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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

From pure play to a little bit of everything: How Chitale Bandhu became more than a dairy brand

The 82-year-old company, which has a daily procurement of around 6-7 lakh liters of milk mostly in Sangli district of Maharashtra, sells around 4 lakh liters of pouched milk per day.

Written by Parthasarathi Biswas | Pune |
Updated: October 29, 2021 10:27:04 am
The 82-year-old company, which has a daily procurement of around 6-7 lakh liters of milk mostly in Sangli district of Maharashtra, sells around 4 lakh liters of pouched milk per day.

For the last four years, Chitale Bandhu — the iconic dairy and dairy products company from the state — has initiated an important shift in its business model. Instead of being majorly into sale of liquid milk, the company has now diversified into products — both dairy and non-dairy – which, it says, would drive its topline. Indraneel Chitale, managing partner of Chitale Group, said the shift was necessary in view of the turmoils and uncertainties faced by the liquid milk sector over the past few years.

The 82-year-old company, which has a daily procurement of around 6-7 lakh liters of milk mostly in Sangli district of Maharashtra, sells around 4 lakh liters of pouched milk per day. The rest is converted into products. Kedar Chitale, managing partner of the group, said around 65 per cent of this accounts for household consumption while rest is for commercial usage like hotels, canteens etc. “Due to the (Covid-induced) lockdown, this has been impacted,” said Kedar.

Though dairy remains strong in the revenue portfolio of the company, over the past few years, the group has come up with several dairy and non-dairy products, both sweets and savoury ones, including its popular snack bhakarwadi. Indraneel said production happens mostly at the Khed Shivapur facility of the company, which would see investment of Rs 75 crore in the course of the next year to augment the facility. The company also has plans to re-launch or launch 15 products in the near future.

On Wednesday, the company launched its ready-to-eat namkeen bar under the brand name Bingebar, which marks its foray in the namkeen segment, which is worth Rs 2,000-2,500 crore. Indraneel said the company plans to expand its footprint across the country as well as venture into export markets. The company has seen doubling of its exports in the last two years and hopes to expand the same.

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