SAJ Food Products Pvt Ltd, makers of the popular Bisk Farm biscuits, is set to commission its first plant in South India on Wednesday, allowing it to tap the Deccan states and strengthen its pan India presence.
Built at an investment of Rs 100 crore, the plant on the outskirts of Bangalore, will have a monthly capacity of about 3,000 tonnes, making it the sixth unit of the Calcutta-based company.
Founded two decades ago by late K. D. Paul, SAJ has four plants in Bengal and one in Nagpur, Maharashtra. The southern states were previously being fed from Nagpur before the facility in Bangalore came up.
Arpan Paul, managing director of SAJ, said the existing capacity of the company is about 14,000 tonnes a month. “The Bangalore plant will make biscuits, cakes, wafers and rusk. With this unit, Bisk Farm brand will be present in 23 states,” he said.
SAJ is likely to report a growth of 13 per cent in turnover at Rs 1,700 crore in 2021-22, with a part of the increase coming from a price hike compared with an increase in volume.
Prices of wheat flour and edible oil, the two main ingredients for SAJ apart from sugar, are on the boil and the Russia-Ukraine war could further roil the market. “Just as we were coming out of Covid, the war is now threatening to escalate inflation, which will squeeze discretionary spend,” Paul said.
When the inflation bites, consumers tend to stick to known brands. For a challenger brand like Bisk Farm in the southern states, it may not be the ideal situation. Paul, however, remained confident that the new plant would be able to reach full capacity in 3-4 years, contributing about Rs 500 crore to the topline.
Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan and former India cricket captain Sourav Ganguly are brand ambassadors for the company. Plans are also afoot to set up a new plant in the North.