In conversation with Mr. Tarun Arora, Director, IG International Pvt. Ltd.
“I do read about losses that happen because we try to save small costs to not transport or store goods in refrigerated conditions which overall leads to notional loss of the cargo in its value. Which is quite humongous as compared to the costs.”- Tarun Arora, Director, IG International Pvt. Ltd.
Mr. Tarun: After a long time i.e. around 5 years, We got a chance to cover an interaction with you for our magazine ColdChainManagement again and since then lots of big achievements, IG international has been awarded, So first of all, can you give us a picture of the size of IG International’ operations in India now?
IG International is managing close to 80000 MT of fresh produce annually largely apples followed by other products like kiwifruit, pears, citrus and other fresh products. We have offices in 21 cities across India and cold chain facility in 14 locations. We are into imports of fresh produce that are currently being imported from more than 31 countries around the world. IG has invested in 100 refrigerated trucks.
As a highly successful customer-facing business with global presence, IG International presumably had a previous history of strong customer service. So what brought about the new initiative?
It is customer service that has helped us achieve our goals. We take advice from the customer very seriously that includes all new initiatives including new packaging for few of our key products and construction of cold chain facilities built to service our customers in the most efficient way.
What are your core products and services now: what are you best known for? How do they help make working in cold chain management?
IG is best known for fresh produce but apples is our main product. Fresh produce needs cold chain products like cherries, avocados, blueberries are so perishable that without cold chain it is just not possible to manage perishability well to give that freshness to our consumer. Cold chain plays a very vital role in our industry.
Which industry sectors are your customers in? Can you name some of your recent major projects and tell us about them?
Our customer is segmented mainly into segments like Horeca, Retail, Traditional Markets, Caterers, E-commerce.
How has the company evolved over time?
My father who is our chairman started the company almost 5 decades ago in Northern India the key change happened when our chairman started to import fresh apples from Australia, US and China. This was the key change and from 120MT containers today we are handling 80000MT as a company.
Can you tell us about your Cold Storage operations? How do they work?
We have a total of around 14 facilities with a total capacity of 40000 pallets. most of them are largely around port locations and in Fruit market area to help us logistics the product to our consumer quickly.
Where is your main Indian hub?
Our main facilities are in Mumbai and Bangalore.
What are the benefits of belonging to your fresh produce business, compared to other networks?
We have complete control over the whole supply chain through which we are able to ensure delivery under best conditions and at best taste profile. We take possession of good from the port and manage it in our own logistics. This is our biggest differentiating factor among most.
Could you please share your views on Cold Chain Sector for our magazine readers?
For our products, the cold chain is critical and cold chain support perishability management. One of the key messages that I have for the readers is to promote cold chain for the entire fresh produce sector. I do read about losses that happen because we try to save small costs to not transport or store goods in refrigerated conditions which overall leads to notional loss of the cargo in its value. Which is quite humongous as compared to the costs.
What are the future plans of the group?
We continue with our expansions of setting up new facilities in East of India where still a lot of work is required for the overall growth of the cold chain. We are planning facilities immediately in Kolkatta, Guwahati and Siliguri that will help us gain access to newer markets.
For any query regards to IG International Services, Please fill the form below-
In a Conversation with Mr. Tarun Arora, Director of IG International Pvt. Ltd.
Let’s begin with the IG International role in the Cold Storage and reefer segment. Please elaborate your product portfolio with regard to Cold Chain Industry?
IG Supply Chain Pvt. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of IGIPL, caters to the business of third party logistics and temperature controlled warehousing. Presently, we have facilities in Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Jaipur and Amravati with a total capacity of 25,000 pallets. We also have a fleet of 75 modern refrigerated trucks.
How do Company’s Reefer and Logistics Systems contribute to easier functioning?
From the ports, the pallets are loaded and carried to our cold storages through our refrigerated trucks and stored after a quality check. From here they are distributed to the wholesale outlets, and from these outlets, they are sold to retailers and the supermarkets. Supermarkets like Reliance, Walmart and Big Basket repack them again into smaller versions of packagings and the product is ready to be delivered to the customers.
For close to 46 long years, the company has led the development of numerous technologies and innovations in the Cold Chain Projects. Anything new in the bag for Logistics?
We have always been doing something new and innovative in respect of cold chains. Since we are so closely linked to fresh produce, we believe in bringing the latest technologies to help reduce product losses with better cold chains. We look at every step very closely, for example, in pre-cooling, we are currently working on an innovation which will help pre-cool produce in just a couple of hours. We have installed Controlled Atmosphere Cold Storages which helps apples stay fresh for one year without any change in texture and taste.
How ready is the Indian Perishable Supply Chain industry for state-of-the-art technologies?
India is a developing country and with the government initiatives of Make In India, it is getting ready for state-of- the-art technology. From importing parts to manufacturing them here, the Indian Supply Chain Industry is gaining experience and strength to adopt modern technologies. At IG International too, we are phasing out old technologies and ushering in an era of modern technology.
What is your USP in terms of creating value for your customers?
Our USP is quality and variety, as we source a very large variety of high quality produce from across the globe.
In addition, we have a strong pan India presence. We believe in innovation and in each new installation we try to bring something new in the cold chain industry.Our other important USP is service. We are in an industry which believes in 24 X 7 working, and our entire organisation’s work culture is tuned to that. We always believe in giving the best of service at the most competitive prices.
IG International has wholesale outlets, distribution centers and cold storage across 21 branches all across India and overseas? Any other plans on the list?
IG Supply Chain is in the process of opening five new facilities, which are expected to become operational by early 2016. Large-scale cold storage facilities are coming up in Chennai, Bangalore and Delhi and we have one under implementation in Himachal Pradesh for controlled atmosphere storage of apples. There will be another one coming up in Mumbai as well.
Anything else you would like to share about the company and product that IG International is offering to the Cold Storage and Cold Logistics Industry?
As mentioned earlier, our CA Cold Storages are one of a kind with customized packaging/ waxing/ pre-cooling solutions in which we have enormous expertise and experience. We are now setting up a frozen storage facility in Chennai, which will help us cater to all industries in cold chain including frozen products.