Aachi foods, the giant spices and Food Company has stretched its tentacles across the country and across the world. This successful group of companies from Tamilnadu has been started by Dr. Padmasingh Isaac in the year 1998. Mr Isaac, a BBA graduate was previously working as an Area manager at Godrej soaps. He started this with an initial amount of just Rs. 50,000.
The Chennai-based Aachi Masalas caught the attention of women by introducing curry masalas in small packets at affordable prices, particularly in the rural and semi-urban areas of Tamil Nadu. The strategy clicked and this 19-year-old company is now one of the fast-growing FMCG companies in South India. Aachi Group’s turnover has been increasing at CAGR of 30% over the last three years which is higher than that of the national average of 15% for Food Processing Industries. It is expected to reach Rs.1200 Crores in turnover by the end of 2017. Aachi foods deals with over 200 products including masalas, wheat products, pickles, ready-to-cook preparations, biscuits, ghee, gingelly oil, jam etc.
The manufacturing facility of Aachi is located at Keel Ayyanabakkam, 15 km from Chennai city. It has a manufacturing capacity of 120 metric tonnes of spice powders and spice mixes per day.
Inspiration and Influence
Mr Isaac was extremely influenced by his mom’s cooking, the way she grinds, and prepares masala using the so called “ammi kal” or the grinding stone. He says that his mother, a fair complexioned lady used to grind the masala for sambar or for the dish that she is preparing for that day for more than one hour using the grinding stone. So by the time she finished grinding the masala, her hands would almost become blood red. This had a very strong influence on him and his life and this made him to start his own masala company, so that it helps all the mothers who go through a lot of pain to grind masala. This multi faceted personality also talks about how his wife Thelma helped Aachi develop various recipes and tested them before in their own R&D lab (their kitchen).
During the initial days of Aachi’s launch, none of the shopkeepers were ready to display Aachi’s products in their shelves. Mr. Isaac being an optimist took the product directly to the customer by standing in front of shops. Initially for promotions freebies like stainless steel tumblers and cups were given to customers. Slowly he could see customers asking for his masala packets, and the rest is history.
While speaking of his days at Godrej, his colleagues say that he was a person who takes ownership of office work and would go aggressively to any extent to make sure that the product range that he sells in the market stands first. He also encourages the youth to take ownership of their work. He also appeals to the youth, to love their job or take a job that they love.
Mr. Isaac actually knows what he’s talking about and is very good with this marketing basics. He has given lectures to students in B Schools and explains them the way he shaped this company from scratch. He talks about Shelf space, market share, customer satisfaction; he speaks about packaging branding and quality, diversification and economies of scale. One of the reasons for starting Aachi was because of stagnation at Godrej. Having seen lack of opportunities for growth inside Godrej (as his graduation is BBA and promotions are given only to MBA graduates), he starts to see opportunities outside. He may not be able to get into the top management and this drove him to start his own group of companies.
People actually remember Aachi only for masalas and spices, but Aachi group has ventured into various fields. The company also has a packaging firm which caters to all its present FMCG business.
- Aachi Foods
- AIMED (Aachi Institute of Management & Entrepreneurial Development )(Business School)
- DIADEM (Bridal collection) – (Mrs. Shiny Cinderella is the first daughter-in-law, of Aachi family, an Engineering graduate from a renowned Karunya University, developed a great interest for designing and fashion, which lead her to setup this boutique.)
- Aachi Global school
- Bells and rings (matrimonial website exclusively for the Christian youngsters)
- SFTS (Scientific Food Testing Services
- Aachi Kitchen
The various brands under the Aachi group are
- Twin birds – A Special Product for Non Vegetarian Pickle,Curry items(Chicken Pickle,Fish Pickle etc).
- Sabash – A Herbal cosmetic brand,consists of Skin care, Body care and Hair care products.
- Twinkle – Cleaning Agent
- Tanjus- Energy drink
- Frispoo – Snacks
- Aachi Packaged drinking water
- Ponnii – Vegetable oil
- Blesso – a premium Herbal Cough Syrup used to treat Cough and related conditions.
Being in the FMCG sector, Aachi Foods is alert to the possibilities in the rural market, where the disposable income of people is growing. Aachi Foods is counting on innovation to create new markets. Aachi Foods introduced badam powder in sachets that has become an instant hit. It is less expensive than the bottled badam drinks available in the market.
Aachi products are now available in USA, Canada, U.K, Belgium, Holland, France, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Republic of South Africa, D.R. Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea, Mozambique, Mauritius, Seychelles, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea and Japan.