By Ayshwaria Lakshmi
A Tamil Nadu-based food products brand, Gharuda’s, has entered the market with a lofty goal to market affordable, yet quality instant food products in the global market. It promises to provide instant food products without chemical preservatives. “My intention was providing quality food. As I worked hard on bringing my concept to fruition, I realized our own traditions and quality foods are plenty. So, I wanted to present the real taste of south Indian food to the world,” reveals its founder, D. Shivraj.
Gharuda’s products have been tested and tasted in the foreign markets, where they have been received well. The manufacturer has already begun exporting to countries like Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore and the United States. “South Indian cuisine has a unique taste. There is a vast market outside India for these products; there is also a lot of demand within our country,” adds Mr Shivraj.
The products have been tested in labs for nearly three years to perfect a recipe using natural methods. Gharuda has a tie-up with the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) to increase the shelf life of the products up to one year. As Mr Shivraj puts it, “This is quite possible using our natural products and ancient methods for storage to extend the shelf life of any food.”
Extended shelf life means a lot to the brand, as it aspires to take south Indian cuisines to the rest of the world. “We have research going on in this regard. If we want to export our products to the U.S., we need the shelf life to be one-and-a-half years. Only then can we send it in containers that are less expensive than air carriages – the current transport medium of our products,” point outs Mr Shivraj. “Our motto is to provide the best quality product at an affordable price, without adulteration.”
Gharuda’s has a bevy of biologists and food tech researchers, apart from IIFPT contributing ideas and techniques, to make its products better. It has also partnered up with a few laboratories in Chennai for this purpose. Its products went through a fresh round of recipe alteration last month following the R&D work and duly received IIFPT approval. Other than instant products, Gharuda’s specializes in multigrain laddus. One of their noteworthy products is powdered idli and dosa batter. These products are positioned to provide the same taste and texture as homemade batters.
Biryani mix is another delicious product from the house of Gharuda’s. The mix lets one rustle up a mean biryani in 20 minutes rather than the usual 40 minutes, claims Mr Shivraj. He further says that as challenging can perfecting a recipe be, procurement of raw materials is also equally difficult.
Gharuda’s currently buys its goods from the south Indian market and from the owners’ farms. “We have plans to launch south Indian namkeens in the market. We figured a huge demand for tasty namkeens in the northern regions of our country and overseas markets from our extensive research. Therefore, we want to take the real south Indian taste to those markets,” divulges Mr Shivraj on his company’s expansion plans, before signing off, “We also have plans to upgrade our technologies in the future.”