How technology is adding value to milk

Ravishankar G Shiroor, CEO and Co-Founder, Stellapps Technologies said "A cloud-based platform can help the dairy farmers predict demand, procurement, track the product life cycle, plug the leakages, last-mile delivery, and manage unsold inventory. It also helps the producers plan production in a better way to cut losses. The other panellists who were part of the session on 8 December about How is Technology Revolutionising the Dairy Industry at the Drink Technology show were: Ragavan Venkatesan of DGV Technologies, Samarth Setia of Mr Milkman and Kishore Indukuri, Founder and MD, Sid's Farm.

09 Dec 2022 | By Disha Chakraborty

Detailed discussion about the digitalisation of the dairy ecosystem in India

All four speakers spoke about the role of technology in the Indian dairy industry and how it has grown due to automated and mechanised milk collection and testing the composition of milk at the village level to real-time milk procurement, assessment of total milk quality parameters, automatic dairy plant operation, and so on.

Shiroor shared how Stellaps Technologies has been a digital solutions provider for the dairy supply chain for 11 years. And how it has a presence in 17 states due to its USP in milk procurement. The technology has started sourcing milk for large brands such as ITC and CavinKare. Shiroor spoke at length about how the company, which is building a milk procurement network across India also proposes to provide extension services including agri-inputs such as feed, fertilisers and supplements

DGV Technologies is an integrated dairy fintech company that offers financial services to dairy farmers, making it easier for them to access loans to buy cattle and meet their working capital requirements. Ragavan Venkatesan spoke about the steps taken for the betterment of milk producers and better price for the farmer.

Recently, DGV launched a Bovine discovery platform – DGV Connect. A one-stop shop for dairy farmers, DGV Connect creates a connection between buyers and sellers and offers embedded finance options for facilitating digital cattle loans and insurance. Ragavan Venkatesan of DGV spoke about the challenges in India with examples from Gujarat and how the dairy farmer could overcome many hurdles in the sector which are being faced, right from lack of cattle loan options, to over-dependence on brokers and cattle fairs as well as buying and selling cattle.

Samarth Setia of Mr. Milkman spoke at length about improving the quality of milk. Also he spoke about the "shrinkage factor". That there is a 4% loss of milk in the value-chain. Sethia pointed out, The dairy industry is largely unorganised due to which the monitoring and tracking of trucks, tankers and delivery has always been a complex issue. He explained how technology can ensure speedy delivery of high-quality milk by continuously monitoring production, procurement, and distribution. How dairy companies can monitor the movements of their products. This, he said, will "ultimately benefit the Indian dairy farmer to get a fair price."

India’s livestock population has expanded from 512.06 million in 2012 to 535.82 million in 2019, representing a 4.6 per cent increase over the last census with an annual growth rate of 0.66 per cent. Shiroor spoke about how monitoring "the nutrition sources can maximise animal performance and early detection of diseases in cows."

Kishore Indukuri, a MANAGE-CIA incubatee who quit a job in the USA, and started a farm with 20 cows, and now his dairy brand Sid's Farm earns Rs 65 crores of revenue. He spoke about how he built the brand and how he deployed technology to improve the quality of milk. Kishore Indukuri the founder and CEO of Sid's Farm, a Hyderabad-based fresh dairy brand spoke about how the company distributes over 25,000 litres of milk a day. Fresh, raw milk is procured each day from local farmers and put through a series of stringent tests, “an average of 6,500 daily,” Indukuri said, "The emphasis is on purity – no antibiotics, no hormones, and no preservatives."

When asked if a million Sid's Farm can bloom. Indukuri said, "The dairy industry has grown over the last decade, branching out over the years into other dairy products like paneer, ghee, curd, and butter. Cow milk and buffalo milk are processed and sold separately.

All four panelists concurred that even though India is the largest milk producer in the world, the sector remains chaotic. And if the sector has to see growth, technology can empower dairy farms and milk brands.

The 60-minute session which was hosted by Messe Muenchen's Drink Technology was moderated by Ramu Ramanathan of WhatPackaging? magazine.

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