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Hailing from the heart of India, Bakers Ville is one of the vibrant companies in the food industry located in Indore. Known for its unique and vast range of bakery ingredients including cake decoration, chocolate decoration, bakery equipment, bakery tools, and food packaging Bakers Ville is a known name in the Indian bakery segment. With a vision to be a part of every celebration, Mr. Neeraj Murdia laid the foundation of Bakers Ville in the year 2011. Having experience in the trade segment of the food and beverage industry, Mr. Murdia has done extensive research and come up with a mission to provide a one-stop solution for all baking and food decoration products with innovation and leveraging the technologies with utmost care. From a trader to the importer to a manufacturer, Neeraj has spent a good amount of time in understanding the ever-changing trends in the market and conducted a survey globally to get a clear picture of the market and what consumer is seeking, thereafter inducing unique innovative products for the bakery industry in the country. As a result, they have started their own manufacturing units and successfully caters for a wider set of customers across the globe, this happened in a short span of time which is a big achievement. Within 5 years, the company has established a very effective sales channel and ensured that high-quality products reached the market. He also holds the credit of launching live cake-decoration demos and photo-printing technology for cakes in India. He also owns Mayur Corporation.
In conversation with ChefBharath.com, Mr. Neeraj Murdia, Founder and Director, Bakers Ville India Pvt. Ltd speaks on the organization, the Indian bakery sector, and their expansion plans. Edited excerpts.
Explain your retail concepts ‘FDS Food Décor Shop’ or ‘House of BakersVille’.
We have them in more than 20 cities where we have all the products in one premise. We utilize our network of distributors, we have a vast distribution network across India, currently, we have about 350 distributors on board. We have our brand presence in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jalgaon, Chennai, Coimbatore, Kozhikode, Kannur, and Visakhapatnam to name a few. We don’t have franchising stores everywhere in the country.
How difficult have the last two years been for you as a business owner to run the daily operations? What were your learnings during the pandemic?
When the first lockdown was imposed, we were completely disheartened and thought it was going to hit our business big time. However, in contrast, we found hope because home baking was the new trend starting in 2020, we took the challenge as an opportunity. Later on, we didn’t face a decline in business. In fact, I can say that the last two years have been really good for us as we serve the best of our products in time, of course, there were challenges like any other industry about the safety and health concerns for the employees, but we did the best to serve the consumers by following all the necessary precautions while running the business. The retail business has become bigger. During the pandemic, we realized that every home can be a bakery and we focussed on products that would touch the end consumer easily.
Have you noticed any significant change in consumers’ consumption habits?
Yes, we have noticed significant changes in consumers’ behavior. They are now more precautious and aware of the products they are using and they want to know more about the ingredients of the products they are consuming. I think that is a really good sign of getting quality assured products in the market. In fact, such expectations from the consumers had ended up in the significant rise in the home baking segment. Many are trying to try baking at their home.
India is the second-largest producer of bakery products after the US, whereas home bakers are booming in the country. What innovation tips would you like to give for Gen-Z and millennials entering the bakery segment?
We are in really good shape for the bakery industry as more people are becoming aware and are considering proper hygiene and want to use better ingredients. I would like to suggest this to every consumer who is buying the products. They should see all kinds of details on the packaging and make sure if the ingredients are certified and if the company is following all the protocols of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). There are many players in the market who aren’t using quality edibles for bakery products which will be harmful to consumers.
What are your expansion plans?
If we talk about India, we have a huge potential and growing market within our country right now. We have product ranges for tier 1 and tier 2 cities, this is because bakery stores are everywhere and they are doing pretty good even in small towns. Also, after this lockdown home baking is booming as a result of people adopting home baking as a hobby or small part-time businesses, this is also a good sign for the food industry. As for the international market, we are supplying a few of the neighboring countries as of now. Later on, we can definitely look for expansion towards other countries too. Also, we have manufacturing units in our city Indore as well as in Mumbai and Delhi. In the coming years, there will be more manufacturing units in the country because it is needed to fill the demand and supply gap as the bakery market is expanding. Our existing manufacturing units have whip creams, colors, fruit crushes and we feel that manufacturing is the need of any industry as the volume goes bigger in any segment.