In pursuit of that flawless quality!
Today we are in conversation with Amit Gupta, we know as a quality champion from South India. A food technologist by profession who likes to delve sincerely into things and finish it completely to the last details. Food safety and quality is his credo, he says "Good food saves life" - a motto he lives by. He is an obsessive workaholic by nature, so it is hard to find him idle, other than when he is sleeping.
A B.Tech in food technology Amit was working with Britannia before joining Shimla Hills. His initial assignments took him to Northeast India where he worked on developing company's spice product line. We asked him to shed some light on his experience there.
While in Nagaland, Amit tells us he was on the verge of getting kidnapped once. Surrounded by drunk insurgents with knifes, in the ditch of night - it is one lucky chance to have escaped it. "I have always believed that when you have a passion, follow it with a zeal that knows no limit - double your efforts, even if it means taking risks. That incidence opened my eyes, my views about life radically changed. I felt liberated from the fears and premonitions I previously had", talks Amit while recollecting details about that incidence.
He came back to Delhi, once his assignments in North-East finished, Amit was absorbed into company's newly launched fresh produce business. He shares some of his amazing experiences he gathered while visiting Azadpur Mandi, Asia's largest wholesale market in Delhi. He was preparing a report for fresh produce as part of his Market Information System (MkIS) project. From the very start he has been involved in major ground work for the organisation that augmented his understanding about minutest levels of the business.
"The annual arrival of fresh produce crosses millions of tonnes in this market. By crack of dawn the trading market almost wraps up for the day, so I would wake up at 3 am in the morning and head towards the market. I would analyse the selling and bidding tactics, understand how the trading happened, how agents worked, how the selling happened, what was quality produce etc. The bidding process in particular, followed here is very peculiar, even you would like it" says Amit laughingly. "This market never sleeps, it stays happening all day long", he adds.
Amit is presently stationed in South India, the tropical fruit belt of India. As a food technologist, he is responsible for overseeing client audits, preparing crop reports, ensuring scrupulous quality for processing and production of mango products i.e. - a complete farm-to-fork management.
"I had a really bad experience with wooden pallets, when I started working in South India. Mould formations started forming on the pallets that were made from ordinary wood, even after fumigation. This posed quality problems for our products. After much research and examination, we found that pallets made from neem wood were absolutely resistant to mould formations. Since then none of our consignments have been reported to have mould formation on the wooden pallets", says Amit.
Continuing further, Amit says, "We proposed to the management to have a quality management system in place, which was made operational soon. It has since ensured our quality to be meticulous, as per client requirements. You see, quality and reliability is what sets a competitive edge to products, more than price and quantity. Clients expect the same quality each year regardless of any factor and it's our job to provide them with the best."
We were little sceptical as to how the quality team manages unerring quality each year, amidst uncertain external factors. Amit explains to us the secret sauce, "quality doesn't start with the processing - it starts with raw fruit, right in the farm. We concentrate our endeavours on getting quality lots that are mapped completed through their growing to ripening stages. We have regular audits, training sessions for farmers, fruit analyses and surveys to observe these things."
"I want to make quality for Shimla Hills 100 per cent accurate, i.e. absolutely resonant and irreproachable. Our team and the newly developed quality lab at Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh is continuously implementing new ideas and innovation to achieve this", says Amit with a spark in his eye.
Starting with 5 and taking it to 500 mango containers per year - is a journey of hard work on part of our team. Round the clock fanatic work hours, how markets-after-market were conquered - it is an achievement we laud our team for.
A humbled Amit adds on to say that, "Shimla Hills is an organization that supports you to the very end and encourages you to do new and great things. So my achievements are not really mine, they are that of Shimla Hills!"
In this Issue
About Shimla Hills Offerings Pvt Ltd.
Shimla Hills is a manufacturer, exporter and global supplier of processed, fresh, frozen fruits and vegetables, spices, pulses, grains, flavours and oil seeds. We are a Government Certified Export House driven by meticulous innovation and creativity that nurtures futuristic food trends.
Shimla Hills Offerings Pvt Ltd.
Plot No 92, Industrial Area, Shoghi, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India. PIN -171219.
Phone: + 91 177 2860601/730
Fax: + 91 177 2860602