Started with an investment of Rs 5 lakh and now clocking Rs 470 Cr in revenue: the story of Anmol Feeds
Amit Saraogi, hailing from Bihar, was pursuing his engineering from Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore, between 1994 and 1998. He would often visit his family members in Bihar, and especially his uncle in Ramnagar, during his summer holidays.
Apart from running a grocery shop, his uncle also sold poultry feed. While assisting his uncle during his free time, Amit realised that there was an imbalance in the demand and supply of livestock feed. “The product was in short supply, and at the time, there weren’t many companies producing it in Bihar,” Amit says.
After completing his graduation, Amit was back in Bihar, and started working on ideas to bridge the demand and supply gap in the livestock feed space.
He soon rented out a factory space to work on his idea. Working out of his plant in Muzaffarpur and borrowing Rs 5 lakh from his father, Amit started his entrepreneurial journey in 2000.
In his early days, Amit did not hesitate to work the ground up, learning to even manufacture broiler feed using trial and error methods. He would often get expert tips from his uncle on the quality of the feed, considering his expertise in the field.
This is how Anmol Feeds Pvt. Ltd. came into existence. Today, the company manufactures and sells different types of animal feeds, mainly for shrimp, fish, cattle and poultry.
Leveraging technology to grow
It is often said that the best growth stories in business stem from having embraced digitisation.
Anmol Feeds is no different.
Being an engineer, Amit understood the importance of technology. He recalls that returning to Bihar from Bangalore, he found it challenging to operate in an environment where access to technology was limited.
Additionally, there were other challenges he had to combat and overcome, like severe dearth in skilled manpower, law and order issues, and red-tapeism. The biggest challenge, though, was to keep going in the face of severe obstacles.
Not one to buckle down, Amit persevered and even went on to adopt modern-day approaches to build his business, firstly by leveraging technology to grow the business.
He shares that Anmol Feeds installed sophisticated machinery such as NIR machines used for analysing grains and their protein and energy content. He also implemented SAP and ERP systems to increase productivity and efficiency.
The company also developed an in-house Software as a Service (SaaS) platform for logistics which helps in the end-to-end tracking of delivery trucks.
“Our country’s logistics cost is 14 percent; in other countries of the world, the cost is around 8 percent. We are 6 percent more inefficient as compared to the world,” Amit says.
He says this SaaS platform called ‘e-Parivahan’ has helped in reducing logistics costs a bit but there is a long way to go.
The company eventually set up its corporate headquarters in Kolkata in 2004, and established six of its own manufacturing units in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Haryana, and Jammu and Kashmir in the years that followed.
Anmol Feeds also launched a new range of products under the brand name Nutri Choice in 2014.
Describing what is special about this category of products, Amit says, “We manufacture and sell premium protein poultry feed with better feed conversion ratio (FCR) under Nutri Choice.” It sells across 20 states in India.
In terms of external funding, Amit doesn’t divulge too many details but adds that the company took term loans also in between. Currently, the company is debt-free, and has grown steadily over the years.
According to financials of the company accessed by SMBStory, the company clocked Rs 470 crore in FY20. Anmol Feeds is part of the Nouriture Group, a larger group which also includes Saraogi Agroware and Herbal Industries. According to him, cumulatively, the group’s turnover stands at Rs 600 crore.
COVID-19 pandemic: a game changer
As with a lot of industries, the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has been a game changer. “We have realised the value of digital and the fact that we have to invest in technology in order to survive and thrive,” Amit says.
Another trend that has emerged strongly out of the pandemic is the rise of local economies, especially Tier II and III towns. Amit says he is bullish about this trend as “location is not important anymore”.
According to the entrepreneur, smaller cities are at par with metropolitan cities and can have similar facilities. “I haven’t visited my office in the last two months but there is no disruption.”
Going forward, the company plans to focus on becoming a “technology company” in the coming few years. Amit says he and his team are focussing on strengthening the company website launched in 2019 so that the customers can access goods online.
Future plans include opening up factories in Bihar and West Bengal to expand its existing line of aqua products.