Thank U Foods is a brand created from the heart to touch millions of hearts.S.M.A Jinnah, Founder of Indian Association for the Blind believed in making the visually challenged self-reliant.
Fulfilling his father’s dream M.Abdul Raheem, Founder & CEO, Thank U Foodsstarted food production by giving employment to differently abled people, especially the blind.
The brand has expanded from being sold to close families to 600 plus corporate clients and being present online, the brand has come a long way. The Founder talks about the journey of the brand and its future plans.
1.How did Thank You Foods get started? What is the purpose behind this venture?
Thank U foods evolved from Mr. S.M.A. Jinnah’s (Founder, Indian Association for the Blind – www.theiab.org ) goal of making the visually challenged self-reliant. This belief that if given equal opportunities the Blind youths can deliver world-class products and services is the principle by which Thank U foods is built.
How Did We Start?
Unlike others, differently abled people have to go a step further to take care of their survival needs. They are not given a job easily everywhere. We hired them, supported them, secured them with a job at Thank U Foods, so they can take care of themselves. They deserve a chance to live life like everyone else.
We know that everyone have always been looking for branded and fresh food products, but the demand for quality and tasty snacks never ended. We wanted to feed this never ending demand and serve people with the best food products ever!
One fine day, Mr.M.Abdul Raheem (Founder & CEO – Thank U Foods) had a thought of starting-up our own production unit and providing employment to the visually challenged rather than searching for workers. Our thoughts lead to action and we started producing cookies and cakes. And yes, that is when Thank U Foods was born! And in a short time, our visually challenged entrepreneurs were successfully selling in corporate cafeterias! Thanks to everyone for their support for our cause.
2.What is the vision of your organisation and what do you wish to achieve from this venture?
Our main vision is to build a social impacting brand by producing and serving
world-class snacks and creating meaningful livelihood opportunities for differently abled persons. With the help of Thank U Foods, we were able to achieve our vision for 50+ differently abled families and hope to achieve more in the future with all your support.
3.How many SKUs do you have right now and what are your future plans?
Currently we have 20 SKUs under the following category
Our future plan is to launch more healthy SKUs for our valuable customers.
4.What are the sales channels for your brand?
Currently we are in
- E-commerce – thankufoods.com
- We have partnered with 600+ corporates for birthday orders of their employees and cafeteria kiosks,
- Marketplace – Amazon.
- Exploring retail and outlet channels
5.Since the production of cookies and snacks involve oven and other equipment how do you train your staff to take care of safety measures?
We have a professional chef who trains the differently abled team on product execution & machinery handling. The safety measures, necessary food standards & norms as per FSSAI regulations are being followed. We have 2-3 persons trained as per Food safety standards.
6.What are your highest selling brands?
Thank U Foods – Palm Jaggery Mysore Pak, Millet based Namkeen
7.You have won a number of National Awards. How does it feel to be recognized for your work?
We as an organisation have won 3 National awards from the President of India for its pioneer service in the field of visually challenged. We feel much honoured and privileged to receive such prestigious awards.
8.With the help of this organisation how many differently-able people have you been able to impact?
Through Thank U Foods we are currently supporting 50+ differently abled families to be self-reliant.
For the past 36 years IAB has supported 30000+ visually challenged across Tamil Nadu
9.How do you plan to expand your retail presence?
We plan to expand our retail presence in metros. To start with, we are planning to open in Chennai
10.What is your message to those who are differently-able and wish to do something for the larger good?
Sometimes, society overestimates the problems of the differently abled and underestimates the potentials of them. Prove yourselves, focus on opportunities and achieve success!