Bichitrananda Senapati, MD of DIVYA MULTI GRAINS PVT LTD
Born to a simple middle-class family in Odisha, Bichitrananda Senapati(Swiping into Hearts with Spices) is the mastermind behind a major spices distribution company. A commerce graduate from Nimapara College, Senapati went on job-hunting to Rourkela but in a surprising turn of events, floated his own company with minuscule capital of Rs 1600 in 1987.
Having managed his business creditably for three years in Rourkela, he upscaled to Bhubaneswar. Senapati(Swiping into Hearts with Spices) was acutely aware of the Indian households’ attachment with spice and condiments.
Keeping to the consumer sentiment, he commenced the distribution of FMCG goods in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, and Puri. But as he grasped the dynamics of spices distribution, he(Swiping into Hearts with Spices) was anguished by the rampant use of artificial colors and preservatives in spices.
He realized this mix driven by crass commercialization was baleful for human consumption. Senapati’s(Swiping into Hearts with Spices) focus was then on building a spice manufacturing company catering to unadulterated, healthy and nutritious needs. Also, he was keen to engage as many people as this company could accommodate.
His partnership with Banikanta Dalai, also a commerce graduate, spurred Senapati to unimaginable success. Dalai had the advantage of an MBA degree and had invested around 20 years in the FMCG sector.
A co-director, they had set up the spice factory at Bhimpur in the vicinity of Pahal famed for its Rasagollas. In 2005, the duo christened their spices brand ‘Homefills’, graduating to trademark registration in 2008.
Employing seven women and four male workers, they began by investing around Rs 50,000/- and putting a conscious effort to clean and package whole spices under their registered trademark at a small rented flat in Bhubaneswar.
Product marketing was spread around an array of retail outlets in and around Bhubaneswar and its outskirts.
Receiving an outstanding review from consumers from far and wide, they worked themselves up from the dingy rented apartment to a more industrial land to facilitate manufacturing expansion.
However, that fate met with a dead end. But, as every success story goes, obstacles are but an intricate part of the bigger success story.
Having failed to procure an industrial land due to financial constraints, Senapati(Swiping into Hearts with Spices) and Dalai settled with a smaller land parcel Bhimpur near Pahal and gradually shifted their flourishing workshop there in 2012, with their spirits undiminished after the recent setback.
With the help of a bank loan, they built a 20,000 sq ft factory with automatic plants for unadulterated product manufacturing under “M/S DIVYA MULTI GRAINS PVT LTD”, Senapati as the Managing Director and Dalai as the Director, divided labor among hundreds of workers.
With the primary objective of serving quality products and thereby fighting fraud and spreading awareness about pure food, accounting for a healthier customer base, the company began producing a variety of 120 products in more than 350 pack sizes.
With a turnover of about Rs 12 crore in just about eight years, the company has scaled unimaginable heights with four super stockists and 120 distributors across Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Karnataka, alongside exploring overseas trade in Nepal, Bangladesh, etc.
The company’s current objective is to double its turnover by 2021 and to open exclusive spice shops in major places.
Director Banikant Dalai while interacting with Interview Times said that the initial response of Homefills product was not beyond question.
“But today, our product has its own identity and the response is quite impressive in a very short span. Our high standard of packaging and quality make it easy to promote our product and boost our capital. We are targeting the new generation and our future is decent. I believe in being hardworking, honest and practical. If you maintain these three skills, no one can stop you to achieve success. To start something new, you have to believe in yourself, your caliber and respect your customers & vendors”.
His message: “Goodwill (among customers and vendors) is of foremost importance to sustain a business. Always try to gather knowledge of the current market”.