Archit Goel is a new-age entrepreneur emerging out of a family business. Archit is the Director and CFO of Shri Bajrang Alliance. The company’s frozen foods division, The GOELD, has seen exceptional vertical and horizontal growth under his leadership, even during the crushing times of the pandemic. We hosted Mr. Archit Goel for our special series, NewsX India A-List. Below are the excerpts from the interview:
Talking about his motivation behind joining the age-old family business, Archit said, “Being a part of a family-owned business for the past three decades, we were majorly into steel, power, and mining sectors. Joining the family business was my decision to take it to the next level and develop new products from there.”
Addressing some of the apprehensions and concerns of consumers about frozen foods, he said, “The myth about frozen foods in the market is a wrong one because 30-40% of the food that we consume on a day-to-day basis is frozen. That may be the peas that we have at home, or the seasonal vegetables that are stored in a cold store, or the fruits imported from other countries. If these are acceptable, then, yes, frozen food should also be acceptable.” Archit is of the view that frozen food is a healthy category, citing the absence of preservatives in them. Giving us further insights into the food processing industry, Mr Goel said, “Frozen food is a natural food because it is always maintained under a temperature guideline. The food is made at -20°C, quick-frozen at -40°C, and it is transported and the supply chain is managed at -20°C. So, this locks the nutrition of the product and it does not have any preservatives, colours or flavours added to it.” He also firmly believes that “frozen is going to become the new fresh” very soon.
Speaking about the acceptance that frozen food got during the pandemic, the entrepreneur stated, “During the pandemic, frozen foods got a lot of acceptance because many people did not have the assistance of their domestic help anymore.” He continued, “Frozen food as a category is really convenient because you can straightaway heat a frozen Paratha or a frozen Tikki and it is ready to be consumed.” Furthermore, he revealed to us the products that are lined up for launch, as part of the company’s diversification plans, “We have a range to offer to our consumers, right from Indian bread, to snacks, to desserts, and very soon, we will be coming out with meal kits as well.”
When asked about the challenges his company faced during the pandemic, Archit expressed, “The major challenge that we faced during the pandemic was to keep our workers safe. We organized a vaccine drive with the help of GOI and Serum Institute of India,” said Archit. Describing the hurdles that the pandemic erected to the business, he told us, “The supply chain was really disturbed. Retail stores were opening for only a few hours.”
For the final question, we wanted to know Archit’s opinion on the rigid business models that discourage the youth from joining family enterprises. To which, he drew from his own experience and said, “People think that there will be restrictions for new ideas in family businesses. There is a way of thinking, and dealing with this. My elders really helped me out in doing what I wanted to do, and gave me backend knowledge starting from the basics.” He believes that his business gave him exposure to every field of business. He concluded the thought by saying, “Being a part of the family business gave me the opportunity to put my hands across all the fields and come out, in these 8-10 years, as an entrepreneur.”