Food Marketing and Technology Magazine, India had an interaction with Rajat Gupta, Founder & CEO TESSOL. He talks about the importance of cold chain and challenges and opportunities in this sector.
1 Could you tell us about TESSOL? When did you start and your vision for the organization?
We are one of the leading Cold Chain solutions providers in India. We started in 2013 with a vision to build products to enable viable and reliable cold chain applications across all food and pharma sectors and areas. We have worked with more than 200 customers over last 8 years and have built a fair expertise on Cold Chain distribution while also forging relationships with companies that offer end to end solutions to these brands. We primarily work and focus on technology like Battery SWAP and TAMsys to offer better quality solutions to our clients and customers across the country. This further gives us an edge in the cold chain space where we want to establish an identity for ourselves in the coming times.
2 How big is the cold chain in India and its growth percentage?
The cold chain segment is growing rapidly with the rise in demand for vaccinations and other food essentials in the pandemic. Also, there is growing demand for processed food products and growth of retail and e-commerce space have been other contributing factors. The Indian cold chain market was valued at Rs. 1,285 billion in 2020. Between 2022-2027, it is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 14.3% and touch Rs. 2,865 billion by 2027.
3 How was the year 2021 for TESSOL so far?
2021 was a challenging one especially given the several constraints that COVID 19 brought on our personal and professional lives. Ensuring smooth business operations while keeping employees’ well-being and their safety as top priority were greatest challenge for us. In terms of growth and revenue, overall, it was a good year for us. We were receiving a lot of projects with the increase in the demand for food and pharma ecommerce and the increased customer awareness on sustainable cooling.
4 What challenges do you face in scaling up your business in India?
Hiring the right talent is a big challenge. Ours is a very niche sector and our operations require very specialised skills. Hence finding candidates who not just have the right skills, but are also a good fit culturally is a big challenge for us. The other factor was gaining consumer trust. Gaining trust of consumers especially in industry like ours isn’t easy due to the nature of services we offer. Fortunately, our investment in building superior technology has worked and we have overcome this situation quite well.
5 What are the steps that you take to prevent food safety so that food do not get spoilt in transit as we have extreme weather in India?
This is one of the crucial aspects of our business. Our technology helps our clients ensure product quality and reduce food wastage significantly. Our solutions from farm to fork ensure products quality is maintained across the value chain. As one of the growing companies in the Cold chain space, we have come up with innovative solutions, recent being indiWRAP to address this issue. The indiWRAP solution helps in saving the food from getting affected by the cold or heat outside while maintaining the quality of the food on the go.
6 Cold chain requires energy and energy rates are high. How does your company manage the cost of energy?
We have been adopting sustainable solutions from last couple of years and it has helped us reduce the cost, efficiently. We are also exploring other options that can prove beneficial to us, our customers and clients. Also, we are trying to go low-cost wherever we can, from saving energy being used in functioning equipment to running a whole Cold storage facility.
7 We are in the Covid era thus we have stop-and-go situations arising at any time. How are your coping up with the situation in terms of managing manpower and business?
We understand that the times are tough. Therefore, we are working on innovative solutions to ease the situation. Employees are also co-operating with us. The Human resource management department along with the business operations team are also trying to come with strategies that can help resolve the dissonance occurring between managing manpower and business and thereby, aiding in running business more effectively and efficiently.
8 You deal with a lot of sectors within the food industry say dairy, meat, etc. Which one is the most challenging?
All sectors are equally challenging since in every segment we are dealing with highly perishable goods. Chances of spoilage in all cases is very high. While spoilage is very easy to identity in items like ice-cream which will change form and shape if they melt and refreeze, damage might not be so easily visible in items like dairy, poultry and chocolates which sometimes are thawed and refrozen due to improper cold chain. Temperature maintenance is especially critical for pharma applications wherein the product completely loses its efficacy if the cold chain is disrupted. Solutions such as ours help maintain accurate temperatures thereby ensuring product reliability and efficacy.
9 What projection do you have for the year 2022?
From the last few years, we have been working very strategically. This year, we are looking forward to lead the Cold Chain segment in India. We recently launched indiWRAP, one of the most innovative solutions for our food and pharma brands to help them tap into a wider customer base for themselves. We also have our year end activities planned and in pipeline on which we are focusing strongly in order to get a better hold of the market in the Cold Chain space in India.