RG Chandramogan on Building India’s Dairy Empire



How does one convert $250 to $1.8 billion (and counting)?

RG Chandramogan’s story of how he did it starts with dropping out of school due to financial constraints in 1970. Then his family sold all their property for a sum of $250 to start a business. The business was selling ice creams using pushcarts.

Chandramogan and his team then gradually scaled up the business by starting ice cream manufacturing and exploiting the then unexplored segments in the ice cream market of Tamil Nadu (the college market and the hinterland market). Hatsun Agro, the brand was formed in 1986. Hatsun was purely into the ice cream business till 1993. And then it backward integrated into milk processing, and other dairy products. And the rest as they say is history.

Today, Hatsun is the largest private dairy company in India. It takes Hatsun less than one hour to generate the cumulative revenues it generated in the first 10 years of its life, and one day to generate the cumulative revenues it generated in the first 20 years of its life.

The current scale of Hatsun’s operations is mindboggling. As Chandramogan says, We collect three million litres a day, and we also process 500 tons of cattle feed a day. Cumulatively, we engage about 3,500 vehicles to collect milk, and deliver the milk, and all that. Our cumulative traveling distance of all the vehicles today is equivalent to 600,000 kms every day, which is equal to going around the world 15 times. Or if there is a road to moon, we can go and come back in 22 hours, and rest for the remaining two hours in the day.”

And get this- Hatsun is still present primarily in the Southern States of India and just entering Maharashtra. In a primarily vegetarian country where the major source of protein is milk and other dairy products, Hatsun has a long, long runway ahead of it.

Let us hear from RG Chandramogan himself on his approach to business from this wonderful interview he gave at TiECON recently. [Members Can Read the Full Transcript]

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