Jan 14, 2013, 07.47 PM | Source: SME Mentor
Milk doesn't get any purer than white gold farmed and processed in the Hindi heartland.
“Over the years, we have gone from processing 400 litres of milk in a 500-square yard factory to 400 litres a day,” says Managing Director Atul Mehra, who launched his company in 1992. When he opened his second factory, at Jainpur, Mehra realised that modern equipment and even a committed workforce can get an entrepreneur only so far, especially when you’re 70 km from the big city. “We didn’t even have a landline telephone connection then, so staying in touch with our customers, retailers and even our own staff was impossible.”
Mehra had turned his enterprise from a virtually home-grown dairy to one that produces a range of dairy products under the Ujjwal, Shikhar and Verifresh brands. It was time to expand and there was only one way to do it by getting connected. “We took a corporate connection from Vodafone and gave our key staff BlackBerry phones. We also acquired an Internet lease line. This opened a whole new world of communication for us. The best part is that, with connectivity, the quality of our products improved because response time to problems went down and operations were also streamlined,” says Mehra.
Once Tasty Dairy was on the communications radar, it was only a matter of time before it acquired a toll-free number. “Customer feedback is crucial to any business and thanks to our toll-free number, we began to receive five to seven calls a day from customers and 5,000 feedback calls a month from retailers.” The toll-free service also brought down communication costs significantly, which resulted in valuable cost savings.
But modern telecommunications had one more boon in store. The dairy began to track its milk trucks and tankers via GPS that was provided by Vodafone. “We source milk from distant centres and distribute our products to places as far away as Kochi. With this GPS service, we know exactly where our trucks are at any point in time,” says Mehra, who keeps a close eye on operations at his dairy.
Mehra says his company aims to cross a turnover of Rs 300 crore by the end of 2012, which is no empty boast. But this first-generation entrepreneur knows there’s more to running a successful enterprise than hard-nosed business sense. It’s all about moving with the times and a helping hand from your friendly neighbourhood telecom operator!