The foundations of BL Agro Industries Ltd. date back to the pre-independence era when Kishan Lal Khandelwal and Bishan Lal Khandelwal started a commodity trading business in a small town in Uttar Pradesh. Currently led by Ghanshyam Khandelwal and Ashish Khandelwal, BL Agro has grown immensely from a small business venture to one of the leading FMCG players in India.
How have sales been for the company during the current Indian holiday season?
The festive season always sees increased demand. This year has been good for us as we have seen a 25% increase in sales.
In 1986 the company started to expand its business and introduced branded mustard oil under the trade name of “Bail Kolhu” and within two years the family business grew into an organization called BL Agro Oils Pvt. ltd
Consumption trends observed in the post-pandemic period?
After the pandemic, the consumer has become more health conscious and willing to pay a higher price to consume healthy, good quality, nutritious and hygienic food.
Since its establishment and over time, the management has realized the growth of the company and broadened its horizons in the food sector and, therefore, in 2015, launched its own brand called “Nourish”, its first product being Chakki Fresh Atta. Currently, Nourish offers a wide variety of rice, pulses, ghee and oils, dried fruits, etc. BL Agro today has one of the largest distribution networks among all edible oil and branded food players in the country with more than 50,000 retailers, across 200 cities in 13 US states. India – Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Jammu and Nepal. The company also offers its products through the brand’s exclusive outlets at 12 locations in Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The company is a Rs. 2,500 crore enterprise, which currently has fractionation plants, packaging and warehousing units, refineries and laboratories.
Has the company undertaken any new strategies this year?
We follow a simple business model. Good quality products and excellent service to our customers, which will eventually increase sales.
The company recently onboarded the Gangs of Wasseypur trio, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Pankaj Tripathi and Manoj Bajpayee, as the faces of the company’s 50-year-old brand, “Bail Kolhu”. Actress Shilpa Shetty is invited to support the company’s ambitious ‘Nourish’ brand for the wide range of flours, pulses and dried fruits. The company plans to open 100 exclusive outlets (EBOs), via the franchise route in India by the end of next fiscal year 2021-22. Its revenue in the fiscal year 2019-20 was Rs. 1,654 crores and is expected to grow by 30% year-on-year this year.
In the digital age we find ourselves in, how does the company try to amalgamate technology with its business?
We have our major offline presence through our large network of distributors and exclusive company branded outlets. However, considering the market scenario and the convenience of customers, we launched our company website nourishstore.co.in which contains our entire product portfolio. We also realized the need to have a presence on Amazon and recently made our presence there as well.
The business, as a large-scale industry, requires a continuous supply of energy, where carbon emissions are quite natural. Therefore, for all energy consumption needs, the company relies 100% on solar power for in-house packaging plants. Its manufacturing unit in Bareilly has also installed state-of-the-art air cleaners in the units which help reduce and map unit emissions, giving a chance to minimize emissions.