In conversation with Dr. Soumalya Mukherjee, Co-Founder, Tan90

What products or services does your company offer?

Tan90 works on the development and manufacturing of Phase Change Materials, a passive cooling product that can store thermal energy in the form of latent heat. This is a platform technology that can impact many industries, of which cold chain is a major segment.

With our wide range of PCM (from +38 to -24 degrees centigrade), we provide targeted temperature retention for various food segments starting from frozen foods to ambient temperatures. Based on this core technology we provide products for cold chain industry in various form factors, which includes insulated boxes and bags aimed tailored for MSMEs.

What are your most recent product innovations?

We have just launched Freezo-Wrap, a string of PCM sachets that can be wrapped around ice cream tubs, and is specifically designed for last mile movement of ice cream and frozen foods for quick commerce and e-commerce services.

The PCM sachets consists of -18 degree PCM, that keeps the texture of ice cream intact while transportation. Since it can be wrapped around the tubs, the thermal management is much more efficient, as compared to normal gel packs that are of -1 degrees centigrade. Such PCM can also be used for the mid mile movement of ice cream, and businesses can replace the use of dry ice for the movement, which is a daily operational cost for them.

Apart from this, we have invested in our packaging solutions as well, and have the capacity to provide 30 lakhs sachets every month to our clients. Packaging of PCM is tricky as well, as leakage is often observed during transportation. We incorporate 5 layer nylon coated packaging solutions that prevent leakage while transportation.

We have also launched our +30 degree PCM that has applications for space cooling technologies as well. We are working on products that can lower room temperatures by 10 degrees centigrade when incorporated in buildings.

Based on our core technology of PCM, we are providing cold chain on trains, for horticulture produce, hatcheries, juices. With railways, we not only provide security in terms of temperature lock, but also on product safety and reduce transit time for businesses by 40%.

What sectors do your customers operate in?

Since we are a platform technology, based on our proprietary Phase Change Material, we have the capability to cater to a lot of industries. Cold chain is a segment which is very dear to us. Consequently, we are currently serving the pharmaceuticals, quick commerce and e-commerce businesses for the last mile movement of frozen products.

What are the major trends and developments affecting your category and your customers, and how are you responding?

Quick commerce is a segment which was non-existent 3 years back. With the advent and the spread of such services in not only the Tier 1, but in the Tier 2 cities as well, the need for energy efficient and cost-effective cold chain has increased. With lower spread of cold chain infrastructure in the Tier2 cities, it is imperative for service providers to give the infrastructure for the movement of frozen goods. This further stretches the already unorganized cold chain industry.

This is exactly what Tan90 is solving. We are providing flexibility to our clients, not only with their target temperature but also with the aspect that they can now use any logistics service for the transportation of temperature sensitive products and reduce their dependency on refrigerated trucks.

What are your plans to grow the business in 2022?

We are focusing on providing and extending our solutions for the mid mile and last mile movement of perishables for the quick commerce and e-commerce businesses.

Not only on the product side, we are also working on enabling the dry shipment logistics sector to expand their businesses to the cold chain segment as well, by providing them flexible and modular infrastructure. This will enable us to foray into the cooling as a Service model (CaaS) which is still in infancy in India.

We would like to expand and scale up our CaaS model to 4 cities in this year, that would enable us to provide an end to end and a one-stop solution/platform to our clients. Moving into other geographies are also on the cards with a major focus on Middle East and South Asia segments.

Could you please share your views on Temperature Controlled Logistics Sector for our readers?

The lockdown along with the advent of quick commerce players, and scaling fast, there has been a tectonic shift in the cold chain industry. With a sudden requirement for infrastructure to store and transport vaccines to the remotest parts of the country, the cold chain industry of India has shown phenomenal grit in overcoming the monumental job.

Looking at Tier 2 cities, there is still a need for aggregating cold chain players under one roof that provides end to end solutions to clients, having both service and products onboarded alike.

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