Interview: Jaisingh Vaerkar, Managing Partner at The Peninsular Export Company, Makers of Saarru

Jaisingh Vaerkar

Interview with Jaisingh Vaerkar, Managing Partner at The Peninsular Export Company, Makers of Saarru, India’s 1st recently launched Native Soup Mix Brand

Welcome to today’s interview with Jaisingh Vaerkar, the esteemed Managing Partner at The Peninsular Export Company, the visionary force behind Saarru, India’s first-ever Native Soup Mix Brand. With a career marked by innovation and dedication to culinary excellence, Mr. Vaerkar has spearheaded the launch of Saarru, introducing consumers to a delicious blend of tradition and modern convenience.

His expertise in the food industry, coupled with a deep-rooted commitment to preserving India’s rich culinary heritage, has positioned Saarru as a game-changer in the market. Today, we have the privilege of delving into Mr. Vaerkar’s insights, exploring the journey behind Saarru, and gaining valuable perspectives on the future of indigenous food products in India.

Can you tell us about the inspiration behind launching Saarru, India’s 1st Native Soup Mix Brand, and the journey of The Peninsular Export Company in bringing this innovative product to the market?

Jaisingh Vaerkar: The inspiration behind Saarru is the small soup kiosks that sell mutton bone soup usually in the evenings. These are small push charts that get crowded with patrons and seeing the way they enjoy this delicacy made us look at soups as a category.

What sets Saarru apart from other soup brands in the market, and how do you envision it making a unique mark in the industry?

Jaisingh Vaerkar: Saarru is not an instant soup like others in the market but helps consumers make a bowl of delicious soup that is hearty and flavourful. It is based on our native soup variants which is perhaps a first in the market given that there are only Chinese and Italian soup variants in the market.

Could you share some insights into the research and development process involved in creating Saarru? What were the key considerations in formulating the soup mixes?

Jaisingh Vaerkar: All restaurants have soup on their menu and it is usually ordered as part of a meal, particularly dinner. If people are ordering soup in restaurants people would also be making soup at home. Besides the Chinese and Italian styles, there were no other variants and we realised there was an opportunity here.

The other was that people like soup but do not know how to make the native soups that their grandmother made for them when they had a fever or cold. Everyone remembers that soup fondly.

The idea was to keep it simple and make it spicy. After all, we are a spice company and look at more creative ways in which spice can be used besides curries.

The Peninsular Export Company has a strong emphasis on native ingredients. How do you source and select these ingredients to ensure authenticity and quality in Saarru products?

Jaisingh Vaerkar: We believe that when the spice is pure the flavour and taste are best. Over the years we have been able to identify good vendors, some are small vendors while some are direct farmers. For instance, the black pepper we use is from a farmer in the Palani hills. Pepper is a key ingredient in all our products.

We have in-house analytical, microbiology and sensory laboratories and this helps us in testing each batch of raw material and finished product to ensure consistency and purity in each batch.

How do you plan to position Saarru in the competitive food and beverage market, and what strategies are in place to reach and engage with your target audience?

Jaisingh Vaerkar: It is a fiercely competitive market with well-established brands but our positioning as native soup variants and the fact that it requires a little bit of effort in cooking and adding meat will ensure that we have a differentiated product.

We sell this in the supermarkets as that is where our target audience shops.

Innovation is crucial in the food industry. Can you share any upcoming plans or developments that the company has in store for expanding the Saarru product line or introducing new and exciting offerings?

Jaisingh Vaerkar: We do have plans to have several vegetarian versions of Saarru in the near future.

As Managing Partner, what challenges have you faced in introducing a unique product like Saarru, and how have you overcome them to ensure its successful launch?

Jaisingh Vaerkar: Launching a new category was itself challenging as we were seen purely as a masala brand with Thillais (our masala brand). We, however, aspire to be more than a masala brand and the launch of Saarru is a testament to that.

The cost of launching a new brand can be daunting for a small company. From website, packaging, and communication all of it requires a lot of spending to launch and get the visibility needed to get noticed in a crowded food and beverage market.

What are your success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneurs?

Jaisingh Vaerkar: Do hard things. Do it for decades. Talk to people. Get feedback, improvise and keep improvising. Find a mentor.

In conclusion, our conversation with Jaisingh Vaerkar, the Managing Partner at The Peninsular Export Company and the driving force behind Saarru, India’s premier Native Soup Mix Brand, has been both enlightening and inspiring.

Through his passion for culinary innovation and unwavering dedication to preserving India’s rich food traditions, Mr. Vaerkar has successfully introduced a product that not only tantalizes the taste buds but also celebrates the diverse flavors of the nation.

As Saarru continues to captivate consumers and redefine the landscape of Indian convenience foods, we are reminded of the power of entrepreneurship in shaping cultural narratives and fostering a deeper appreciation for our culinary heritage.

We extend our gratitude to Mr. Vaerkar for sharing his insights and look forward to witnessing the continued success of Saarru on its journey to becoming a household name across the country and beyond.

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