from fresh cow’s milk.

 

Their USP: Quality, Hygiene & Variety

They have carved a niche for themselves in the dairy business by bringing out milk-based products which are not produced by competitors, giving them an upper hand in this foray into the dairy business. Parag Milk’s founder Devendra Shah firmly believes that the quality and pricing at which ‘Gowardhan’ and ‘Go’ products are being provided to the Indian customers will go a long way in growing their market share in the future. Their new product ‘Pride of Cows’ is a premium milk brand which is humanly untouched from milking to packaging and was launched with the idea of ‘Direct farm-to-Home’ concept.The mechanised milking process that ensures hygiene, coupled with production of a wide range of quality milk products at the dairy, has made them the one and only producer of the most varied number of dairy products in the country.

Gowardhan: A Philanthropic Venture

Ask Shah his definition of success and he is quick to reply, “It is extremely important to keep in mind the development and welfare of the farmers you are working with and the challenge is to maintain a balance between being a for-profit business and being a company which does not neglect the welfare of the farmers it works with. This is how I measure my success.”

 

The Expansion Plan

Currently they have two plants - one in Manchar, Pune (Maharashtra) and the other in Palamner, Chittur (Andhra Pradesh), both of which are fully automated. The capacity of both the plants is 20 lakh litres of milk per day. The Manchar plant is Asia’s largest cheese plant, with the capacity of manufacturing 40 metric tonnes per day. They will establish two more plants – one in North India and another one in East India in the coming years. The investment is estimated to be around Rs 3 billion. Under the brand 'Gowardhan', it shall offer traditional products like ghee, curd, cottage cheese (locally called paneer) etc. whereas under the brand name 'Go', it shall offer new-generation products like cheese, UHT milk, yoghurt etc.

 

Shah feels that going by the growth index of India with reference to the Dairy industry, it shall soon have to cater to a huge international market. “Dairy has become an unpopular business in Europe and leading dairy nations like New Zealand and Australia. At such a time, India will have to meet the international milk demand. This will definitely help in escalating the growth of Indian economy.”

 

Gowardhan known as ‘TheBrand today

Today, Parag Milk Foods supplies milk products to at least 50 countries around the world and has 60 different products being distributed in India. This setup has not only grown big internationally, but also helped in building a long lasting relationship with the farmers in the rural interiors of the state. Devendra Shah has played a vital role in this; and it is his perseverance and his outlook that has changed the lives of many along with changing the face of the dairy industry.

 

Go Revolution in the making 

Shah says he gives a lot of priority to Research & Development at his dairy plant. Taking inspiration from the White Revolution, also called Operation Flood, the Chairman of Parag Milk Foods has a new idea under implementation. “Today, with India emerging at the forefront in this sector, what every Indian requires is quality Dairy products. It is this challenge that we have taken up and set a foot forward with our new project, namely, ‘Go Revolution!’ India is doing really well in the Dairy industry. But these value-added products must be made available in India for the Indian consumer too. Hence, the theme - Go Revolution.” In India, majority of the people are vegetarians and the one best source of protein for them is Milk - a Dairy product. And the demand for milk, even curd, cheese and butter, is increasing with each passing day. “Hence, we are coming out with new and innovative products for the Indian consumers via our Go Revolution medium,” Shah adds enthusiastically.

 

The Gowardhan ideator hopes that this revolution has a “direct and positive impact” on the farmers of Maharashtra's rural areas, which he feels “will take our prosperity and progress to new heights”.

 

BUREAU REPORT
Mumbai

 

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Comments (6)

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  • Dear Sir,

    “JAI HOO FILMS” is a dynamically developing Company wherein all types of CROPS Advertisement services are provided for which the Males, Females, Models, Actors, Actress, Children and Animals also can be arranged for the ad shoots.

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  • hi, is it posible to visit the dairy..im from pune

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