Megaa Moda: Disrupting the Seafood Industry since Inception

Yogesh Gupta | Director [L] | Shankar Ramalingam, Director [R] | Megaa Moda[Seafood Industry, export seafood, interview Megaa Moda, Integrated Cold Chain, Value Addition Infrastructure, Distribution Hub]
Yogesh Gupta | Director [L] | Shankar Ramalingam, Director [R] | Megaa Moda

This interview highlights the consistent endeavors of Team Megaa Moda Pvt. Ltd. (MMPL) that treads the extra mile to quench the needs of its client organizations.

IS: Kindly brief us about your company.

Team MMPL: Our story began in 2012, when two friends Mr. Yogesh Gupta and Mr. Shankar Ramalingam came together to venture into a journey of exporting seafood to the world under the brand name of Megaa and Megaa Delight. We procure, process, freeze, pack and export different kinds of frozen shrimps like Vannamei, Black Tiger, White, Pink Shrimp, Scampi, Sea Caught Shrimps, etc.

The capacity restraint and add on costs of leased premises was deterring our growth after a point, so we decided for setting-up of own Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure and Distribution Hub. There were numerous challenges in terms of funding arrangements, laying the infrastructure of the plant and machinery as well as statutory clearances. However, we were determined to achieve our aim strategically. The first brick was laid on May 2016 with starting of the construction of our own processing unit which concluded in June, 2017 in its entirety. Our unit with all modern infrastructures was operational within a miraculous span of thirteen months from scratch to commercial production including obtaining all statutory permissions. The total capital outlay on the unit is over 40 crores.

We are recognized as Two Star Export House under Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt. of India. The company is ISO 9001:2015 certified and is registered with The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), Export Inspection Agency (EIA) and Food Safety Standard Authority of India (FSSAI). The Company is accredited with international certifications like US- FDA, BAP, BRC, SEDEX and AEO-T2.

Megaa has been awarded many prestigious awards from various national governing bodies. Recently it has received SME Excellence Award 2019 for Food Processing sector from Dun & Bradstreet-RBL Bank SME Business Excellence Awards 2019.

IS: Give a brief info about the person who is to be highlighted in this Profile, and what was the source of inspiration for him/her and the company to be in the Food & Beverage segment.

Team MMPL: Mr. Yogesh Gupta has managed his business of leather goods exports. He has been active participator in various commercial, social sporting and educational activities and holds prestigious post/membership in many such economic, social, sports and educational organizations. He was Chairman (Trade Development) of Indian Leather Products Association. He is member of Indian Chamber of Commerce, Bengal Chamber of Commerce, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, FICCI, AIMA, ICC, FIEO, SEAI, etc. among others. Presently, he is Vice President of Indo-American Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Shankar Ramalingam has worked with large corporate houses like Hindustan Unilever Ltd and Sun Biotechnology Limited.  He has been active participator in various commercial, social and educational activities and holds prestigious post/membership in many such organizations. He is member of Bengal Chamber of Commerce, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce & Indo-American Chamber of Commerce. He was the President of Seafood Exports Association of India (West Bengal region). He is secretary of Calcutta Debating Circle (CDC) & of the “Quizzing Society.”

The experience of Mr. Ramalingam in seafood industry and the experience of Mr. Yogesh Gupta in export business helped to start the business of seafood export under the brand name of Megaa. Food processing has become an integral part of the food supply chain in the global economy, and India has also seen growth in this sector in the last few years. In spite of the fact that India is one of the largest producers of agricultural and food products in the world, it still lags behind in the global food processing value chain. India’s agricultural exports basically consist of raw materials which are then processed in other countries. We perceived that there is massive opportunity for us in the underutilised food processing sector.

IS: What are the different products/services/solutions provided by your company, setting you apart from your competitors?

Team MMPL: We have always believed in serving the best product. We follow a stringent policy of zero defect. We are completely dedicated to comply with all the applicable national as well as international laws and regulations pertaining to our trade. We maintain complete cold chain from procuring raw material in refrigerated vans to processing the raw material in desired temperatures to storing products in cold stores and making final shipment in refrigerated trucks to increase longevity of our products.

We have a team of qualified employees. We have high sensitivity metal detectors and mechanized packaging machines. We have in-house logistic support.

We export Block & IQF Frozen Shrimps of various species.

IS: What are the key attributes that helped your company to overcome the challenges that it faced during its establishment?

Team MMPL: Megaa Moda Pvt. Ltd. is led by professionally qualified entrepreneurs. It has strengthened its bricks on contemporary business model unlike conventional business paradigm. We have dared to be different.

During our incubation period, we have always stayed optimistic and found out solutions to our capital requirements. The success can be attributed to our bank the Federal Bank Ltd. who has always backed us very well and supported our journey. Our financial accomplishments were to receive equity participation from West Bengal MSME VC Fund as well as Central Grant from Ministry of Food Processing & Industries.

We are always prepared for constant change and are keeping up with market dynamics.

IS: With the massive tech-enabled advancements, what are the opportunities and challenges evolving with it?

Team MMPL: The company has installed world class infrastructure and machinery including IQF freezer from Sweden whose capacity is 925 kg/hr and shrimp peeling machine from China. We have built in house approved laboratory with all modern equipments at par with world class standards. The peeling machine is 10 times faster than hand peeling. It can significantly reduce labour cost. The peeling is also better as the cut is uniform. It can peel any kind.  IQF is capable of extremely quick freezing of shrimps. IQF is energy efficient. We have installed a blanching line this year.

The main challenge is that the maintenance cost of these machines is quite high. In case of import, if there is any breakdown, it is quite difficult to resolve the matter at the earliest. Spare parts must be kept handy in order to save time and money. We are incorporating tech enabled advancements but what is also of importance is to have enough skills to be able to use that technology.

IS: Share with us your company’s contribution to its sector.

Team MMPL: The marine products exports from India reached 13 lakh tons worth USD 7.08 billion in 2017-18 and registered a double digit growth rate of 20 per cent in value terms as compared to 2007-08. Since 2016, our sales have grown exponentially. Our company’s top line has shot from 58.60 cr in FY 2016-17 (when we were on leased premises) to 114.19 cr in FY 2017-18 (when we had started production in our own unit). Now our top line has touched another milestone of 174.37 cr in FY 18-19. We have registered growth rate of 53 per cent in the last year.   We are expecting to cross landmark of 200 crores in the current year.

IS: How do you motivate creativity and innovation in the workspace while maintaining a healthy work environment?

Team MMPL: Team innovation is the nucleus of every accomplished task. We are keeping our team in loop with our strategies. The team actively participates and we appreciate their inputs.  We encourage different perspectives. The suggestions of the employees don’t go through several layers of approvals which may end up losing its essence. Having a team that shares one vision and works together helps the organization achieve its purpose.

IS: Brief us about the current scenario of Sea Food Industry and your company’s future plans.

Team MMPL: There has been a significant increase in fish production in India in last five decades along with soaring growth in export of fish. The country has exported about 1.4 million tones of fish and fish products in 2018 valuing about 7 billion US dollars.

India has a huge potential for ‘ready to cook’ and ‘cooked’ seafood due to growing number of stores. We are poised to enter domestic markets in 12-18 months by strengthening our brand so that we can secure our place on the shelves of Indian stores. We are on the path to do backward integration into farm level sponsorship and fish feed farming.

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