Indian food industry shines in innovation, convenience, and healthful offerings

Ramesh Singhal, founder of Noble Dehydrates, shares the inspiring journey from a small Rajasthan village to global entrepreneurship. Noble Dehydrates has become a culinary pioneer in cooking pastes, pickles, and more. With a market presence in over 45 countries, private labelling for global brands, and products in renowned supermarkets, Mr. Ramesh emphasizes the company’s commitment to quality and innovation.

The interview explores the role of modern technology, plans for diversification, and insights into global F&B trends. He anticipates Indusfood as a vital platform, connecting with an international audience, and showcasing Indian produce on a global scale.

Noble Dehydrates

IBT: Please share the company’s backstory and the inspiration behind its establishment, highlighting significant milestones achieved along the way.

Ramesh Singhal: The journey of Noble’s remarkable success starts in 1986 when the dream of one man became a reality! NOBLE Dehydrates made the way to success by pioneering in the cooking paste, pickles, chutneys, sauces, and curry paste business.

Initially, recipe mixes were only shared within the broader family but in a very short span of time, they gained popularity and orders started in from friends, acquaintances and general consumers.

Noble Dehydrates innovates with delicacies of the sub-continent to give consumers a bite of taste every day. As the pioneer in different condiments, we ensure that our products are not just coinvent but also deliver the flavour, traditional taste and aroma that our consumers love and cherish.

We work tirelessly to bring the best food solutions to our valued consumers looking internally and externally for new ideas, trends and improvements to deliver a superior product experience.

IBT: Currently, what is the market footprint of your company, both in India and on the international stage?

Ramesh Singhal: Noble Dehydrates is doing private labelling for leading global brands, and has a presence in over 45 countries across 5 continents. Our products are available in leading supermarkets across the globe including Walmart, Costco, Woolworths, Coles, Tesco, Coop, Aldi, Sainsbury’s etc.

IBT: How has your company embraced modern technology to enhance the production of high-quality F&B products

Ramesh Singhal: Our operational facilities consist of a culinary development kitchen, dry blending unit, liquid processing plant with hot filling capabilities, multiple retorts, X-ray machines, metal detectors, E Labs and an IQF line for frozen snacks, bread and meals. 

At Noble Dehydrates, quality is our religion. We strive to set our quality operations as a benchmark for the industry at large. Our mission is to provide our customers with supreme standards of product quality with consistency. Our quality control department regularly monitors the different phases of production from research & development to packaging and distributing while confirming national and international regulations and legislations. This ensures the highest quality at each stage of production for our consumers to safely enjoy our food products.

At Noble Dehydrates, products across all categories are manufactured, packed, stored and transported under the most hygienic conditions while maintaining international quality standards. This is made possible through regular quality checks and audits involving rigorous inspection of all products as per international best practices

IBT: Could you elaborate on your plans for market and product diversification? What factors or innovations drive your expansion into new markets and the introduction of new products?

Ramesh Singhal: Noble Dehydrates offers a complete end-to-end food development, design and manufacturing solution. We work in partnership with our customers to develop existing concepts and flavours for end users. 

We add our own, unique flavour to every project we undertake, and serve as a one-stop food solutions partner offering organic, gluten-free. All natural and vegan-friendly products. From frozen IQF snacks to flatbreads, ambient meal-kit concepts to ready meals, dips & marinades. We have developed over 500 products for retail, industrial and food service segments with Mexican, Indian, Asian as well as Italian & Mediterranean flavours.

At Noble, our research and development comprise a team of experts and culinary food scientists who work directly with the board of directors. This dedicated professional work to deliver an enticing world of Flavors and innovative food products under the direct supervision of our board. This is reflected in our diverse range of high-quality successful recipe mixes that already left a mark within the food industry across the globe. Our modern R&D lab is equipped with a high-end commercial kitchen and state-of-the-art equipment to accelerate and aid innovation. This also includes sensory facilities for objective evaluation of the different characteristics of our finished products. With its extensive resources, Noble’s R & D continuously explores new ideas and strives to develop trending prototype food products.

IBT: In the global F&B landscape, what major trends do you observe? How well-positioned is the Indian F&B industry to leverage and capitalize on these trends?

Ramesh Singhal: Major trends in global F & B can be divided into three categories:

Social & Informed

With digitalization and the rise of social media, it is imperative now more than ever to build a strong online presence. The use of social media provides F&B venues a platform to share their stories and connect with diners personally and regularly. Furthermore, if managed well, these accounts can be used to grow their brands organically to reach audiences regardless of their geographical locations at unprecedented rates. Leveraging on these benefits would not only keep existing customers engaged but also increase the footfall of new visitors which would lead to more revenue opportunities in the future

Convenience

“Convenience is king”. This was a phrase that resurfaced repeatedly in the last few years as we witnessed the boom of the food delivery industry; that was until the Coronavirus Pandemic swept the globe and caused a seismic lifestyle shift in 2020. Food delivery no longer just provided convenience, it became an integral part of supporting socially-responsible behaviour and has since been interwoven into individuals’ daily lives with many continuing to telecommute as the country makes its way towards recovery. While many F&B establishments leap at the idea of joining one (or all) of the major food delivery companies to hedge their businesses, there are a multitude of factors that have to be weighed. This is not only limited to operational concerns such as maintaining food quality and coordinating deliveries but also delves into issues of whether such a business move is profitable and sustainable in the long run.

Apart from food delivery, convenience within the F&B industry also comes in the form of making reservations. Gone are the days of trying to call a restaurant to place a reservation; everything is online and is often done through large third-party platforms with the click of a few buttons. Similar to joining a food delivery service, online reservations come with their own set of considerations. This ranges from the choice of platform to the trade-offs between investment and marketing exposure to physically managing the fulfilment of these reservations.

Healthful

‘Organic, non-genetically modified, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, superfoods’ are just some of the buzzwords we hear nowadays when it comes to nutrition. Consumers are not only increasingly conscious of the foods they put in their bodies but are also more deliberate in choosing products that minimise their footprint on the environment. In order to stay relevant, F&B establishments have to stay abreast of the latest food trends and keep agile in ensuring that their menus are consistently refreshed. 

With the development of digital infrastructure, and online delivery through different channels like Zomato and certification bodies for food safety, social compliance, gluten-free certification and organic certification, the Indian food industry is able to meet all three latest trends of the global food industry.

IBT: What are your impressions of Indus food, and what specific expectations do you have for the upcoming edition of the show?

Ramesh Singhal: Indusfood is a hub and presents a captive audience looking for Indian produce and expects supermarkets and business owners who are looking to get food of non-Indian origin.

Indusfood-F&B serves as a link to the entire global F&B trade. The event facilitates variety, connection, innovation, and resources to keep the industry moving. With over 100 countries expected to represent, this must-see destination attracts importers, distributors, and retailers alike to discover what they need to move their business forward. Indus Food brings together the most influential decision-makers and brand owners from all over the world, facilitating connections, building relationships, and driving business globally.


Ramesh Chand Singhal, born in 1947 in the small village of Maithoon, Rajasthan, is a self-made entrepreneur with a remarkable journey. After dedicated studies at Christen College Indore, he initially pursued enrollment at Wharton for further education. However, driven by a fervent dream, he chose a different path and went on to establish several successful industries, including Annapurna Oil Mills in 1971, Bharat Bones & Chemicals in 1978, Noble Dehydrates in 1986, Aditya Foods in 1998, and BRC Foods in 2022. Ramesh Singhal’s entrepreneurial spirit has left an indelible mark on various sectors, showcasing his commitment to excellence and innovation in the business world.

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