India's dairy equipment finds growing market overseas

By SiliconIndia   |   Wednesday, 29 September 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: Even as India continues to import machinery and technologies for upgrading the growing dairy industry, domestic equipment manufacturers are finding a lucrative market overseas.

"With most developed countries focusing on the needs of large dairy units, our equipments are finding ready takers among the small and midsize operations in the US, Canada and other countries," said M.P.S. Chadha, a pioneering diary equipment exporter and a senior official of the Indian Dairy Association.

"Besides undertaking turnkey projects, we also export equipment and accessories like cream separators and milk cans. Much of our sales is targeted at the small farmers and dairy units in the US, many of the European countries and in the neighbouring region," Chadha told IANS.

Some of the major manufacturers are showcasing their products at the ongoing annual dairy meet here to focus on new technologies in a bid to help consolidate India's position as the world's largest milk producer.

India's dairy equipment exports are estimated at around 1 billion ($21 million).

"Several countries are now sourcing laboratory testing equipment from India," said Chadha, who is also proprietor of Chadha Sales Pvt Ltd. that was set up in 1948 and has four manufacturing units in the Indian capital.

One of the largest orders recently executed by Chadha is a turnkey dairy project for Gemcon Group in Bangladesh worth 15 million.

Apart from Western countries, Indian dairy sees much more opportunity in Africa and the Middle East.

"Earlier the European countries used to look to China for cheaper equipment but they are now opting for Indian products that are of good quality and competitively priced," said Jayesh Gosrani, director of the Mumbai-based Goma Engineering Pvt Ltd.

Goma has been finding good response among upcoming local industries and entrepreneurs overseas for its homogenisers for dairy and juice plants. Of its total 80 million turnover, around 30 million is through exports to Africa, the Middle East, France, Switzerland and Southeast Asia.

"Last week a French company came to us after having had a bad experience with Chinese machinery. Besides quality and price, an added attraction is that Indian products can be repaired, unlike Chinese equipment," said Gosrani.

The company has already sold complete plant solutions to food processing and dairy units in the United Arab Emirates and Oman and is exploring opportunities in central Asia.

It is not just private equipment manufacturers that are finding a growing demand overseas but state-owned firms like Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments Ltd (REIL) in Jaipur is also making good headway in countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Russia, Nigeria, Britain and Pakistan.

"Out of our 45,000 units of electronic milk testers sold, around 600 units have been exported in the last seven or eight years," said A.K. Jain, additional general manager marketing of REIL.

Some companies like Benny Impex Private Ltd are importing technology from their overseas partners but at the same time exporting some of their own quality products to the same partners.

"We are exporting products like one-piece anodised aluminium cans and accessories to countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Kenya. We used to import bulk milk coolers but now manufacture them here in collaboration with Fabtek of Germany," said Amit Kothari, managing director of Khambete Kothari.

Having successfully sold several of the bulk milk coolers that help reduce cost of transportation and overcome problems of damage to milk quality, Kothari is now planning exports.

"We are successfully targeting small farms and dairies mainly in Africa, as they have similar dairy practices as in India. Currently our exports of testing equipment and stainless steel cans are to the tune of 17.5 million," said Ashvin Shah, director of Mumbai-based Krishna Marketing.

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