In conversation with Mr. Anil Ahuja, Managing Director, Super Bakers India who took over the reins of the business some 10 years back. A commerce graduate Mr. Ahuja has contributed through his leadership to modernize and revamp the traditional system of baking bread. The company under his fold has diversified into many new products.
You are one of the pioneers in the food industry in Ahmedabad. Tell us something about yourself, your background.
Super Bakers were started by my father Shri Shankar Lal Ahuja in 1978. It was initially started from Vadodara but then we gradually shifted to Ahmedabad. Our early production was largely restricted to Sandwich bread.
What have been the challenges and achievements since you took over?
When I took over the administration of the company ‘Super bread’ was already an established brand so my job was to mainly push the business further up. I did not find any pressure and challenge as I was well aware of all the Knitty-gritty of the business.
My first task was to improve the hygiene factors and so we completely modernized and automated the factory. There was a conscious attempt made to follow the health guidelines of FSSAI norms. Today all our plants are automated with minimum human physical intervention. We were the first in Gujarat to have introduced German machines in 1992. Our capacity to produce bread also increases many folds.
10 years back I realized a great scope in this field. In early years Gujarat used to rely heavily on Besan products and there was a space available for maida and wheat flour products to grow.
There are so many players in this industry. How do you differentiate yourself from others?
I think the two most crucial factors in the Bread industry are to maintain standard quality and ensure prompt and regular service. Milk and bread have to be promptly delivered daily even in difficult situations of curfew, riots, floods, and earthquakes. We have ensured that bread is delivered under any circumstances; we have a strong network of sales professionals. Reaching the delivery at a regular time in the industry
We also have another brand AABAD and MARUTI bread which has a separate unit for marketing reasons. Goodwill among the population has helped us maintain leadership.
What are the highlights of your current ventures? What makes these worth a try?
We have recently ventured into WA WA retail outlets in Ahmedabad. With the new generation which focuses on hygiene, ready to eat products and host of variants in confectionery, we thought of starting these outlets which offer branded and neatly packed Kharis, Muffins, Loafs, Cakes, and Bread of various tastes and flavors. Right now we have 22 such outlets which we plan to increase to 100.
We are also now an official unit for well know Modern Bakery of North India at Ahmedabad. We manufacture bread on their behalf which itself is a great pride for us.
We have started a unit that has diversified into varieties of Rusks, Muffins, and Khari that can be exported with better packaging.
What advice would you give to a young entrepreneur who would like to enter this business?
The coming years are growing to witness huge migration and population explosion in the cities families is set to change the food habits. Bread and ready to eat offers a huge potential for business. Recently one of the biggest manufactures of Bread- a Mexican group – Bimbo merged with Harvest bread of Delhi. Needless to say, many multinational companies will see potential in India and this is a huge opportunity for young entrepreneurs to explore.