Free Press Journal

Cold chains: Hotspot for investments in next three years


Mumbai : In the next three years, there will be massive investments made in the cold chain sector, said Pankaj Khandelwal, Managing Director of InI Farms. This is mainly because India lacks robust cold chain infrastructure and investments.

“In the next three years, we can expect massive investments in cold chains. This could be seen as an interesting space for investors —both in terms of investments and strategic partnership,” added Khandelwal. In the past few years, InI Farms have not just managed to attract investments but enter into joint venture. The Mumbai-based company, which was started by husband-wife duo, managed to attract Rs 20 crore investments from venture capital firm Aspada Investment in 2015 and also formed a joint venture with Future Group worth Rs 60 crore in 2016.

In the case of investments, companies like Amazon and Big Basket are retail oriented and will attract more investments into cold chain management. “It is important for the country as they will attract more investments and new technologies.” Thus, helping other players or the eco-system.

When asked about the company’s future plans on funding, Khandelwal said funding depends more or less on the growth strategy companies follow. “That does not mean we as a company is against funding. But we are waiting for the right time before we go to the market to raise funds. So, we are open for funding and various level of partnerships.”

InI Farms, which is a major player in pomegranates and bananas, has set off to become a branded player in the space. The horticulture company has been exporting a major chuck of its products to international market. “But now we are looking at expanding into domestic markets as well. We are looking at more local partnerships,” Khandelwal said.

However, in domestic market, the focus of the company is tier I cities. “Our focus would be tier I and to some extent tier II cities. I don’t see any need to venture into tier III cities at this point of time. There is enough space to grow in tier I alone and there a lot that needs to be done there.” The sourcing base of the company is from states like Maharashtra and Gujarat.

In order to achieve these targets, cold chain infrastructure will play a critical role. Even as it sets up its own system, there is some level of assistance that would be required at government level, added Khandelwal. Cold chain is largely for fresh produce to reach the end consumer.

In terms of growth, Khandelwal claims that it will continue to grow at historical levels. He added that getting a robust cold chain management would be vital in doubling farmer’s income.