In Conversation with Shri Kalpit Gandhi, Director and CFO – Vadilal Group, Ahmedabad is the next generation entrepreneur. A young blood of Vadilal family sees Innovation and Services as critical factors to do well in Food Industry.
You have been the face of the next generation at Vadilal. What has been your experience and challenges?
Whatever I am today is all because of the hard work & dedication of my parents and relatives through the years. It required a lot of hard work and I never enjoyed the summer vacations as it is the peak time of my business. My up bringing in the Vadilal family allowed me to a vigorous global exposure and I had an hands down experience in various aspects of Ice-cream business. Global exposure allowed me to understand different consumer groups across the globe, their needs, buying behavior and priorities. For example while Indians in India hace craze for chocolates, NRIs go for traditional flavours.
Is there any new way that you are looking at business today?
Yes as I said different groups require different products and at different price points. We at Vadilal offer different varieties and flavours to customers at different prices. Various Varieties are needed now and one brand cannot effectively satiate all, both in quality and in price. How to create as many differentiated products and offerings is now a challenge which we always try to provide an answer to.
Technology has played its own role. Today supply chain management is a critical component in the food industry. Refrigerated vans and computerized systems enabling data logging gives real time control on operations which has a positive impact on services provided.
How has been the entry in new Gelato segment?
My sister Aastha visited Europe and came up with the idea of introducing Gelato in Gujarat. She spent considerable time in Italy learning the knitty gritties of the business.
Vadilal has introduced Gelato with the name Melt-In and is believed to be the intensely Naturally flavoured offering. There are over 500 recipes of Gelato which were learnt Astha.
Please tell us more about your experience on Melt In.
Melt In completed 4 years, recently. Has two sales points across the city. The store is among the highest grossing store (In terms of revenue), in Ahmedabad. Melt In prepares gelatos and sorbets. These offer a fresher and more intense taste as compared to a normal ice cream. Gelatos are creamier in texture in spite of having 50% less fat content (as compared to a normal ice cream)
In Melt In Gelatos/ Sorbets there are no added colors, artificial flavors or preservative. It is 100% natural, fresh and vegetarian. Best of ingredients sourced from across the globe. Apart from milk and cream, almost 80% of the ingredients come from outside India. In spite of being creamier in taste, it has less fat content as compared to ice cream. Higher nutrition value, because it is purely made from natural ingredients.
Gelatos are slow churned (in the preparation process) and hence has much less air inside it. It is almost twice as dense as compared to a normal ice cream. Hence even the quantity in cup (in terms of weight), is twice as much as compared to popular conventional ice cream brands. Hot favorites here are Melt In Special, Raspberry Range & White chocolate mangoes in total of 12 wonderful flavors served at Melt In.
What piece of advice would you give to budding young foodepreneurs?
The important advice to the youth who wants to become entrepreneurs in food industry is to focus on two things: Innovations & Service as I believe that Ahmedabad really needs to improve on service. Innovation is important to be competitive and to fulfill the ever changing taste of the people.