December 22, 2010 | The Hindu

Tata makes foray into branded pulses

Tata Chemicals on Tuesday announced the extending of its   from salt to other food essentials by launching India's first national brand of pulses — i-Shakti Dals. The company launched four popular varieties of pulses, that is, chana, toor, urad and moong (including whole green moong and green chilka) in the Indian market.
 
The pulses range has been priced between Rs.95-100 for one kilogram pack and will be available in SKU's of 1 kg, 500 gram and 250 gram. Apart from the traditional ‘kirana' stores and modern format food retail chains, Tata Chemicals will utilise its Tata Kisan Sansar outlets as well as its existing strong salt distribution network to market i-Shakti Dals across the country.
 
The i-Shakti range of pulses will be rolled out in a phased manner and will be initially available in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat and then available in the rest of the country.
 
Speaking on the pulses foray, Rallis India Chairman and Tata Chemicals Vice Chairman R. Gopalakrishnan said, “As dal has been an integral part of almost every Indian meal, we are happy to introduce an initiative that is holistic in nature and takes due care in every process — from seed to food, therefore the term ‘from farm to fork'. Through this we aim to work towards creating a healthier future for our country.''
 
Tata Chemicals Managing Director R. Mukundan said, “i-Shakti was launched with the mission to not only increase production of pulses in India to help bridge the existing gap between demand and supply of pulses in the country ; but also provide better / reliable quality, hygienic pulses to the Indian household. Leveraging upon the synergies in the farm and consumer space, we are happy to have managed to influence a sizable section of the Indian farmers' community to undertake pulses' cultivation and see the fruition of our efforts in this direction.” The Indian population is largely vegetarian, coupled with a stagnant domestic production; the country is faced with a domestic-supply gap. While the annual supply is 15 million tonnes, demand exceeds 18 million tonnes, creating a dependence on imports.
 
Taking cognizance of this situation, Tata Chemicals and Rallis India joined hands to leverage upon their strength with a large section of farmers across India. Tata Chemicals with its wide reach in Northern and Eastern India and Rallis India with a strong network in Southern and Western India successfully completed pilot projects towards ‘Farm to Fork' aspiration. Under the aegis: ‘Grow More Pulses' (GMP) – launched as a PPP (Public-Private Partnership) in Punjab and Tamil Nadu respectively – the farming community in India was induced into the cultivation of pulses, through which the procurement and marketing of ‘i-Shakti Dals' is undertaken.

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