Arun Gadre, Gadre Marine Export Pvt. Ltd
A visionary entrepreneur who set out on a quest to deliver the best of Indian seafood nationally and internationally, Arjun Gadre joined the family business in 1999, founded by his father Deepak Gadre, one of the renowned names in the frozen fish specialties category in India and abroad. Arjun is the second generation in Gadre Marine Export, India’s largest producer and exporter of top quality Surimi and Surimi products. He pursued his passion for Sea Food by conceiving and commissioning India’s largest Surimi Value added plant in 2004. In 2013 he successfully took over and integrated the marine division of Hindustan Unilever with GMEPL, making the company the only Surimi value added products manufacturing company in India and one of the largest Surimi producers in the world. He has completed his graduation in Management and Engineering from University of Nottingham UK, he also holds a diploma in Mechanical Engineering. In conversation with Dominic Rebello, he reveals the fast growing potential of his business and how he plans to encash on the growth of the sector
What drives you?
To be precise, we at Gadre are on a mission to manufacture high quality seafood and be known as the best quality brand in seafood. We are driven with passion to achieve the goal of providing premium quality seafood products to customers at a reasonable price.
How big is the potential for a business like yours; any statistics to compare with international standards?
The market for Frozen foods in India has grown at double digit growth rate in the last few years reaching a size of about INR 19 Billion in 2012. Although the growth number looks impressive, it does not truly reflect the future growth potential of the industry. More than 45% of the current market is composed of export of minimally processed marine products, meat products, fruits and vegetables. The Domestic per-capita consumption of frozen food is close to negligible and is about 50 times less than our counterparts in China. Though, the retail market for frozen food products, compared to its size in 2008 has doubled to INR 3650 million in 2012, it is still primarily driven by minimally processed vegetables. The market share of high value products such as ready meals in the consumption basket has remained constant during the last five years. As per the analysis carried out by Sathguru Management Consultants, the retail market for frozen food has a potential to grow at CAGR of 20.5 per cent for next five years from INR 3,650 million in 2012 to 9300 million in 2017. Frozen food market for food service segment promises an even better opportunity. Estimated to be INR 6,350 million in 2012, it will expand at a CAGR of 26.6 per cent to reach INR 20,600 million by 2017. Currently in India our market share is 250 MT, which we is expecting to grow upto 600 MT in coming few years. Our goal for the end of the year is 300 MT.
How do you plan to scale up?
Convenient Indian seafood is the requirement of the customer. A lot of people like to eat seafood but are not able to cook it at home. By offering convenient seafood we are trying to provide what the consumer wants. Gadre had a sale of 250 tonne last fiscal, and we are targeting sales of 500 tonne this fiscal. For exports we Gadre exported 34,000 tonne of fish and produced about 14,000 tonne of value added products. India is a huge market for all types of consumer products.
Who would primarily be your consumer audience?
We consider our consumer to be anywhere between 18 – 35 years. Consumers today have become more adventurous when it comes to food. They are open to trying our new cuisines and look for quality and convenience cooking at home.
Where do you see yourself five years down the road?
We aim to be the top retail brand in the India retail industry for seafood in next 2 to 5 years.