In 2002, Bengaluru-based entrepreneur Srinivas M saw a newspaper ad about the MSME Ministry conducting a training session for chemical manufacturing. Srinivas was a chemical trader at the time, and thought it would be a good opportunity to start manufacturing chemical products himself.
“I saw this a way into a manufacturing sector that could pay me dividends much more than a trading business ever could. I decided to seize this opportunity, and enrolled myself in the programme,” he says.
Srinivas was about to enter the chemicals industry that has grown over the years, touching $163 billion in 2017-18 and is expected to reach $304 billion by 2025.
So after completing the training and attaining the required skills, Srinivas decided to set up his own chemical manufacturing unit.
He invested Rs 5 lakh and started Panchajanya Enterprises in Bengaluru to manufacture liquid hand wash, liquid dish wash, toilet cleaning fluids, etc.
He brought in twelve years of entrepreneurial experience from the logistics and chemicals sectors to spur his new business forward.
“We are an ISO 9001-2008 certified company and make products to maintain standards of quality,” he says.
At present, Panchajanya has two manufacturing units, employs nearly 30 people and is seeing a turnover of Rs 7.5 crore.
It’s current product portfolio includes detergent powder, dish wash powder and liquid, glass cleaner, handwash liquid, herbal phenyl, multipurpose cleaner, and more. As the business saw success, around in 2012, the company also advanced to manufacturing food supplements for animals.
Over the years, Srinivas resorted to door-to-door marketing to grow the brand. Through this process, Panchajanya has built a considerable network of clientele across Karnataka, many of whom are food, pharma, healthcare, and government institutions.
Srinivas attributes his success with his customers to the high standards of quality he maintains in his products.
“High quality products are the reason we have been able to continuously sell for years to many pharmaceutical and food processing firms which are extremely cleanliness sensitive,” he says.
However, this focus on quality does not mean his firm can get along with the brand value global giants such as P&G and Reckitt Benckiser have already established. Srinivas attributes this as the reason why many established state-run enterprises don’t prefer Panchajanya’s products.
He says, “Despite meeting the quality standards at par with global giants, most of the state-run units do not prefer us. In fact, we receive no response from them. We do not have deep pockets to advertise like the big firms and establish our brand’s popularity.”
The way ahead
Despite the lack of response from state-run units, Srinivas sees a huge potential in the sector and his spirit to success is unabated. His plan is to achieve Rs 50 crore turnover in the next five years.
“It is only possible if all the public sector units in Karnataka comply with the government’s mandate of procuring 20 percent of their goods from MSMEs.”
He also plans to aggressively push for in-person marketing of his products, which he says is his firm’s core strength, in the neighbouring states and subsequently take on global behemoths in the near future by investing into advertising.
“We have high hopes from our new animal supplement product. We have been increasingly getting government tenders too,” he says.
Speaking about his mantra for success, Srinivas says, “Providing quality products at affordable prices and customer satisfaction is what matters to be successful.”