Expanding up its production and R&D facility, Kemin Industries South Asia (Kemin India), Indian subsidiary of nutritional ingredient manufacturer from US (Kemin Industries) is well positioned to serve Indian and Indian sub continent market that is poised for a rapid growth.
Think Grain Think Feed got an opportunity to interact with the captains of the ship about company’s growth, challenges in the industry and way forward.
Kemin Industries has 8 production facilities and 6 R&D facilities across the globe, the company manufactures over 500 specialty ingredients for animal health and nutrition, pet food technologies and personal care segment.Situated next to poultry hub of India in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, Kemin India has recently expanded its facility to 42000 sq. ft including state-of-the-art R&D lab in 15000 sq. ft with an investment of USD 1.4 million.
The production facility of the company is located in Gumidipoondi area near Chennai, producing 24000 tonnes of feed nutritional ingredients. The company is operating with a team strength of 450 professionals, handling raw material sourcing to production and sales, the company is serving the customers in best possible manner.
The company started with a humble beginning in 1961, when founders RW & Mary Nelson invested their savings of USD 10000 in the business and has built Kemin Industries as a global organization around the world present in all the continents and providing value in the food, feed & health businesses. The Indian direct operation began from 1997 and the availability of Marigold flowers in India was the sole reason for Kemin worldwide to look at India at first and later realizing the market opportunities in the animal nutrition has strategically entered the poultry business and made in roads to success and never looked back. Samraj Jeychandran, Sr. Vice President, one of the key founding members has stated that innovation, differentiation and value addition provided through a small core group early on has made Kemin what it is in current decade.
When Kemin entered in India, customers were using traditional feeding systems and the company put all its efforts to partner with the industry, educate them and share its international expertise. In last 10 years, with adopting international technology Indian poultry industry has seen progressive growth which has resulted in improved quality, efficiency, cost and affordable protein availability. Today, Kemin India is achieving an impressive growth of 33 percent p.a. and aiming to reach a revenue of INR 500 crore by 2018.
Kemin Industries globally is a 650 million company and Animal nutrition division is contributing 55 percent of Kemin business worldwide. The company operates in 90 countries with manufacturing facilities in China, India, Brazil, Belgium, Italy, Singapore, South Africa and United States, with its corporate headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa.
Sharing the vision of company, G S Ramesh, President and CEO, Kemin South Asia says,“we at Kemin strive to improve the quality of life by touching half the people of the world every day with our products and services. We are measuring it every day and currently we have touched 3 billion people i.e. closer to our vision of touching 3.7 Billion by 2018. That would be a 1st phase of our vision.”
“On worldwide level, Kemin Industries is planning to invest more in sustainably growing plant resources and manage natural resources. Year on year, the company is transiting toward plant resources like 5 years ago less than 20% of products used to come from plant sources and today it is 36%. We are consistently increasing the proportion of plant sources in our products to ensure the sustainable growth, while delivering better quality, better performance and overall benefits to the customers,” he adds.
Customer satisfaction has always been a priority for Kemin Industries. “The company organizes workshops and other training programs to upgrade its customer about nutrition and technology and act in partnership with its customers to fulfill their expectations while achieving mutually profitable results,” states Samraj.
Sharing his experience with the company, Samraj feels as good as an entrepreneur who has seen the company starting from scratch back in 1998 and its growth all over the years. He is enjoying every single minute of the mission to provide local innovative nutritional and health solutions for a changing world.
Raw Material-Universal Problem
Availability of traditional raw materials on affordable prices and quality alternatives is a big issue for the Indian feed industry. In the past decade, the industry has understood the importance of quality inputs for producing quality products. Samraj points out,”availability of corn and soya at an affordable cost is a universal problem. Research on alternate raw material has reached a high level now. India is blessed with a plethora of alternate raw materials like guar based products, DDGS, meat and bone meal, sunflower meal etc. The issue faced is consistency in quality and specifications. Most consumers cannot analyze these raw materials and are skeptical in adding the same in higher levels. The manufacturers need to improve the quality and provide consistency in the protein levels, declare digestible levels and make sure they are pathogen and contamination free. In addition to these issues, the yield per hectare of our crops is way behind the international levels. Most countries in the world are using GMO crops and the governmental authorities can look into this direction and help farmers improve their production and yield.”
