Packaged foods is a key area of growth for foodtech

Sanjay Kumar, Managing Director, Standard Machinery Corporation, opines that customer service, marketing approach, and sales strategy helped the brand stand out from its competitors.  He discusses the company’s solutions, growth mantra and expansion plans in this interaction with India Business & Trade.

Standard Machinery Corporation (2)

IBT: Tell us about the journey of Standard Machinery Corporation, its vision, and key achievements. What are the key business segments that you operate in and the products/solutions you provide?

Sanjay Kumar: Being a 74-year-old company, SMC offers high-quality equipment for bakery, biscuits, bread, cookies, cakes, chocolates, confectionary, gum, snacks, spices, fruits, vegetables, meats, pasta, ready-to-eats, dairy & packaging industry. SMC offers end-to-end solutions comprising both new and pre-owned equipment for simple to sophisticated, high-end output in every area of the food market. In other words, we are into anything to do with food processing and packaging, and have everything from complete turnkey solutions to small tabletop solutions.

Our main objective is to be highly customer-oriented and therefore each customer is very important to us. We focus on quality and not quantity. The company meets the customer’s exact requirements and does not believe in only selling a standard range of machines. We sell solutions! We don’t vend locally manufactured machinery; we are basically agents and promoters for overseas companies, primarily from Europe and the Far East.

IBT: What is/are the core competitive advantages that you provide that differentiate you from the competition? Which are the markets you have successfully penetrated so far?

Sanjay Kumar: Legendary Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter defines competition in business as the struggle to attain a profitable, unique position in the market. No business starts out with the goal of blending in. Yet, standing out from the competition is one of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs and marketers continue to face. However, standing out and being unique is key for us. Our customer service, marketing approach, and sales strategy make us stand out from our competitors.

SMC initially started out in the Indian market. When our team evaluated and analyzed the market trends of other countries like Sri Lanka, our founders thought it would be apt to spread our wings and look at the response we have received. It’s safe to say that we have successfully captured the Indian and Sri Lankan markets, and our customers are very pleased with our services.

IBT: What are the main pain points that SMC experienced during the pandemic?

Sanjay Kumar: With the current times we are living in, the pandemic has not only slowed things down in the markets but also brought about a hold on most of our projects. Customers have reduced their annual budgets drastically thereby reducing their spending powers.

IBT: How are you planning to expand in the future, product segments, new markets, end-user segments, etc?

Sanjay Kumar: The growth in the food industry will never stop. We keep on introducing newer technologies to adapt to local requirements. Investment in the industrial production of packaged foods with a shelf life is something the market is looking at to constantly expand.

IBT:  How do you view India’s competitiveness globally in your industry, and how it has improved over the years? What can be done further to enhance this competitiveness?

Sanjay Kumar: Indian food products need to have more value additions in them and better packaging. Also, the packaging must have proper details about the food such as its nutritional value, ingredients, food certification, and so forth.

Sanjay Kumar is the Managing Director, Standard Machinery Corporation. Views expressed are personal.

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