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Middleby Celfrost’s aims to achieve 30 to 40 pc of Goa’s market in 2-3 years

Middleby Celfrost has more than 90 plus brands of equipment, which are used in commercial kitchens. What makes the company different is that it does not push its products to consumers. Rather, it asks them what they need and offers them a solution. With its channel partner called Suvidha Kitchen, the company has started a showroom in Porvorim. The Goan caught up with Balaji Subramaniam, director, Middleby Celfrost Innovation while he was in the State

19th August 2019, 02:20 Hrs

The Goan Network

The Goan: Tell us a bit about your product line and how do you expect to interact with consumers in Goa?

Balaji Subramaniam: We have 90 plus brands in our portfolio, but when a customer comes to our showroom, we don’t push a brand to him. Rather, we give him a solution based on his needs. Let us say that you want to start a burger joint. We will ask you questions like: How much volume do you expect to have? Do you have peak times and low times? Is there a way you can preplan cooking and then give finishing touches when customers come? All these things play into the picture.

After knowing your need, we will show you a range of equipment like griddles, charbroilers and fryers and we have several brands for them as well. Accordingly, we will find a suitable brand and a product for you.

TG: Could you tell us about which brands you have?

BS: Let’s say you want to open a pizzeria. We have a product, which makes pizza from frozen dough in 90 seconds. Within the pizza category, we have brands like Middleby Marshall, Marsal, Beech and TurboChef. The brand ‘Marsal’ makes big ovens around which people build restaurants. Then, of course, we have Celfrost, which is one of India’s biggest commercial refrigeration brand.

We wouldn’t keep all the brands and products at our showroom. When a customer comes to our showroom, we will show him what we have; but if his application needs a product we don’t have right there, we can always make it available for him. The idea of having a retail showroom is to have a place where people come and ask questions and get into a dialogue with our staff.

TG: There are a number of small cafes in Goa, which do good business. But, they are not willing to spend more than Rs 5 to 6 lakhs on equipment because they think that kind of sum is way beyond their pocket. How would you target such a segment?

BS: I will give you an example. In Kolkatta, samosa is a favourite snack of people. Every street in the city has multiple outlets selling samosas. We have affordable and efficient equipment for frying samosas under the brand ‘Pitco’. In fact, we have sold one such fryer to a person frying chicken on a stall by a roadside in Kolkata and it is working wonderfully well for him.

TG: Which segments will you be targeting in Goa?

BS: Our main target segments are hospitality, QSR (quick service restaurants) and institutions in Goa. QSR includes restaurants like Domino’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, etc. where you get food in less than five minutes. Institutions mean a government undertaking or a company’s factory, where food is served to a large number of people every day.

TG: Where do you see yourself in Goa’s market in 2-3 years?

BS: If you look at Goa’s market for commercial foodservice equipment, it is Rs 35-40 crore on a yearly turnover basis. And, the growth rate is 15%. Once people see our products, our efficiency, we are sure that we will grow faster than the market. We are aiming to achieve a 30% to 40% market share in 2-3 years.

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