#LeadershipSeries: An Interview with Mr. Kamlesh Karamchandani, Director Sales & Marketing, HyFun Foods
Mr. Kamlesh Karamchandani, Director - Sales & Marketing, HyFun Foods in a candid discussion with our editorial team.
Q1. Hello Kamlesh, thank you for your time, our readers would like to know how has been your journey so far in building HyFun one of the fast-growing Frozen Foods company?
Every journey comes with challenges, but it is how you face them and find opportunities. We entered a market with established leaders in this segment. But rather than being intimidated, we were motivated to prove our capabilities as we know how sweet success tastes when you build a name amongst recognized leaders. I term the first two years as "EEE" - The first half of year one as the "Experience" period, the second half as "Explode," and year two as the "Establish" period. 'Experiencing' obstacles in our first year led us to strategize and 'Explode' in the latter half when we expanded to 100 cities in year one itself. Our second year was all about 'Establishing' the brand by servicing the products to top HoReCa outlets across the country. It was a proud moment for HyFun to have the giant account/QSR, Burger King, come on board. We also started exports in the same year that turned the table for us and our country. Exports helped us increase our scale & helped our country in being self-dependent (Aatmanirbhar) as imports stopped from 2016. We are pioneers in exporting frozen French Fries out of India & are leaders by far.
Q2. How do you see Frozen food segment growing in coming few years? What are some of the top challenges and opportunities for the industry?
Frozen is Hot now and is the Future. Multi-fold growth is visible in the coming few years.
Challenges – Cold Chain Infrastructure, Awareness in smaller towns
Opportunities – Changing lifestyle with a changing mindset has led to a vast acceptance of Frozen Foods. The government encourages the processing of F&V, which will help them get closer to their vision of doubling farmers' income.
Q3. What are some of your observations for the current crisis of Covid 19? What could be some of the key challenges for the industry?
For the sector we operate in, the business depends substantially on HoReCa channels. This pandemic has brought a lot of inconsistencies, and the fluctuations have affected these channels as well. We see the government changing rules very often regarding gatherings. But this has also changed our consumer's consumption pattern. When it comes to food, everyone is looking for convenience and good taste. The ready-to-eat foods market is growing. The challenge that I foresee is for companies to establish themselves in B2C, which is a slow burner & additionally attracts extensive investments.
Q4. What are your key focus areas for 2021?
Our focus is on making HyFun a household name on the domestic business front by introducing products with unique flavours that will make snack time fun. We will keep innovating and adding more flavours to delight our consumer's palate.
On International Business, the focus is to expand in more countries like Japan & Korea, which import the highest volume of French Fries within Asia. We are working towards making India the largest exporter of processed potatoes.
Q5. While you are a role model for a lot of young entrepreneurs however who are your role models or leaders who have inspired you over the period?
When trying to begin a new journey, one always faces challenges, but the key is to keep trying & keep calm. And this I have learned from my father, my role model on the personal front.
If you talk about who inspires me on a professional front, it is Richard Branson. I have been following his work since 2007, the year I went to London for my Masters. I am always advocating for employees first. Like Mr. Branson says - "if the person who works at your company is 100% proud of the job they're doing, they're going to be happy, and therefore the customer will have a nice experience." My focus is on my team & the consumer's satisfaction & I have learned to prioritize Quality with Consistency.