Bhubaneswar: Ahead of the Brands of Odisha Pride of India Awards 2020, we spoke to P. Chandrashekhar Reddy, Vice President (Sales and Marketing) of Freedom Refined Sunflower Oil. He gave an idea about the edible oil market in Odisha, its capacity conversion and production.
Here is an excerpt from the interview:
What is the estimated per-head edible oil consumption after the lockdown?
Since all the eateries were closed during the lockdown, the only option people had was to cook at home. That increased the sale of various edible oils under the Freedom Healthy Cooking Oils flagship. In India, 15-16 litres of edible oil is consumed per head on yearly basis. That makes it 1.25 litre per head consumption in a month. Moreover, several wedding ceremonies and other functions were called off due to the Covid-19 situation. That led to about 50% fall in the sale of palm oil in the market. However, 10-15 % hike was recorded in sale of Sunflower oil in regions like Odisha, Telangana, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
How has the pandemic affected the edible oil industry?
Covid-19 disrupted people’s normal life. During the pandemic, demands for wheat, rice, pulses, edible oil, several cleanliness products, sanitizers and face-masks shot up. But, the large-scale production to meet the demands of the consumers and supplying them in time was challenging. Eventually, we realized that in order to stay updated with the needs and demands of the consumers, we have to be technologically updated.
How vast is Odisha’s edible oil market?
Every month, around 55000 metric tonne edible oil is sold in Odisha market out of which 10-20% is slotted for sunflower oil. Financially sensitive consumers usually go for palm and mustard oils. However, in the past few months, people are seen switching to quality purchasing.
What are the further plans regarding the expansion of the oil production?
We have established a factory with advanced facilities in Kakinada. Plans for establishing another factory In the Purvanchal soon are lined up. Currently, the daily production of our working factories is 2359 metric tonnes. Production of Freedom Healthy Cooking oil will multiply once our new factories are set up. We are majorly focusing on the contactless production systems in the factories.
Is the company coming up with any new product?
Sunflower’s Freedom products are quite popular in the market. In the coming years, we are going to focus on the production of rice bran oil, mustard and groundnut oil.
What would you say about Brands of Odisha Pride of India Sambad Corporate Excellence Awards?
It is a great initiative by the Sambad Group. There are many Odisha born companies who are yet to be recognized nationally. These awards motivate them to do so by offering them a competitive yet positive environment.