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The CEO Magazine
A monthly magazine for business leaders and decision makers

Sagar Anand Kurade: Spearheading Value Based Consulting within Processed Food Industry

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Sagar Anand Kurade: Spearheading Value Based Consulting within Processed Food Industry

With the developing trend in the food and agriculture sector, the demand for food consultants is also going up. These consultants work for a defined scope of work as an advocate for their client in achieving their goals through the design and implementation of food service facilities and management systems. Sagar Anand Kurade is a renowned name in this field; he is bringing new innovations to this business world. Sagar holds over 20 years of pedigreed work experience in providing management & industrial consulting services to leading Indian Food & Agri-Business Companies as well as several Fortune 100 companies operating in the food processing sector. He has an extensive understanding of the Global Food & Agribusiness industry sector and has a widespread network of meaningful relationships with the several known food & agribusiness companies operating in India.

Sagar’s entrepreneurial journey initiated in the year 1999 when he came back to India from the US and joined Suman Food Consultants. This Company was founded by his father, Dr. Anand G. Naik Kurade, in 1971. At the time, the company was proprietary, and it had a lot of goodwill but, the company was facing the lack of digital age skill sets. Over the next three years, Kurade’s experience in working with fortune 100 Company came into play and the Company built-up new verticals within the Food Processing Sector by creating digital tools. In 2004, the Management decided to change the structure of the company into Private Limited leading to the formation of Suman Project Consultants Pvt. Ltd. Over the last decade, Suman Project Consultants has been transformed into one of the most sought after consulting Company within the Agri-Infrastructure and Food Processing space.

As Chairman & Managing Director of Suman Project Consultants Private Limited, Sagar played a key role on several Industry platforms including as President of the All India Food Processors Association, Vice President of the Association of Food Scientists & Technologists, Delhi and as Executive Committee Member – Confederation of Indian Food Trade and Industry, FICCI. Kurade’s entrepreneurial journey was fuelled by his childhood desire to be in business. His exposure to different processed food products in the USA and the gap associated with the same in India led him to believe that the Indian processed food market was still in the nascent stage. Before this journey, Sagar had completed his MBA from University of Hartford, Connecticut and then went on to work for Southern New England Telecommunications (SNET) as a Product Manager.

Feather in the Cap of Sagar Anand Kurade

Sagar is the recipient of several marquee awards and commemorations including:

  • President Medal from the All India Food Processors Association (2011).
  • NCCI Awards of Excellence in Food Processing by NCR Chamber of Commerce and Industry. (2015)
  • Udyog Rattan Award by Institute of Economics Studies (2016)
  • ICE Award for Dynamic Leadership (2016)

Besides, Sagar is an active speaker at events & conferences organized by the Ministry of Food Processing, Government of India as well as leading Industry associations such as AIFPA, AFST (I), and FICCI & CII.

Here are the edited excerpts from the conversation between our editorial team and Sagar Kurade.

Throw some light on Suman Project Consultants and its work portfolio.

Suman Project Consultants Pvt. Ltd. is India’s leading consulting Company in the Food Processing Sector. Over the last 48 years, the company has already undertaken more than 500 projects in India and Abroad. The Company offers services in different verticals including Project Engineering & Management, Process / Technical Advisory, Regulatory Advisory, Market Facilitation as well as Merger & Acquisition.

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The company is the team of 20 experts including Process Engineers, Food Technologists, Civil & Structural Engineers as well as Business development staff. They are committed to adhere to the expectations of the clients and ensure operational efficiency and reduction in project cost. Suman Project creates value to clients by offering “one stop shop” solutions which include but is not limited to process advisory, product development, project management, regulatory advisory, market facilitation, etc.

Who are your clients? How do you work on your long-term relationship with your clients?

As mentioned, Suman Project Consultants Pvt. Ltd has provided its services to more than 500 plants & projects within the Food Processing Sector. Our clients include but are not limited to Fortune 100 companies like PepsiCo International Ltd., Coca-Cola Exports Ltd., Multinational companies like Hindustan Unilever Ltd, Rasna Pvt. Ltd., Vadilal Industries Ltd, Govt. of India Ministries such as; Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of External Affairs as well as State Government Departments of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh etc.

Our Company has provided services and undertaken projects in India as well as abroad such as the USA, Chad, Vietnam, Angola, South Africa, Kyrgyzstan, Yemen, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, etc. We tried to keep long term relationship with our clients by delivering services as per client expectations and retaining connect even after the scope of services has been delivered.

Walk us through your daily routine

My day starts with a cup of tea at around 6:30 am. The pre-work morning involves morning walk, getting up to date with National & business news as well as social networking groups. My work day starts at 9:30 with catching up on company emails and communications with staff. I like to look into the major project issues during the 1st half of the day. Post 1:30 lunch is the least productive time for me. I mainly spend this hour by discussing on Industry issues with collogues. 2nd half of the day goes in meeting potential clients as well as discussions with clients on their projects in India and abroad. I spend the last hour in the office to communicate with the team and discuss with them the progress of their work.

What was your journey like to get where you are?

My initial years went into building a vision for the company and ensuring that it had my father’s blessings. While most of the last decade went in learning different aspects of subject and business, it was important for me to understand the environment in which we operate in the Industry. Hence, since the early part of this decade, I started becoming active on various Industry platforms. Over the last few years, we have tried to increase the Scope of services of our Company as well as undertake projects of larger scale. Our largest project undertaken currently stands at a project cost of ₹ 200 Cr. Over the coming years, my endeavour will be to give back to the Industry through activities that will truly make our Industry and country stand out as a major force agri-Infrastructure and processed food.

What are your forthcoming strategies to grow your firm?

Our future strategy is to focus on expanding the client base within new verticals such as M&A and expanding our presence outside of India.

Words of Wisdom

Consultancy business is people and reputation centric. Take the longer path of building your reputation to such a level that the clients approach you for work rather than vice versa.

What motivates you?

I like to focus on situations and issues to which we can contribute or change rather than focusing on situations or task on which we have no control. I have found that people sometimes focus on situations or results that they do not have any control over. This

typically leads to unnecessary stress and tensions. “Karmanye Vadhikaraste, Ma Phaleshu Kada Chana”. This philosophy always motivates me.

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