In conversation with Vinod Rajasekharan, Director of Sales and Marketing at stonefield flavors, we discuss the company’s journey, the intricacies of the flavor industry, and the company’s plans for the future.
Q1. How has the trajectory of your company been so far and what are the learnings you have harbored so far?
stonefield flavours embodies the fulfillment of an ambitious Indian aspiration to establish a global presence in the flavour industry. Today, we are the fastest growing flavour manufacturing company in India with key global footprints.
Driven by the purpose of creating delightful tastes with a creative signature, stonefield flavours was designed to become the first multinational flavor company from India which would be renowned for its exceptional customer experience and world-class taste solutions. We adopted an applications-driven business model, which has set us apart from the competition and allowed to achieve the following key milestones:
- Exceptional Customer Experience: stonefield’s focus on providing outstanding customer experiences has been a driving force behind our success. By actively engaging with our clients, understanding their needs, and delivering high-quality flavours and taste solutions, we have consistently delighted our customers.
- End-to-End Product Co-Creation: Our unique approach involves working closely with clients throughout the entire product development cycle. From ideation to consumer insights, product development, and scale-up support, stonefield acts as a complete taste solution partner for our customers. This end-to-end collaboration ensures that the final product aligns with customer expectations and market demand.
- Solution-Centric Approach: stonefield’s commitment to being a solution-centric company focuses on understanding the challenges and timely needs of customers and providing tailored solutions. It demonstrates that the company is not just centered on selling flavors but rather solving problems and helping clients win in the marketplace.
- Speed to Market: Another critical aspect of our success has been the ability to ship the products within a very short span of time. Being a Bangalore-based company that sources majority of its ingredients locally, we are able to quickly service our customers. Being responsive and efficient in the development and delivery of customized flavour solutions has helped the company stay ahead of the competition and gain the trust of our clients.
Q2. How do you see the future of taste solutions evolving, and what steps is the company taking to stay at the forefront of this industry?
At stonefield, we recognize that product differentiation is a critical strategy for our customers to maintain a competitive edge in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry. Thus, we place a strong emphasis on understanding market trends and consumer preferences. By investing in extensive market research and consumer studies, we gain valuable insights into evolving tastes and demands. This information allows us to proactively offer our customers innovative product ideas and taste solutions that keep them relevant in a dynamic and crowded marketplace.
Our commitment to staying ahead involves a dedication to continuous innovation. Staying updated on the technological front is crucial in delivering maximum value to our customers. We invest in cutting-edge technology and keep pace with advancements in flavor development and product application. Thus, we are actively preparing to shape the future of taste by leveraging market research, consumer insights, innovation, and technological advancements.
Q3. What are your plans for the near future, and do you have any new projects lined up?
We are committed to maintaining our customer-centric approach as the primary objective in the growth plan. Some strategic initiatives and new projects lined up for the future are the following,
Expansion of Dairy Flavor Portfolio: stonefield recently launched the largest dairy flavour technology plant in India. This has helped in bolstering the company’s capabilities in the dairy flavor segment. By enhancing our dairy flavor portfolio, we are poised to meet the growing demands for premium quality dairy flavors that can enhance the mouthfeel and richness of any product which has dairy as an ingredient.
Strengthening Chocolate Flavor Portfolio: In addition to dairy, we are also focusing on enhancing our expertise in cocoa extracts to strengthen our chocolate flavor portfolio. The intention is to offer a wide range of high-quality chocolate flavours to cater to the ever-growing global demand for a variety of chocolate flavors in a myriad range of applications.
Encapsulated Flavors: Recognizing the potential of encapsulated flavors, especially within the pharmaceutical and nutrition category, we are strategically focusing on this area. Encapsulated flavors offer various advantages, such as controlled release and improved stability in range of applications including nutrition powders, beverage and cake premixes etc.
Stonefield is dedicated to building on its strengths to support customers throughout the product development process. The company will continue to collaborate closely with clients, offering its expertise and experience to co-create products that align with customer needs and market trends.