5 firms that put Coimbatore on the Indian enterprise map
One of the trends that has stood out strongly during the coronavirus pandemic is the strengthening of the local economy. With disruptions in supply chains wreaking havoc around the world, companies are forced to look for solutions in their own backyard. This pandemic made it clear that Tier II and III cities will play a bigger role in the future.
Coimbatore, often known as the “Manchester of South India” (for its tremendous support for the textile industry), is gaining traction in the Tamil Nadu business community.
With programs like TN Electronics, Hardware and Manufacturing Policy 2020, TN Electric Vehicle Policy 2019, TN Combined Development Building Roads 2019, and more, the city has the potential to become one of India’s premier manufacturing centers.
SMBStory has compiled a list of businesses that put this city on India’s entrepreneurship map.
B. Soundararajan, Chairman and CEO, Suguna Holdings Pvt. GmbH.
In 1986, brothers GB Sundararajan and B Soundararajan founded Suguna Foods Private Limited in Coimbatore as a small poultry trading company supplying equipment, poultry health products, feed and chicks to other poultry companies.
After three years in the trading business, they found that many farmers were giving up farming because of the huge credit gap in the market. In the absence of structured credit from banks, these farmers relied on private lenders. In addition, they were unable to maintain an unstable income.
It was then that the brothers came up with the idea of adopting a contract farming model that would eliminate the need for the middleman.
In 1990 Suguna Foods started contract poultry farming with just three farms, providing farmers with everything they needed to raise chicks – from feed to medicine.
Today Suguna Foods offers over 40,000 farmers a stable income through this model. It is best known for its high quality chicken and related foods, and it also operates around 66 feed mills across the country. The company has annual sales of Rs 8,700 crore.
VKC Noushad, founder of Walkaroo
In 2013, VKC Noushad a brand called. brought on the market Walkaroo in Coimbatore, that offers products that combine fashion, quality and affordability. It offers casual shoes, formal shoes, flip flops, open toe shoes, slippers, sandals, etc. for men, women, children, etc.
The shoes are manufactured in the company’s own 12 production facilities in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat and a few other locations. The units together have a capacity of four lakh pairs of shoes per day.
Aside from launching its own website, Walkaroo has listed itself on e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart and a few others in 2019. However, Noushad claims that it is not a digital-first brand.
Walkaroo had sales of Rs 1,245 crore in the last fiscal year.
TABP snacks and drinks
Brindha Vijayakumar and Prabhu Gandhikumar, co-founder of TABP Snacks and Beverages
Prabhu Gandhikumar worked as a consultant in the US for many years before moving back to India in 2012 to join his family business producing metal castings in Coimbatore. However, he felt a deep dissatisfaction.
In 2016, he was exploring different sectors to get into and drinks seemed like a great option. He realized that day laborers craved carbonated beverages that were affordable yet tasty, especially during the summer months like April, May, and June.
In addition, according to several data reports, a day laborer earns an average of between 9,000 and 10,000 rupees a month. Sometimes even less.
Prabhu says he found a real niche in the market. And so, in 2016, Prabhu and his wife Brindha Vijayakumar founded Tanvi Foods, which focused on drinks only, with two flavors – mango and apple juice for the price of Rs 10.
Since then there has been no turning back and the company was later transformed into TABP Snacks and Beverages in 2018. According to the numbers shared by Prabhu, TABP has grown from Rs 92 lakh in FY17 to Rs 35.5 crore in FY21.
P Arumugam and Kanishka Arumugam
In 1980 P Arumugam, who is from Kottur, a small village in Tamil Nadu, moved to Coimbatore to continue his studies. After graduating, Arumugam’s uncle, KK Veluchamy, suggested opening a pump spare parts business, and in 1981 the duo and their friend MS Sundaram founded Deccan Pumps.
The pump manufacturer began its journey as a small workshop with just nine employees making submersible pumps for farmers. Little by little, the small group diversified into manufacturing other products such as jet pumps, submersible motors, centrifugal monoblocs, downhole submersibles, etc.
The company also saw several changes when Arumugam took full ownership of the group and became sole owner, which paved the way for a larger private equity firm called. paved NOT group, which includes four companies: Deccan Pumps, Deccan Enterprises, EKKI HOMA and EKKI Pumps.
This happened in 2013.
Today the company has grown from a simple one Pump manufacturer to a water technology company.
Vijay Prasad, Managing Director, Annapoorna Masalas
Dr. Damodarasamy Naidu was running a small hotel chain in 1975 when he decided to get into the spice business to supply them with local spice blends. He founded Annapoorna Masalas, which sourced the spices locally, mixed them in a small unit in Coimbatore and sold them to hotels in the region on a B2B model.
Today Annapoorna Masalas has a total of 53 products and 101 SKUs. After the rebranding, it launched around 12 national-regional blends, three biryani varieties and nine regional Tamil Nadu blends.
In FY20, the brand for spice blends was introduced Annual sales of Rs 35 crore. Annapoorna Masalas is also available on e-commerce portals such as Amazon, Bigbasket, Flipkart and Paytm Mall.