Neelkanth Shinde: Taking Institutional Food Market to the Next Level

Neelkanth Shinde | Founder | SAFPRO Industries Pvt.Ltd[Indian food market,Indian market Research,marketing channels,healthy product]
Neelkanth Shinde | Founder | SAFPRO Industries Pvt.Ltd[Indian food market,Indian market Research,marketing channels,healthy product]

Each of us, before taking a bold step, have experienced a void of doubts and wondered about the consequences of it inherently. Not only it is a challenge, but it tests the very decree of an individual.  Evaluates a person’s grit and determination in such a way that it brings out the real you. But, right after the step has taken and when all the uncertainties go down the drain; a leader is born. A leader is an individual who is capable of achieving greatness by taking people associated to him to new heights.

Similar to this notion, Neelkanth Shinde – Founder of SAFPRO Industries Pvt. Ltd. is a man with a great zeal of achieving organizational goals at a rapid pace. He is an individual who is taking the Indian Institutional food market to a whole another level.

Industry Overview

As the Indian food market is mostly fragmented, one has to come up with strategies considering all factors, including economic, political, social, technological, analytical, and legal. The market is in need of products with differentiating factors. These factors can be pricing, quality or even the choice of distribution channel and how the sales are catered. The current scenario of the food industry suggests that the growth is upbeat and the market is expanding due to increased disposable income of the middle-class income group of the society for leisure spending.

We are venturing into certain products wherein the growth of the market will be almost above 20% CAGR for the next 5 years,”  describes Neelkanth. “We have helped many of our customers in curtailing down their processes, pertaining to costs and man-hours leading to efficient output,” he further adds.

Three Feathers in the Cap

Neelkanth is a graduate in Electronics Engineering and has an considerable amount of experience as a software professional. He completed his MBA in Marketing from Illinois State University, USA. In the US, he worked as a marketing professional for quite some time and then he returned to India with a mission to start a food manufacturing venture. “We started up in the year 2013 and now we have 40 SKU’s being sold across 5 states in India,” Neelkanth expresses.

Another key person, being a Production Engineer in the company who is strongly proficient in processes and product development is Nilesh Shinde. Nilesh has led the entire product development team in an efficient manner.

Anirudha Kshirsagar is a Co-founder of SAFPRO. With his strong insights in market research and finances, he has helped the company in building new channel models. This has enabled minimization of channel costs for the company and has helped in penetrating the market innovatively. He is a mechanical engineer with seventeen years of banking leadership experience.

Embracing Complexities

The initial challenge for the trio was to create the brand’s footprint in the market which was dictated by well-established MNC’s and industry giants. “Our motivation during the trying times was our mission to introduce healthy foods for the millennial in the Indian market,” explain the founding members.

Another challenge that the founders came across was developing a value chain. It was supposed to be personalized while creating unique product proposition and delivering valuable insights to the customers. This concern included the issue of offering the same product line for the premium to economy level market segments which required tenacious efforts. Our customers don’t expect to procure and forget relationship,” describes Neelkanth. “In the Institutional food market, it is important to pass on the benefits as much as possible to the end consumer,” he adds further.

The growth prospects for the company, projected by the founders will involve scalable models with next-generation tech in the contract manufacturing domain. SAFPRO’s main focus with the assistance of the founding trio will be on effective technology adoption, lean supply chain models, cross-functional human resource, newly evolving sales, and marketing channels. Ultimately, all of the efforts will be channelized towards direct customer service. “Our company’s growth will ultimately lead to our personal growth,” expresses Neelkanth.

The company is currently catering to the HORECA (B2B) channel while strongly pursuing healthy product launches in the retail domain targeting the youth population of the country. “We will be introducing a range of processed foods which will align with our respected Prime Minister Narendra Ji Modi’s ‘Swastha Bharat’ initiative,” shares Neelkanth.

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