State Of The Economy 2016

Pragmatic ventures

Erode has staved off the downturn by building regional brands and adhering to price discipline 

Photographs: RA Chandroo

I went to an internet café and came away with the name Milky Mist, which I thought had universal appeal,” laughs managing director Sathish Kumar. For someone who left school when he was just 16 years old to join his father’s milk business, Kumar’s innate curiosity has been behind the firm’s diversification. “For the first two years after I joined, we were not making any profit. But one of our customers was buying milk from us to make paneer. He wouldn’t disclose the method, but I figured it out and after several attempts got the consistency right.” Thereafter, Kumar started supplying paneer to hotels and restaurants. In 1995, he completely switched over to paneer and stopped selling milk. Two years later, when he decided to foray into the retail segment, brand Milky Mist was born.