Focus on Innovation and Advancement: Milky Mist CEO Dr K Rathnam’s Counsel

Dr. K Rathnam talks about how Milky Mist deploys the latest technology in its operations to achieve premium quality in the most efficient manner.

From the early days of delivering milk and paneer to cities Bengaluru, Coimbatore, and Chennai, the brand of Milky Mist has become synonymous with dairy products in the southern states of India. Its per day procurement of milk stands at a staggering 6,00,000 liters which involves more than 50,000 farmers. The turnover of the company has grown exponentially, from Rs. 13 crore in 2007-08 to a mammoth Rs.1,000 crore in 2020-21.

Behind this story of success and expansion lies a robust and advanced infrastructure which churns out products in large quantity and with best quality. The company’s CEO Dr. K Rathnam gives insight into the importance they have given to innovation and adoption of latest technology across their units.

Deeming customer satisfaction as their driving priority, he states, “Being a dairy company, our products are perishable and meant to be consumed within a given time frame. In order to extend their consumption cycle, we evolved our packaging by sourcing advanced packing machines from Europe. More than 20 of our products are packed with Thermoformed Vacuum by utilizing latest industry technology.”

Talking about his company’s manufacturing facilities, he enthusiastically expresses, “Our Mega Dairy sits on a total land area of 1.38 million sq. ft. To supply our manufacturing and processing units with adequate energy, we have turned to Green Energy. This includes a Solar Energy Plant with an output capacity of 4MW and a Wind Mill which can produce up to 2MW of power.” Another 9 MW solar plant under execution.

With an increase in people’s concern about their food choices, Milky Mist also forayed into developing probiotic curd. Dr K.Rathnam Milky Mist CEO credits his entire team for the product, “Our R&D collaborated with Chr. Hansen and spent 10 weeks on just researching and developing the formula. The success of our immunity booster curd shows our commitment to scientific and technological approach which defines our brand’s ethos.”

He continues, “We are currently working on ways to recover protein from effluents or dairy wastes. Our objective is to apply innovative technologies to further improve the efficiency and productivity during the processing.”

For the dairy giant, the entire chain of procurement, processing, manufacturing, logistics and delivery takes place in-house. The company is involved directly not only with the farmers but their distributors and retailers as well. It maintains a fleet of 100+ reefers and 22 tankers at its factory. In addition, it has a huge market with 1,25,000 retail outlets and 12,000 chillers.

Dr K Rathnam states that their focus on distribution and logistics is top priority. He elaborates, “We have a dedicated fleet of 85 trucks to ensure complete monitoring of transportation. Most of them are of BS-IV standards, to comply with emission levels and safeguard the environment. Further, we are adding BS-VI trucks since they offer cleaner transmission in terms of fuel efficiency as well as long-term cost-effectiveness.”

“We also leverage the GPS technology and utilize it to track movement of our trucks. This helps us to ensure that our cold chain supply runs smoothly and the product temperature is monitored at every point”, he says.

Milky Mist’s market position today is evident from their focus on prioritizing innovation and technology at every stages of their operations, whether manufacturing, processing or distribution. Dr K Rathnam’s insights carry quite a few lessons for other players to follow suit and arm their businesses with cutting-edge technology.


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