Ex-MTR, Maiyas Joins E-way with Idli & Dosa Mixes

Rajma Masala
Ready-to-eat food pioneer Sadananda Maiya is preparing to launch an ecommerce website to sell his dosa and idli mixes, pitting his three-year-old packaged food brand, Maiyas, directly against his former company MTR Foods online as well.

Emboldened by the success of domestic online marketplaces such as Flipkart, Maiyas Beverages and Foods will launch a national ecommerce website on June 6 and a micro-portal for overseas consumers two weeks later, Sadananda Maiya, the chairman of Maiyas told ET. Bigger rival MTR Foods, now owned by Norwegian food major Orkla is preparing to launch its ecommerce website later this year.Maiya1

Sadanand Maiya, the son of Bengaluru’s conic Mavalli Tiffin Rooms founder Yajna Narayana Maiya, headed MTR Foods until he sold it to Orkla  for Rs.364/- crore in 2007. Five years later, he launched Maiyas Beverages, selling an assortment of food mixes, sweets, masalas and snacks, familiar territory from his days with MTR Foods. With his new website, the 66-year-old food industry veteran plans to directly offer about 270 ood products online. “No shop has or can keep all our products. So we will address this issue through our consumer-friendly portals,“ Maiya said. He is also launching a separate micro-portal offering products to merchants at discounted prices.

MTR Foods earned  Rs.600 crore in revenue in 2014-15 versus Maiyas’ Rs.93 crore turnover. The latter hopes to end 2015-16 with revenue of about  250 crore.` The size of India’s branded masala market is about  Rs.6,200/- crore or 1 Billion USD, and of snacks is about Rs.4,000 crore brand consultant Harish Bijoor said. Ecommerce is the way for ward for food entities as immediacy and freshness of food products can be delivered better through ecom merce than retail shops, he said adding, “There are 246 million internet users in India spending 36 minutes a day surfing on an average. That is a big opportunity.“

Maiyas Beverages, which is backed by private equity firm Ascent Capital has tied up with Delhivery.com for handling domestic logistics and with cargo firm End2End for global deliveries.PayU will handle cross-country payments. The company’s instant food products, meanwhile will continue to be available on websites such as Bigbasket.com and Localbanya.com. It also plans to sell through Flipkart and Amazon.

Maiyas’ new platform will come handy on occasions such as festivals when one would want to send sweets to several people, said Ascent Capital founder and chief executive Raja Kumar.

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