Chennai-based Aachi Group, founded in 1995 by first generation entrepreneur AD Padma singh Isaac, has come a long way with its annual turnover today standing at `950 crore. Aachi’s manufacturing plant at Keel Ayyana bakkam, 15 km from Chennai city, has a manufacturing capacity of 120 metric tonnes of spice powders and spice mixes per day. The company manufactures spices under the brand name Aachi, which includes kulambu chilly masala, vatha kulambu masala, tomato rice powder, curry masala, sambar powder and many more. “Aachi means mother in the Tamil language,” says Ashwin Pandian, deputy manager – R&D at Aachi Group.
Apart from spices, the company also manufactures and packages pickles, ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook foods, water, juice. “Although South India is our primary market, we have presence in other parts of India as well,” says Pandian. “In South India, spice packets are sold in flexible pouches, unlike other places in India where you need a secondary monocarton packaging. For packets selling outside South India, we outsource the secondary packaging,” says Pandian.
Aachi sources its raw material from all over the country through company approved suppliers which they take to the production floor only after being quality checked. “The company sources chillies from Guntur, turmeric from Erode, coriander from Rajasthan, pepper and cardamom from Munnar, cumin and mustard from Madhya Pradesh,” says Pandian. Quality checked raw spices are then cleaned and roasted at high temperatures to enhance flavour and to ensure food safety. Roasted spices are blended as per its standard formulations and then powdered and packed. The quality personnel ensure that standard operating procedures are followed in the process.
The rotogravure printing on the laminates used for flexible pouches is done in-house by Aachi. The spices and spice mix powders are packed by automatic packing machines. “We have around 300 form fill and seal machines, predominantly from Nichrome, for automatic packing,” says Pandian. “These machines can produce spice packets of sizes from 5 grams to 10 kilograms. We believe in and incorporate strict food safety norms. The entire production process at our plant is governed by the Food Safety Management System with ISO 9001:2008 Certification.”