Keventer Group chalks out plans to boost its dairy business

KOLKATA: Kolkata-based Rs.273-crore Metro Dairy is expecting a major boost to its ice-cream and milk business, in West Bengal, beginning this fiscal.

Metro Dairy - a 53 per cent joint venture of the MK Jalan controlled Rs.2,000-crore Keventer Group - is a clear market leader in both ice-cream and milk business in Kolkata and its suburbs

On the flipside, the company had limited reach in the rest of the State.

The profitability was also under pressure as Metro didn’t have access to raw milk and was fully dependent on skimmed milk powder. Metro is now addressing both the areas.

Leader in Ice-cream

The company has just inaugurated its 10,000 per day capacity ice-cream manufacturing facility at Rs.35-40 crore, at Malda in North Bengal.

The new facility will exclusively cater the entire North Bengal as well as parts of South Bengal districts adjoining Malda.

Kolkata and the South Bengal will be fed by the company’s existing facility at Barasat near Kolkata.

"Metro Dairy will be the leading player in Bengal over the next one year," Mayank Jalan, Keventer group’s Managing Director told BusinessLine.

Dairy biz

Mayank insisted that the company will continue to focus on volume sales rather than the value segment.

“Our highest sales are in one litre blocks. We would hold on to that advantage,” he added. To rejuvenate its dairy business; the group is now setting up Rs.68-crore project near Bhagalpur in Bihar.

It will source raw milk from the local market and produce concentrates for use in West Bengal dairy facility.

The project will take at least two years to be operational.

The move will help the company to avoid volatility in skim milk prices. Due to high exports skim milk prices shot up in 2013-14.

As a resulting impact, Metro ended the year with Rs.88 crore loss.