Mr. Milkman offers integrated supply chain solutions from 'Dairy farm to Glass'
Gurgaon-based Mr. Milkman is a state-of-the-art SaaS platform that empowers dairies to manage customer subscriptions and deliveries. From dairy farms to the customers' glass, Mr. Milkman digitizes and optimizes the production with its tech-enabled, end-to-end solutions. Founded in 2017, the platform helps leading dairies to manage their operations. In October 2021, America's leading dairy technology, services, and intelligence provider, Dairy.com, acquired a 100% stake in Mr. Milkman to strengthen its integrated supply chain solution offerings for dairies worldwide.
Samarth Setia, chief executive officer and co-founder, Mr. Milkman shared the journey with FoodTechBiz. He explained the SaaS platform and how it is successfully bringing a change in the unorganized Indian dairy market.
FTB - Tell us about Mr. Milkman and its journey so far
Samarth Setia - Mr. Milkman was conceptualized at my doorstep when my local milkman mentioned delivery issues over a general conversation. That got me thinking, and in 2015 I decided to help that man organize his operations and customer accounts by building him a mobile application. I started with creating an app that would digitize the accounts of the local milkman's customers and produce automated bills. The app grew to be used by many milkmen and we then launched a consumer-facing application for customers to place orders with these milkmen.
Upon realizing the lack of margins and paying capacity of the milkmen we were working with, we pivoted from serving the small milkmen to large milk brands by building a full-fledged SaaS (Software as a Service) platform that not only organized and automated the customer management for large and small-scale dairies but also helped various dairies keep track of their operational processes by reporting sales anomalies and providing extensive reports.
We kept advancing our technology based on the feedback received from our customers to ensure seamless milk and dairy product delivery from farm to the table. Today we work with more than 60 Indian dairy brands enabling dairy food product companies to efficiently manage multiple aspects of dairy distribution, supply chain, orders, and delivery requests. In 2021, we got acquired by America's leading dairy technology, services, and intelligence provider - Dairy.com, also marking their entry into the Indian industry.
FTB - Tell us about Mr. Milkman's contribution in digital transformation in the Indian dairy sector.
Mr. Milkman is one of India's largest dairy tech players and works with over 60 milk brands and dairy farms across the country. With our Saas platform, we have been able to bring a change in the unorganized market where producers and farms have become successful in predicting demand, procurement, tracking the product life cycle, plugging the leakages, managing last-mile deliveries, and unsold inventory. It also helps the producers' plan production better to cut losses.
FTB - What is the level of technology adoption across dairy farms worldwide?
Samarth Setia - Technology in dairy farming has been a game-changer for the industry worldwide. While the west has been progressive about adopting technology and is enjoying benefits, India is also catching up. It is open to integrating innovative solutions that will transform the dairy industry.
India is adopting new technologies at a very fast pace. From milking machines to health tracking devices for cattle, feed management systems to transportation and last-mile delivery, technology has helped streamline the value chain. If India has managed to achieve this scale with only 20-30% of the market being organized, it must be the biggest market for every dairy technology player worldwide.
FTB- Tell us about the major roadblocks/challenges you have observed in the Indian dairy supply chain.
Samarth Setia - Despite the Indian dairy industry being the largest globally, the lack of automation and digitization has been the biggest roadblock for growth. And this is precisely what we have been trying to solve. From feeding the cattle to monitoring its health, procuring milk to packaging and delivery, every step can be automated and streamlined. Yet, the apprehension towards adopting technology has been a roadblock. We are a one-stop solution, digitizing and automating every aspect of the value chain, to make this sector a much more efficient and, eventually, a higher margin play for the Indian dairy players. The dairy sector has been run in a very traditional manner for many years and the new generation of dairy entrepreneurs is changing that.
FTB - Would you please explain some key benefits of integrated supply chain solutions to the dairy business?
Samarth Setia - A suite of solutions can help manage all aspects of the supply chain, benefiting the dairy businesses. Dairy farm analytics, market intelligence, transportation management, data intelligence, risk management, plant operations optimization are just a few of the many solutions offered by Dairy.com. We are bringing all of these to the Indian dairy industry through our association.
FTB - Dairy.com has recently entered India with the acquisition of Mr. Milkman. Please explain how is it going to help your business?
Samarth Setia - Dairy.com is America's largest independent dairy supply chain technology provider, and we are India's leading last-mile dairy supply chain SaaS platform. We will be using our combined agribusiness technologies, development resources, and industry expertise to enable and innovate last-mile dairy supply chain solutions for markets in India and abroad. Along with milk, we see enormous growth potential with value-added products such as cheese, yogurt, probiotic drinks, flavored milk, ice cream, and other products in the segment. In the future, we plan to optimize and digitize several areas of the agriculture supply chain in India, North America, and Europe.
Dairy.com has a suite of solutions for the supply chain and services 80% of the Dairy Foods' Top 100 dairy companies with over 100 billion pounds of milk moving through its systems. Mr. Milkman enables dairy food product companies to efficiently manage multiple aspects of dairy distribution, supply chain, customer subscriptions, and delivery requests. In addition to being cost-effective to implement, Mr. Milkman is a pre-built alternative to food delivery aggregator apps and includes payment processing capabilities. As a part of the Dairy.com family, we at Mr. Milkman will be able to offer a much bigger bouquet of products and solutions to our customers.
FTB - Who are your major clients in India?
Samarth Setia - We work with over 60+ Indian dairy brands, namely - Akshayakalpa, Mr Milk, Whyte Farms, Abis Dairy, Carnival Group, Fortune Dairy, Binsar Farms, Nutrimoo, Healthways, and many others in India.
FTB - How do you see the competition in this market, and what makes you different from the competition?
Samarth Setia - The Indian dairy sector and milk brands in India will need to employ technology at every level, right from milk procurement to the last delivery mile, to grow and be successful. Milk brands in India and around the world operate on slim margins. Since milk prices have a cap, the only way to be profitable is to become more efficient – which can only happen by implementing technology from one end of the operations to the other. We have the edge over others due to the tried and tested advanced suite of solutions from Dairy.com, which covers the entire dairy value chain.
FTB - Mr. Milkman is also ready to expand its wings outside India. Tell us more about this.
Samarth Setia - As a part of the Dairy.com family, we plan to optimize and digitize several areas of the agriculture supply chain in India, North America, and Europe. Dairy.com has extensive experience in multiple agribusiness areas and sectors, including first mile, plant operations, payments, quality control, risk management, and transportation, and employs over 200 people worldwide. Their presence in over five continents has allowed us to expand and offer Mr. Milkman to all of their clients and new clients in all those locations.
FTB - Tell us about your vision and future expansion plans.
Samarth Setia - Dairy.com and Mr. Milkman together are well-positioned to thrive in India. Our solutions are ideally suited to successfully support the country's exponential rise of eCommerce and its increasing consumer demand for convenience, value, food safety, ease of payment, and product variety from the industry. We are capable of offering the best of solutions from both worlds. And, of course, explore the other international markets. Over the next few months, we plan to triple our team size, provide improved service and new solutions to clients in India, and "Indianise" some of Dairy.com's solutions to launch in India.