Written By John Hey
Devangshu Dutta, founder and CEO of consulting firm Third Eyesight, will keynote this year’s Fresh Produce India on 26-27 April with his expert perspective on the changing landscape of India’s consumer market– and what it means for fresh produce marketers.
With a young, educated population– and an economy tipped to become the world’s third largest by 2030–India’s consumer market is poised for dynamic growth.
Second- and third-tier cities across the country are emerging rapidly as income levels rise. Traditional retail channels still control the vast majority of India’s fresh produce sales, but modern retail has begun to gain traction, boosted by recent fiscal reforms. Digital channels are also increasing their influence over what Indian consumers buy, and how.
Dutta, whose specialist management consulting firm focuses on retail and consumer products, will analyse all these changes in the opening session of Fresh Produce India.
Joining him for the ensuing panel discussion will be K Radhakrishan, co-founder of Starquik.com. With an impressive track record in food and grocery retail, Radhakrishan’s latest venture is focused on developing an omnichannel grocery business for Tata aligned to the Star Bazaar store network.
Bringing an international perspective, Filip Fontaine, general manager of Belgian cooperative BelOrta, will explain the growing strategic importance of the Indian market to Belgium as a key export nation, and to the European business at large.
After the opening plenary session, Fresh Produce India Expo kicks off, showcasing a range of products and services for delegates to take in.
Running alongside the expo is a programme of special workshop sessions for delegates to choose from. Covering everything from investment models to supply chain technologies, these workshops offer practical solutions and advice on a range of issues.
Apples continue to dominate India’s fresh fruit import market, but a temporary ban on one of the dominant suppliers – China – has opened the way for other exporting countries to capitalise. In the session, ‘New sources for India’s apple market’, Aysel Oguz, export sales manager for major Turkish grower-shipper Anadolu Etap, will discuss what Turkey has to offer the Indian market. Gagan Khosla of importer NGK Trading, which has actively been developing alternative supply sources, will assess the commercial prospects for a range of newer and prospective entrants.
Berries have become big business for the global fresh produce trade, but India remains largely uncharted territory for international players. Parth Karvat of Yupaa Fresh will lead a session exploring the opportunities and challenges to developing the berry category in India. Karvat, whose family has its own berry farms in India, will discuss the development of domestic production, as well as the increasing demand for imported berries. Tracey Burns, export division manager at Freshmax New Zealand, will also deliver a case study on kiwiberries, an exciting new product recently launched onto the Indian market together with local partner Suri Agro Fresh.
The workshop programme also provides strategic insights and advice. In a session on investment models for India’s horticulture business, Asish Puri, vice-president of Avalon Consulting (part of the Cordence Group), will outline the key trends in India’s food and agribusiness investment landscape. He will be joined by Kushal Agrawal, chief financial officer of venture capital firm Aspada, which has invested in a range of horticulture start-ups, including INI Farms, All Fresh, Leaf, SV Agri and Waycool. Agrawal will discuss the practical process of raising funds, and share the keys to the success of some of the ventures it has invested in
Elsewhere on the programme, Geoff Green, head of Capespan Global Procurement, will lead the session ‘Creating a sustainable future for Indian grapes’. Green, who heads up Capespan’s global grape business, has been visiting India to procure grapes for the last 16 years. He’ll share his vision of how the country can fulfil its potential in international markets by addressing a number of key issues. CEO of Hamburg-headquartered importer Don Limón Andréas Schindler, will also join the session. Sourcing grapes from across the world, Don Limón has also developed commercial imports from India under a grower-empowerment project in recent years.
In addition to taking advantage of the abundant information and insights at the conference, Fresh Produce India delegates get ample time to meet and do business at Fresh Produce India Expo, which is the primary networking arena. A wide range of companies are showcasing their products at Fresh Produce India Expo, which runs from 11:00-19:30 on Day One, and 10:30-14:00 on Day Two.