Chukde Spices has strictly adhered to its core values
Rajat Luthra, Director, Chukde Spices, opines that a brand needs to have its brand values in place to make its mark in the international market. When a company works on the principles of trust, commitment to quality, constant evolution, and creating value for the customers, it’s bound to succeed.
IBT: How would you describe the journey of Chukde Spices its vision, and key achievements?
Rajat Luthra: Chukde Spices is a spice processing company based in India that sells its packaged spices globally. At Chukde Spices, our core focus has always been to bring in the technology that will make our spices safer without compromising on the flavours. We also believe in ethical practices that reflect in sourcing our spices in a socially responsible manner. Our mission is to uphold the standards of purity and sustain the cultural richness & diversity associated with Indian spices. With Chukde Spices, our dedication and commitment have earned us many credentials including the National Award in Outstanding Export (2017) and the National Award in Outstanding Entrepreneurship (2020).
IBT: What is the story behind the brand, the inspiration, and how has the brand personality developed and evolved over time?
Rajat Luthra: We started in 2006 with just a store at a local spice market in Delhi. The passion for high-quality and genuine products led us to start our own operations in 2007. Our transparent and ethical business practices connect the customers with farms while retaining the authenticity and purity of the spices.
We have maintained our focus on safety all these years. This led to state-of-the-art machinery for sorting and cleaning the spices, and the use of the first ETO sterilization unit in the spice industry. This low-temperature process uses Ethylene Oxide gas to reduce the level of infectious agents.
Today, the hospitality sector loves us for the hygiene standards we maintain across the procurement, production, and delivery processes. Online retail platforms vouch for our purity standards. From mothers managing household kitchens to chefs supervising commercial kitchens, all our customers feel assured of authenticity with Chukde Spices.
IBT: Who are your target customers? What is the brand promise that they have grown to expect from your company?
Rajat Luthra: Our main target customers are women in the age bracket of 24 years to 45 years. They are the key decision-makers when it comes to buying our products. We’ve always maintained that we are the safest spices of India and we offer purity and authentic products along with the promise of unmatchable taste.
IBT: What strategy and action plan should a company follow to build its brand equity in the international market? Please illustrate with lessons from your brand’s journey.
Rajat Luthra: A brand needs to have its brand values in place to make its mark in the international market. When a company works on the principles of trust and commitment and creating value for the customers, it’s bound to succeed.
At Chukde, the quality of our product is of prime importance for us. We give utmost attention to the safety standards of our spices. We have never compromised on that even at the cost of losing a buyer, who was ready to cut on quality for lower prices. This kind of practice has maintained our credibility in the international market over the years and also helped us retain our buyers.
IBT: How has brand building changed in the digital era? How has your company adapted to the same?
Rajat Luthra: Brand building is no more about waiting for the customer to come to you. The digital age has brought everything closer and made everything accessible. This also means that brands need to keep up with the changing technological market to stay relevant and meet the requirements of consumers. The market has become very dynamic and this means that brands need to keep evolving constantly.
As a brand in India – a country with the youngest population, we are adapting consistently, and aim to use the digital platform to its full potential. Whether it’s social media and content marketing or creating an e-commerce website for a convenient shopping experience for our customers, we are invested in being with the times.
IBT: What brand extensions are you planning in the coming years to strengthen Chukde Spices’ brand personality and expand your reach to new target audiences?
Rajat Luthra: We plan to play to our strengths and expand our existing portfolio of spices. Along with that we also plan on exploring ready-to-use spice mixes both in hydrated and dehydrated forms.
IBT: What is India’s brand image in the domain of F&B products? What is the gap between perception and reality and how can it be bridged in your view?
Rajat Luthra: While India is the land of spices, malpractices by certain suppliers often create a poor-quality perception of India. However, we are one of the top agri-producers of spices in the world. Our diverse climatic conditions give us an advantage in the production of many agricultural goods required by the F&B industry. By utilizing the vast intellectual knowledge that our country possesses, we can produce high-quality foods that meet international quality standards & regulations. This would open new avenues for Indian food products.
Rajat Luthra is the Director of Unique Fragrances. Views expressed are personal. This interview is a part of TPCI’s Connect initiative.