Over the past 28 years, Parag Milk Foods has established itself as an industry leader in India. And with good reason too; not only does it manufacture the highest-quality products and distribute to major clients across the country and the globe, but the company is also continually striving to improve, prioritising innovation and diversifying its offerings on a regular basis.
“I always think of innovation and quality as being never-ending, because it’s an ongoing system,” explains H S Oberoi, President of Parag Milk Foods. “You can’t say, ‘This is the end of it, there is no further improvement in quality.’ Our objective is that people should feel that Parag Milk Food is their go-to healthcare and nutritional company for dairy products.”
Since its inception in 1992, Parag Milk Foods has become a name synonymous with quality, manufacturing under internationally recognised brand names including Gowardhan, Go, Topp Up and Pride of Cows. “We’ve got three plants at the moment, one in Manchar, one in Palamaner and one in Sonipat,” H S tells.
“Our plants are very advanced, and the quality of milk is if not better than in Europe, then as good as. It’s very fresh, farm-to-house delivery. We literally deliver to the doorstep of the consumer – there’s no middleman, so the quality is guaranteed. From the farm, we’ve produced it, we’ve packed it and we’ve shipped it. We’re collecting the milk, processing it, branding it and distributing it.”
Ensuring that all employees are supported and able to develop their skills, H S says that Parag Milk Foods firmly believes in providing education to all individuals within the supply chain.
“We’re really a role model farm for dairy development in the area,” he explains. “We’re assisting farmers, educating them about cattle management and helping them with technical inputs like artificial insemination, health care and extension activities.”
Alongside milk, Parag Milk Foods creates a vast array of natural and processed cheeses, ghee, milk powders, paneer, cheese spreads and butter. It has the biggest capacity to produce mozzarella cheese in Asia and is looking to add gouda, parmesan, ricotta and emmental to the mix.
“A lot of small farms are emerging in our area, but one thing that is unique to us is that we are a cow milk-based company,” H S says. “We only collect cow milk and all our products are derived from cow milk, which is one of the main reasons why the quality of our cheese is one of the best, because a lot of other companies use mixed milks.”
Having professional satisfaction in my work is very important to me.
This ongoing pursuit of excellence is ingrained in the DNA of the company, as well as in those in management and executive positions. With more than 57 years’ experience in the dairy industry, H S is driven by an insatiable passion for what he does and admits that for him, going to work has never been a chore.
“I don’t work for money,” he smiles. “I work for my satisfaction first and foremost. Having professional satisfaction in my work is very important to me, and I strive for perfection in everything I do.”
When H S joined Parag Milk Foods in 2009, he brought with him a wealth of hands-on experience and knowledge garnered over the four decades he’d already spent in the sector.
After completing his Bachelor of Technology at the National Dairy Research Institute in 1963, H S worked with the biggest names in the industry, from Modern Dairies and Roadmaster Food to the Milk Federation, Indodan Milk Products, Dalmia Dairy Industries and Haryana Milk Foods.
Now, over his 11 years at Parag Milk Foods, H S has been working on diversifying its product range and enhancing the farming capabilities. “We currently have 3,000 cows and, within the next few years, we’ll be putting in another facility so that we can house 10,000 cows,” he says.
“It will be one of the biggest in the world, requiring approximately 500 acres of land. We’re also expanding into other products for added value. We’re working a lot with whey powder, for infant formulations as well as muscle and sports nutrition products. We’re making lactose and custom butter, so we’re getting into the value additions, because the potential growth there is enormous.”
In addition to its vast client base in India, Parag Milk Foods also exports cheese, ghee, milk powders and products to around 26 other countries. H S reveals that the demand for these types of specialised and hard-to-find dairy products is ever-increasing, especially in South-East Asia, the UAE and the UK.
Through its dealings with a slew of high-profile clients over the years, Parag Milk Foods has found these interactions to be more than simply adding to the company’s already impressive portfolio.
“We have incredibly important relationships with our suppliers,” H S says. “Our clients are some of the biggest in the world, from Nestlé and Abbott to Pizza Hut. They rely on our product being of the highest quality and, at the same time, we are able to learn a lot from them. These are some of the best companies, with some of the best systems in the world, so we try to follow them.”
Now, looking to the future, H S is excited by innovation’s infinite possibilities, and is proud that Parag Milk Foods is continuing to set the standard for other dairy manufacturers not only across India, but also the entire globe. “The advanced technology is there, we just have to utilise it,” H S says.
“We’re at the front of the pack in terms of the equipment we have, the processes, the energy efficiency – and that means that we’re producing the best quality product in the most streamlined way. Less labour and less human intervention are ideal, because if everything is automated, there’s consistent quality when it’s not dependent on the individual day to day.”
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