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How does a food start-up ensure that the quality of its products remains top notch across the value chain?
Further, how does it make certain that its factory complies with the standards set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in regards to the methods of production or the quality of the environment?
Ask Vaibhav Tidke, Founder & CEO of S4S Technologies, who has developed a unique solar-powered dehydrating unit to help prevent food wastage. His start-up buys produce directly from farmers, and uses it to manufacture snacks and ingredients.
In its initial days, quality was one aspect that the company was struggling with.
“We had two main challenges—how to maintain quality across the value chain and how to have a factory that is ISO grade,” recalls Tidke.
Thankfully they stumbled upon the ‘Scale-Up’ Program, which showed them the way. Under this mentorship initiative offered by the Marico Innovation Foundation (MIF), young businesses gain access to a pool of functional experts who help them overcome crucial business bottlenecks and grow at a much faster pace. And, all this at a nominal fee.
Step-by-step intervention process
In case of S4S Technologies, the first step of intervention was the identification of a plot where they could set up a factory. MIF then helped the company in not only setting up the factory, but also building quality systems and processes.
Says Shailesh Ghodekar, Head-Corporate Quality Assurance, Marico Limited, and Mentor, Scale-up Program: “I think the biggest challenge which we saw in S4S Technologies was that their quality was not build-in design. So, we visited the factory to understand the ground reality. Thereon we helped them develop quality systems and processes, as well as build the capabilities of the team members.”
MIF also assisted S4S Technologies in resolving a packaging issue.
“They were receiving a lot of complaints from customers about the sogginess of their products. So, we took help from our packaging team and resolved the issue,” highlights Poonam More, Corporate Quality Assurance, Marico Ltd, and Mentor, Scale-up Program.
Massive spike in revenue
So, would you be surprised to know that the company’s revenue more than doubled in the last financial year with MIF’s intervention? Its capacities have increased 10 times, and it can also boast of zero consumer complaints.
The story has been captured in the third episode of ‘Mentorship Matters’—a video series that showcases how 4 unique organizations like S4S Technologies have benefitted from the Scale-up Program.
Watch the video to know more.
Also, if you know of innovations that could benefit from MIF’s Scale-Up Program, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more such innovative stories about the Scale-up Program, stay tuned to the Mint Facebook page.