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Gits distribution has expanded to over 40 countries: Sahil Gilani

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Gits Food Products has a rich legacy in the packaged food category in India. Sahil Gilani, director, Sales and Marketing, Gits Food Products, highlights the important milestones for the company in the last five decades, and the focus on the HORECA sector

What have been the major milestones for the company in the last decade?

A lot has happened in the past decade at Gits Food Products, below are a few key milestones:

-Third generation of the family entered the business a decade back. Infusion of younger blood into the management has brought in fresh ideas and a renewed strategic approach.
– Gits distribution expanded to over 40 countries. Pan India network now is over 1000 distributors covering over 1.5 lakh outlets.
– Gits launched several new products over the past decade. Over the past year itself a dozen new products were launched.
– Gits was the pioneer in convenience foods in 1963 by launching RTC – Instant Mixes and over a decade back entered in the RTE – Ready Meals category too. However, in more recent times we have entered the dairy sector too. We now have fresh milk, dahi, buttermilk, lassi as well as ghee and dairy whitener in our offerings.
– Gits launched a HORECA division with 1 kg packs of our Instant Mixes as well as Ready Meals. In addition some of our dairy products are available in 5/10 kg bulk packs too for this segment. The response to our quality and product consistency has been overwhelming and we wish we had entered this segment earlier.
– This past quarter we have revamped our packaging and branding along with a new creative marketing strategy that will be launched on TV shortly.
How is the ready-to-eat category evolving in India, driven by consumer demands?

The category is evolving well in India due to the rapid urbanisation, rising disposable income as well as diminishing culinary skills amongst millennials. Moreover, the scarcity of domestic helps in metros is further compelling people to look at easy to prepare alternatives.
However, we are seeing a good growth coming from our new revenue streams such as HORECA. There is now a greater acceptance of packaged foods in this sector as the need of consistency of taste and rationalisation of costs are increasing getting more important. The fact that our products are all natural without any preservatives helps build a lot of comfort to the buyers.
Not only are our Instant Mixes selling well in the HORECA segment but also the Ready Meals. We have spent a decade of R&D to get the product to taste as good as or better than a freshly made product. We take utmost care to maintain the authenticity and source the best raw materials consistently. For example our Dal Makhani has the best Rajma from Jammu and it is slow cooked for over 8 hours on the tandoor to ensure the smell and taste is authentic. We also take pride in ourselves on having amongst the smallest batch sizes in the segment to ensure quality is always consistent. Each batch of our Ready Meals goes through rigorous testing before dispatch, even our Managing Director tastes every batch as a final sign off!
Not only are the inflight kitchens, hotels appreciating and buying these products but also smaller cost conscious restaurant chains are finding it far more economical.

What are your product offerings for the new age consumer?

We have “millenialised” some of our traditional offerings with new age super-foods by launching a Wholesome Breakfast range that infuses brown rice, oats, flax seeds and ragi into our idli, dosa and dhokla.
Moreover, our Ready Meals have new age preparation instructions – no cooking, just heat and eat! Our famous Gits Gulab Jamun that was only available as an instant mix is now available in an Open & Eat tin pack to make it appealing to younger consumers.

Your focus on innovation. Please give some information about your R&D.

Our R&D moto is simple since the company’s inception – we will not sell what we don’t relish ourselves. Being a family of foodies we want to ensure our food is the best tasting and also if it’s not safe to put on our tables, it’s not good enough for our customers too.
We go great lengths to ensure that the latest technology and ingredients to ensure no preservatives, no MSG or artificial colors/flavours are used in our production.

What are the upcoming trends in ready-to-eat category, and your product expansion plans?

We currently are in progress of doubling our factory size and capabilities to be future ready. As we have recently revamped our packaging and branding to be up to date, our product line up will also be revamped in the coming years to keep up with the trends.
The clear trends in the category are – health and convenience. Hence, while we keep a focus on the health quotient, we are also not deviating from the indulgent products. There is a growing market for both kinds of products. However, the common denominator is convenience, we push ourselves to ensure our products are not just the healthiest and best tasting but also the most convenient to prepare.
The category is yet only scratching the surface, it’s not a time to fight for market share but a collaborative effort from brands to build consumer awareness and break myths that all packaged foods are unhealthy. This will be a key success factor for this category in the future.



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