Hyderabad: Hyderabad-based cold storage services company, Gubba Cold Storage, which operates 17 multi-product facilities across Telangana and Maharashtra is planning to add four new facilities, one each in Annaram (Sangareddy), Visakhapatnam, Pune and Ahmedabad within next 4-6 months with a cumulative investment of about Rs 36 crore, with each facility attracting about Rs 9 crore investment.
Gubba Nagender Rao, managing director, Gubba Cold Storage told Telangana Today, “We are going to focus big on pharmaceuticals now. We had been eyeing this industry for the last one year. We are creating awareness in the pharmaceuticals industry that they can gain by outsourcing the cold storage services with us, instead of creating facilities themselves. Now, they are gradually realising this and coming to us. We have converted two facilities to specifically cater to pharmaceuticals industry at Yellampet village near Medchal.”
“We are creating one new facility for pharmaceuticals industry at Annaram village in Jinnaram Mandal in Medak District, which will be ready by February 2019. We are planning to create pharma-only cold storage facilities in Ahmedabad and Mumbai as there is big potential in these locations,” he added.
Gubba Cold Storage has a cumulative storage capacity of 1,20,000 tonnes, which it claims is the largest in the country. The company also has the germplasm bank where it can preserve seeds for 30-35 years. Gubba is the only company to have this capability.
The company which has established 15 facilities in Telangana alone, sees scope to create more facilities in near future. “We are negotiating with the GMR’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad to create a storage facility near the airport. We are seeking land there. We want to create a storage facility that will cater to pharmaceuticals and could have a capacity to handle about 1,000-1,500 tonnes,” he informed.
On what differentiates them from their competitors, Rao says, “For many of the companies, cold storage has become a side/additional business. For Gubba, cold storage is our core business. This has made us grow in the cold storage segment. We are constantly expanding and upgrading deploying new technology and machinery. We have introduced coveyor system to reduce energy consumption. We are investing significantly on automation.”
The company is also seeing demand for cold storage facilities owing to the surge in imports and supply of frozen food from across the world supported by the retail growth. Frozen food is in demand as there it sans bacteria. Ports in India handle a lot of stock and to tap this opportunity, Gubba has made a beginning by initiating talks with Krishnapatnam Port.
Gubba Cold Storage which has clocked Rs 40 crore revenues last fiscal is seeing consistent growth year-on-year. The company is also working with several farmers in Warangal and Khammam dealing with chilli, tamarind and millets.
The way the poultry and dairy sectors have received power subsidies in the past, the cold storage sector will also be benefited if subsidies are extended, says Rao, who is the president of Chamber of Cold Storages Industry, Telangana.
If government encourages creation of storage facilities in Rythu Bazars and other market yards, in public private partnership (PPP) model, by allotting land to cold storage services companies, farmers and commodity vendors will be benefited as the shelf life of the produce will improve, he points out.