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Hatsun sets sights beyond South — Ice-cream plant coming up in Seychelles

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Mr R.G. Chandramogan, Managing Director, Hatsun Agro Product Ltd, Mr Al Ries, Chairman, and Ms Laura Ries, President, Ries & Ries, focusing consultants, at a press conference in Chennai on Thursday. — Shaju John

Chennai , Dec. 18

HATSUN Agro Product Ltd will set up dairy operations in Sri Lanka and an ice-cream plant in the Seychelles.

Its Managing Director, Mr R.G. Chandramogan, said international brand experts Al Ries and Laura Ries would advise the company on how to make Arokya and Komatha milk and Arun ice-cream household names around the world.

Hatsun plans to finish building a plant in Sri Lanka by the end of next year. It will buy milk from Sri Lankan farmers and market it locally. In the Seychelles, Hatsun, together with a businessman there, will build an ice-cream plant, at a cost of Rs 3 crore. Arun ice-cream hopes to scoop out a chunk of the large market that is now being dominated by local brands.

The company is also expanding its market for milk at home. Arokya will be available in Kolkata in three months.

Hatsun Agro is one of the largest private sector dairies in the country, processing 7.25 lakh litres of milk it buys from one lakh farmers every day. Its turnover is around Rs 400 crore and it is billed as one of the biggest private producers of milk.

Arun ice-creams has a little more than half of Tamil Nadu's market and a third in the southern States.

In the next five years, Hatsun is looking at setting up operations in four or five countries in the region, he said.

It is here that the experts step in. Setting up a production facility is one thing, selling the product another. Hatsun has decided to minimise cost and time for building an image by tapping the experience of the two global names in this field, Mr Chandramogan said.

It has been a bit of trial and error at home. After 30 years in the business, "Hatsun's one-day's turnover now equals its cumulative turnover of the first 16 years."

But Mr Chandramogan does not plan to wait that long in the overseas business. The father and daughter team of Al Ries and Laura Ries has been invited "for consultation and brand strategy for Hatsun's global success."

According to Mr Chandramogan, this could well be a major expedition. There is "guerrilla warfare, attacking, fencing and defending" in the process of brand building and Hatsun is carrying the fight there.

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