Maintaining taste, texture with minimum manual intervention was most challenging: AK Tyagi

In this series, Campaign India speaks with Indian brands that set up operations in the country pre-independence and continue to dominate their space

Aug 09, 2022 09:28:00 AM | Article | Campaign India Team

Ahead of Independence Day, Campaign India speaks with Indian brands that set up operations in the country pre-independence and continue to dominate their space to understand how they have  evolved. Read on to understand how these brands aim to stay relevant for the next 75 years...
 
Here's an excerpt of our chat with AK Tyagi, executive director, Haldiram Snacks.
 
The biggest advantage of being an Indian brand in the Indian market? Does it help gain consumers’ trust?
 
Yes, with the current ‘Make in India’ campaign, being an Indian brand sure has its advantages. However, we at Haldiram have been thriving on consumer trust due to the quality and consistency of taste which we have offered consumers over time.
 
The brand’s marketing strategy when it began versus now?
 
The main pillars of our strategy are innovation, quality, taste, acquisitions and technology. The strategy evolved over the years. In the beginning, we pioneered packed snacks in flexible packing to give them better shelf life. We have introduced ‘on the go’ packs for multiple occasions. We also increased our distribution horizontally and vertically during the last decade, so that our products are available at an arms’ length to the consumer.
 
Your biggest competitors when you began – do they exist now?
 
We have a vast portfolio of traditional snacks and western snacks, and we have been competing with branded and unbranded players over the years. Some branded competitors still exist, while some don’t today.
 
What was the toughest marketing decision the company took in the last 75 years?
 
Implementing technology was the toughest decision. We induct technology since the industry was and still is labour-dependent and products like Bhujia, Aloo Bhujia, Khatta Meetha Mixture Navrattan, Punjabi Tadka, Ladoos, Soan Papdi and many others were difficult to make in terms of product texture and taste, without manual intervention. We have done a lot of R&D to remove the manual process and replace it with technology, giving the consumers the same taste and texture with minimum manual intervention.
 
How do you aim to keep the company relevant for the next 75 years?
 
We have been diversifying the categories and products depending on the changing consumer expectations, demand and experience. We are adding many other categories which will help us survive for years to come. We conduct continuous market research and innovation and decide on product development/improvement depending on our consumers’ expectations from time to time. 
 
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