The Telegraph
Wednesday , August 27 , 2014
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Munch it! Makhana in Manhattan

A Bihari in Manhattan longing for his favourite snack made from makhana (gorgon nut) doesn’t have to wait for his holidays to get back home to munch them.

A click on will soon get him his yummy snack delivered at his doorstep.

Patna-based Shakti Sudha Industries, known for manufacturing makhana-made products as well as snacks from chura or bitten rice, will soon start its online e-commerce initiative in 500 cities across the country and in 100 nations around the world.

Said to be the first e-commerce initiative by any Bihar-based industry, the initiative will be formally launched on August 30, Satyajeet Kumar Singh, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Shakti Sudha Industries, told The Telegraph on Tuesday. Singh is also the chairman of the Bihar chapter of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Makhana, which grows in ponds and wetlands, is a crop with high nutritional values. These edible white seeds, which can be roasted or fried, contain high anti-oxidants and prevent the accumulation of toxins in the body. It is highly beneficial for people suffering from hypertension, diabetes and high blood pressure.

“On August 30, we will launch, kick starting our e-commerce initiative. The website would initially cater to Indian clients. Twelve makhana-made products can be ordered online through the website. Most people are nowadays used to online shopping so selling them would not be a problem. Initially, we will serve people of around 500 cities in India and they will get the products delivered at their doorsteps,” Singh said.

He added that in the next 15 days the firm would go global by connecting around 100 countries. “All the logistics regarding this are at the final stage,” Singh said.

Bihar produces around 15,000 tonnes of makhana.

“It is one of the most popular snacks of Bihar. In other cities and nations, it is sold at a very high price. We have done our homework before deciding to launch the product. The makhana-made products will be of very good quality and at the same time cheap too. In countries like US, makhana products are sold at anything between Rs 1,800 to Rs 2,000 per kg. Through our site, one can order a 250-gm pack of a makhana-made product for just Rs 200. We have entered into deals with prominent courier companies like FedEx to ensure that the ordered products reach fresh and on time because most products would be either baked or fried. We have also tied up with Amazon for online sales,” Singh said.

The CEO added that other makhana-made products like kheer, flour, cornflakes, health food and drinks, will also be available online.

“While in events, meetings and expos in and outside the state, people have asked me why our products are not available in so many other places. The state government has talked about e-commerce initiatives always but has not been able to start them. I hope our initiative will have a positive impact on Bihar’s industrialisation process and take the state on the global map,” Singh said.