Local, agile, self-reliant and proud – The Drools supply chain

Who doesn’t like shiny furred floofs? Well, that was rhetorical. But did you know that the health of our pets is directly related to the quality of food they consume? I learnt that recently when a friend got herself a dog, and another one got himself a cat. And it got me thinking about the (rather unnoticed) pet and animal food supply chain. More recently, I also wrote about Drools opening one of the largest CNF warehouses for pet food in India. I knew I had to get in touch with Dr. Shashank Sinha, CEO, Drools to talk about how this vertical of the supply chain works. Read on for excerpts.

Q] Let’s start by talking about the latest development in the Drools’ supply chain – the CNF warehouse at Bhiwandi. What are the operational specifications of this facility and how are they different from all others?

Drools: Our facility in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra is one of the largest CNF warehouses in the pet food category. It is built to last with state-of-the-art facilities and a storage space of 70,000 sq.ft. The warehouse features advanced technology and equipment that streamlines the loading and unloading process, reducing the time it takes to unload an 18-MT vehicle to just direct upgrade to 2500+ retail outlets, pet stores, and shops enabling faster supply chain management and quality control.

Q] What are some of the distinct characteristics of a pet food supply chain?

Drools: With a growing number of pet owners and an increasing demand for highquality pet food products, the pet food industry in India is rapidly evolving. While the industry may face unique challenges related to ingredient sourcing, processing, and distribution, it also presents significant opportunities for growth and development. 3 hours and to load an LCV in just 1 hour. It further enables us to load and unload 5 vehicles at once, reducing billing and delivery time to just 48 hours.

The new warehouse – our 7th warehouse in the state and 38th in India – will help us revolutionize the way we serve our customers by sharing fresher inventory straight out of their manufacturing unit. We have already established it on the primary routes across the state to serve the expanding customer base across key cities such as Mumbai, Nashik, and Thane. Additionally, this new facility will provide a direct upgrade to 2500+ retail outlets, pet stores, and shops enabling faster supply chain management and quality control.

One of the key strengths of the pet food supply chain in India is its diversity. With a large number of small-scale suppliers and retailers, the industry is highly fragmented to offer a wide range of products to meet the needs of different types of pets and their owners. This diversity fosters innovation and competition, driving the industry towards greater quality and sustainability. Additionally, the focus on locally sourced, natural ingredients and the adoption of sustainable production processes can differentiate the Indian pet food industry in the global market.

Finally, India’s rapidly growing e-commerce sector presents new opportunities for pet food companies to expand their reach and deliver products directly to consumers. With the right investments in logistics and technology, companies can tap into this trend to build a more efficient and customercentric supply chain. Over the last 4 years, the e-commerce industry for pets has grown from 10% to 22% and is expected to touch 25% for the industry. Over the last 4 years, Drools’ e-commerce contribution to sales has increased from 5% to 27% now.

Overall, the pet food supply chain in India has the potential to be a major player in the global market, driven by a commitment to quality, sustainability, and innovation.

Q] How does the inbound supply chain look like at Drools – suppliers, logistics, fresh raw materials

Drools: We use high-quality, fresh raw materials to produce nutritious pet food products. They are ethically sourced from a variety of suppliers, including local farmers, ranchers, and other food manufacturers in India. We place a strong emphasis on the quality and safety of the ingredients and work closely with our suppliers to ensure that the materials are fresh and of the highest quality.

Once the raw materials are sourced, they are transported to our manufacturing facilities via a network of logistics providers. The company works with third-party logistics companies to ensure that the materials are transported safely and efficiently.

This is an abridged version of the interview published in the April 2023 issue of the Logistics Insider magazine. To read the complete interview, click here.

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