In last 3 decades, shifting of 100 percent mash feed to present 80% pellet feed signifies the upgraded level of the nutritional knowledge among the Indian industry. If cattle and layer industry in India shift to compound feed, then the country needs to produce 80-90 MMT compound feed annually. Right now the total compound feed produced in whole of South Asia is just 30 MMT annually.
“We might compare the body weight and FCR of our birds to that of international standards but industry still have a long way to go to ensure profitability to producer and affordable price to consumer,” says Samraj Jeychandran.
“Advanced technologies have demonstrated a high efficiency feed with 80-90 percent throughput, better quality and integrity of feed to reduce the wastage of plant bringing more profitability to the producers,” shares GS Ramesh.
We have a specialized team who works in Product Application Division (PAD) and suggest and inspire them for using better technology and also tune-fine the plant operation,he adds.
The right science and deep research are the keys to developing products that can be better utilized in the animal system. Dr. Haridasan Chirakkal who heads the R&D division of Kemin South Asia shares about the recent technologies that are patented by Kemin and its role in bringing better efficiency and profitability in the industry.
Encapsulation, incidentally, is the core technology of Kemin, which includes, proteins, amino acids, fats. In addition to these, company also produces chelated minerals, antioxidants, vitamin mixes, toxin binders, antibiotics and probiotics.
The company has recently patented its technology of new Liquid Bio Surfactant LBS ( Liquid Bio Surfactant) which transforms the application process by directly dosing the bio-surfactant into the oil and fat application line. It is a naturally derived liquid bio-surfactant, mixing it with the oil and fats early enhances its efficacy and helps to standardize the energy value of the oil and hence improves the digestion and absorption of nutrients in feed.
“Traditionally bio-surfactants are added in dry form to the mixer with other feed raw materials. Their benefits to improve lipid digestion are well known. Consequently, the addition of a bio-surfactant leads to a better utilisation of the energy from feed raw materials, resulting in improved feed conversion ratios, lower production costs and improved profitability,”explains Dr. Haridasan.
“SLA i.e. slow release amylase isanothertechnology which comes under the same principle of delivering nutrients in encapsulated form to make these to release slowly in the GI tract or bypass rumen. This helps in the greater absorption of nutrients, as the nutrient in question gets more time to be in touch with the intestinalmucosa/ villae,” Dr. Chirakkal adds.
Automation is the key
The company started with manual operations to produce the product portfolio in India. To be in tune with times and to increase the plant operational efficiencies, and responding to the aggressive growth of the company, the immediate goal is to bring complete automation in the plant.
“Pertaining to strong growth of 30 percent on yearly basis, large scale automation is introduced in the operations which is expected to complete by the year end which would cover operations right from the reception of the raw materials up to packaging. Automation offers multiple benefits that would result in greater efficiency of the operations and tremendous increase in the quantum of the product and thus, contributing to the overall growth of the company,” says George Joseph , Vice President Operations, Kemin South Asia.
The company uses best system in the world to produce nutritional ingredients and has been strictly tracking Raw material risk assessment (RMRA) that ensures the processes used in supplier products comply with the company requirement to deliver the quality product.
“As an international company, we ensure that the production facility operates with highest quality standards. We maintain EU standards which in itself states the produced quality. At the same time we also focus on best delivery that may even cross the quality standards. As in case of dust level in air, allowed dust the level in production facility is 5 mg/cu air and we aim to reach 3mg/cu air,” he adds.
The industry should focus on step ahead to tackle emerging challenges like detecting sources of new chemical or biological contaminants. Industry needs fastest approach to help to develop more effective elimination strategies. Feed safety is a journey that will lead to safe and wholesome protein availability at affordable prices.
“Looking ahead, the industry has to focus on long term sustainability. As safety regulations in the country are not up to the mark, but when borders will start getting thinner, then more food will start coming from outside of the country. Are we ready to face the competition which can claim their food safe and produced in an efficient way?,” says GS Ramesh.
“The Indian industry should prepare itself for future challenges. Get more awareness about the sustainable raw material and manage quality and safety systems in food. We have started in the right direction but there is a long way to go,” concludes Mr. GS Ramesh.