Namdhari Group CEO Gurmukh Roopra

Bengaluru, NFAPost: Namdhari’s Group, one of India’s leading agri-production companies, is expecting to increase its exports business from around 2500 MT in FY 22 to 3500 MT in FY 23.

Namdhari’s has established its presence as a significant player in quality seeds for international and domestic markets and fresh fruits and vegetables for exports. The company currently exports a range of fresh vegetables to Western Europe, Australia and Middle East and will be adding new products as well.

With more than 500 commercial varieties of seeds in 20 different crops under its belt, Namdhari’s Seeds develops hybrids that suit diverse market requirements, match regional preferences and are also disease resistant and yield tasty produce.

Today, Namdhari’s has seed-producing facilities spread across India. Namdhari Seeds has also expanded its research and sales activity in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia in South East Asia and Middle East countries. They are one of the very few seed companies in India which has grown locally and expanded internationally.

Namdhari Group CEO Gurmukh Roopra said the domestic market contributes 75% of the company’s revenues and the remaining 25% is accounted for from exports.

“The total exports for the current financial year would be in the region of around 2500 metric tonnes and we are aiming to increase this to 3500 metric tonnes in the coming financial year. Our largest exports would be to Western Europe,” Namdhari Group CEO Gurmukh Roopra.

He also said all Namdhari produce conforms to the stringent quality norms of the countries that it export to.

“A lot of our produce makes its way to super markets across the world. We have certified pack house from APEDA for export of vegetables and fruits, we are certified by BRC & FSSAI,” said Namdhari Group CEO Gurmukh Roopra.

With regard to the domestic market, Namdhari Group CEO Gurmukh Roopra said the company produces and handle more than 200 tonnes a day of fresh fruits and vegetables.

“We work closely with dedicated farmers and also grow a variety of domestic and exotic crops in our own state-of-the-art farms spread across the country. We are the largest producer of Baby Corn in India and grow off season and exotic fruits and vegetables through the year,” said Namdhari Group CEO Gurmukh Roopra.

Crops like tomatoes, chillies, watermelon and melons were a huge success and benefitted lakhs of farmers around the country.

“At one stage, the seeds had to be sold under the supervision of the Government because of huge demand. We were able to achieve this success mainly due to the indigenous breeding program with most of the crop development programs being run in different parts of the country,” says Namdhari Group CEO Gurmukh Roopra.

Namdhari’s grow strawberries, blueberries, personalised sized and seedless watermelons, a variety of melons, specialty vegetables like lettuce, baby vegetables, micro-greens, orange-flesh sweet potato, butternut squash, a variety of tomatoes, gourds, cucumber, chilli and okra among others.

The company has a 200-acre farm in Bidadi, near Bangalore houses Namdhari’s R&D centre. The R&D department in Namdharis houses molecular biology, tissue culture, plant pathology labs. Additionally, the company has research and trial stations in different parts of the country. More than 30 scientists are employed in this department.

Namdhari Group CEO Gurmukh Roopra said India has become the second largest vegetable producer in the world and the seed industry has contributed immensely through genetically superior seeds.

“Among the Indian companies Namdhari Seeds is one of the largest sellers and exporters of vegetable seeds in the country. Many small growers benefit by growing our seeds. We provide technology for the seed production in different parts of the country,” said Namdhari Group CEO Gurmukh Roopra.

Presently there are more than 10,000 growers producing seeds for us, each grower will be creating an employment of 5-10 persons.

“Today, Namdhari’s is India’s only true seed to plate company with an outward looking approach having operations in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico, Turkey and Bulgaria. We not only produce fruits, vegetables and staples, but also make them available to people via large format retail stores, which include kitchens that craft signature delicacies for patrons,” said Namdhari Group CEO Gurmukh Roopra.

Namdhari’s have 23 Namdhari’s Fresh stores and 8 Simpli Namdhari’s stores. As a concept, the Namdhari’s Fresh stores are smaller in size, 1200-1500 sqft, with limited assortment, correlating with how modern retail in India began.

Namdhari Group CEO Gurmukh Roopra said the company had the first Simpli Namdhari’s store in 2019 and because of Covid the outlet are not able to move faster.

“Over the last few months, we have put up another seven Simpli Namdhari’s stores in and around Bangalore. We introduced Simpli Namdhari’s as a concept of how the future retail should look in India. We focused on consistency, better range, live kitchen concepts and the overall look and feel,” Namdhari Group CEO Gurmukh Roopra.

Simpli Namdhari’s as a concept is what the company believes is how the future of retail in India should look like.

“We also feel it is more modern and the perspective of what an Indian shopper should see. Simpli Namdhari’s stores provide a better experience for customers. The average Simpli Namdhari’s store would be anywhere between 5000 to 9000 sqft,” said Namdhari Group CEO Gurmukh Roopra.

Namdhari’s Group is aiming to become a leading regional player in the state before expanding its operations to Hyderabad. The company is planning an investment of Rs. 50 crores in Hyderabad over the next 24 months to set up 5 Simpli Namdhari’s experience stores, growing facilities and stand-alone Simpli Food stores. The company is also planning dairy subscriptions.

Namdhari’s also have their own house brands which include a baked range of snacks, less fried range of snacks, the ready to pick and go food, ready to cook at home food and the dairy range of products including milk.

“We may also look at e-commerce options going forward. In future, we will leverage our strengths in our core verticals to become an omnichannel player. We will continue to tap domestic and export opportunities,” Namdhari Group CEO Gurmukh Roopra.

Namdhari’s is passionate about facilitating young talent and success in the sporting arena. “Specifically, Namdhari’s have a legacy of nurturing hockey talent through their hockey academy that has produced Olympians and National level sportspersons. We believe in promoting sports at the grass roots level. Today, we support football as well, and employ coaches from reputed countries for both sports,” said Namdhari Group CEO Gurmukh Roopra.

About Namdhari’s Group:

Namdhari’s as a group was started around early 80’s as a contract producer for hybrid seeds for export customers, mainly US and Japanese. That is when the business ventured into hybrid seeds research and development in India and that started towards the late 80s and early 90s. That was when Namdhari’s first launched tomato hybrids and watermelon hybrids, pepper hybrids and gained recognition as a pioneer in research and development.

In the late 90s to early 2000s the group went into domestic production of fresh produce again primarily targeting the export market. Shortly after that in 2001-2002 the first Namdhari’s Fresh retail store was opened marking the transition from a seed contractor to a farmer to a retailer providing high quality, freshness and assortment.

Namdhari’s introduced the concept of a salad bar, kitchen bar which was something that was ahead of its time at that time. Today, Namdhari’s produce not just fruits, vegetables and staples but also make them available to people via large format retail stores, which include kitchens that craft signature delicacies for patrons. Namdhari’s Group have 31 operational stores across Bengaluru and are looking to expand operations in Hyderabad in the near future. Chilli peppers, turmeric, gourds and peas to Western Europe, Australia and Middle East.

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