Food Technology

Godrej Korber, optimistic on country’s burgeoning cold chain segment

Godrej Korber, optimistic on country's burgeoning cold chain segment
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Godrej Korber is optimistic about the country’s burgeoning cold chain segment.

Godrej Korber, a provider of warehouse automation systems, is optimistic about the country’s burgeoning cold chain segment and is targeting industrial verticals such as dairy, food, and marine processing facilities.

‘Cold chain is quite new to us, and we have only recently begun to capture this sector. We’ve been active in the dairy-based industry and are looking to increase our presence,’ said Suunil Dabral, Senior Vice-President and Business Head at Godrej Korber.

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Godrej Korber’s Story

Godrej Korber is a warehouse automation solutions provider founded by Godrej & Boyce and the Hamburg-based German business Korber. The company supplies storage and automation systems for cold storage and has roughly 45 installations, most of which are in the pharmaceutical industry.

‘We are focusing on modern cold stores that use modern technology and where the investment in robotics and automation can be justified,’ Dabral said, adding that the company has three dairy customers and is in talks with several more.

With its cold chain automation solutions, the company focuses on meat and poultry processing, marine produce processing units, and the food processing sector, in addition to dairy.

Cold chain segment expansion

According to him, the company sees demand for its cold chain automation coming from the southern region, primarily from places around Hyderabad, as well as from the coastal belt, where cold stores are mostly utilized to keep seafood.

According to Dabral, conventional cold chain businesses in the country are growing and automating their systems, while demand is also coming from regional associations and enterprises drawing foreign investment.

According to Dabral, the potential in the cold chain segment is enormous, and the government’s effort to expand the cold chain segment through subsidies is driving expansion. The government offers subsidies ranging from 35% to 50% on capital equipment to set up a cold chain.

In addition, the Ministry of Food Processing’s decision to establish 44 mega food parks is propelling the industry forward. The cold chain industry is predicted to increase to over 2.86 lakh crore by 2027, up from around 1.6 lakh crore now, with an annual growth rate of around 15%.

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Expansion strategies

Godrej Korber, which develops and manufactures its solutions in Ambernath, near Mumbai, employs over 260 people and is growing. ‘We are investing in individuals because this sector requires a higher level of competence and expertise. We are attempting to hire the top personnel in the market because this is a very particular domain with no ready-made resources. Even though India has a large number of software specialists, a domain like this is difficult to find. So we’re hiring and training individuals,’ he explained.

Godrej Korber expanded by 18% last year and hopes to continue growing. ‘So, next year, we have an ambitious growth goal of up to 22%, and then for the next three years, we will be increasing at an average of 20%,’ he stated.