It is a little known fact that MDH ( Mahashian Di Hatti) Founder, Mahashay Dharam Pal who had initially started his venture in Pakistan with a small shop under the name of ‘Mahashian Di Hatti’ popularly known as ‘Deggi Mirch Wale’ was also the pioneer of ‘Roopak Stores’.
He envisioned the concept of ‘Ready-to-use’ spices by creating a niche in the unorganized spices market.
After the partition, Mahashay Dharam Pal came to India and bought small wooden shop measuring 14ft by 9 ft at Ajmal Khan Road, Karol Bagh and started his family business of ground spices under the banner ‘Mahashian Di Hatti’ popularly known as ‘Deggi Mirch Wale’ with an initial capital of just Rs.9, 700. It has now grown manifold with an annual turnover of Rs 300 crore selling 45 varieties of spices and pickels.
Initially called as ‘Mahashian Di Hatti’, later Mahashay Dharam Pal handed over its operation to his brother Satpal Gulati who re-established it under the name of ‘Roopak Stores’.
The company Roopak Overseas Pvt. Ltd initially depended on hand ground spices and then shifted to automated machines with a capacity to manufacture around 30 tonnes a day to meet the rising demand of spices.
It has state of the art manufacturing facilities providing superior quality of dry fruits, wide variety of spices , hygienically prepared homemade pickles, and diversified into syrups, tea, beauty care products , incense sticks, toothpowder, soya and havan samagri.
Satpal Gulati, Founder, Roopak Stores, spoke to SMEpost.com and said, “Roopak was the first modern spice store in Delhi. Since 1958, we are serving the customers with best quality standards.”
As per the research conducted by Technopak, “the total spice market in India is pegged at about Rs 40,000 crore, which is mostly in the MSME sector. Of which Rs 5,500 crore is estimated in branded segment, growing 14% annually. In the branded segment, MDH is a leader in North India with a seven per cent market share followed by Roopak Stores commanding 5% share.”
Gulati said “the company procures raw material directly from the farm producers (centre of production) to maintain uniformity in taste and quality. The raw material is first cleaned, dried and tested at the fully equipped quality control laboratories to ensure the best quality standards. It is then carefully grounded into the finished product passing through various stages, he said adding just five to six of company’s products like garam masala and mango pickles account for 70% of its sales.
He said there is huge market for readymade spice mixes such as Chicken Masala, Pav Bhaji Masala, Shahi Paneer Masala due to rapid urbanization, upsurge in nuclear families coupled with more number of working women which has reduced the time for cooking.
This lifestyle changes have helped in increasing profit margins for the company, he added.
The company now provides employment to more than 1500 workers, mostly daily wage women earners. Gulati said adding its products are in demand in North India particularly in Delhi, Ludhiana, Dehradun, Lucknow , Kanpur and Amritsar. It also exports ready-mix masalas to United Kingdom, United States and Canada where a large number of Indians live, a company official said.
India exports US$3 billion worth of spices every year. United States, West Asia, China, Malaysia, and United Kingdom are among the major consumers of Indian spices, Commerce Ministry data showed.
India is the world’s largest producer, consumer and exporter of spices producing about 75 of the 109 varieties listed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and accounts for half of the global trading in spices.