TESSOL, a Mumbai based venture backed Cold Chain logistics startup that was founded nearly a decade ago has been making rapid strides over the past few years with its unique range of end to end energy efficient tech solutions offered for the food and pharma industry. The company has also been keenly laying its focus on the frozen foods segment and has been offering a range of cost effective solutions that focus on last-mile delivery of these products.
In this exclusive conversation with Claus from Food Infotech, Ms. Niranjana Neelakantan, Co-Founder and COO of TESSOL shares a little about her journey with TESSOL, including mentioning about their recently introduced tech offering that can immensely benefit the F&B Industry, the steps initiated by the company towards sustainability and much more.
1) Please tell us a little of yourself and TESSOL.
I specialize in organizational design and growth for start-ups and small businesses. As a Co-founder & COO, my role in TESSOL is to ensure that we build sustainable capability and capacity to deliver value to our clients.
TESSOL is one of the leading sustainable Cold Chain technology solution providers. We engineer sustainable cold chain technology solutions to ensure that our client’s product stays fresh and reaches the maximum number of consumers with minimal wastage, carbon footprint and operating costs. We build products that are reliable, viable and sustainable across the food and pharmaceutical sectors.
We have worked with 200+ customers and have built a strong expertize in the Cold Chain sector, while forging formidable relationships with companies across the cold chain ecosystem.
2) Can you share with us a little on your recently introduced technological offerings/solutions that are benefitting the F&B Industry?
We recently launched indiWRAP, a last mile food and pharma delivery solution that will help brands fulfill their promise and expand their reach to a broader customer base. The offering is powered by ‘Phase Change Material’ technology which is a substance that releases/absorbs large amounts of energy at a defined freezing /melting point to provide helpful heat/cooling. indiWRAP is a unique offering in the home delivery segment that enables brands reliably and viably delivery even a single cup of ice-cream without losing the product integrity. indiWRAP ensures temperature maintenance for 45-60 minutes and has revolutionized home delivery of ice cream and frozen products.
We continue to work and focus on sustainable technologies, such as Battery SWAP and TAMsys to provide better quality solutions to our clients and customers that ensure product integrity, reduce GHG emissions and importantly deliver great customer experience. This helps us to set new standards of sustainability in the Cold Chain industry.
3) Normally, Cold Chain packaging of products requires use of proper packaging materials and a proper and effective method to be followed, in order to ensure avoidance of any damage to the products. Hence, please let us know the role played by TESSOL in this regard?
You are right. There is a lot of precision that is required when it comes to managing the temperature and the packaging in the cold chain process. Our decade plus experience and our investments in R&D ensure that our packaging is precise and ensures to maintain the product integrity.
In fact, our constant research, years of experience and experimentation have led to some great proprietary techniques & solutions which have become benchmarks for the industry.
4) A bit on the most pressing challenge that you’ve been faced with recently along the food supply chain and how’ve you been dealing with the same?
It’s not much of an external challenge, but our own growing standards. We have made a promise to invest in R&D and innovate to ensure that our products will help organizations deliver more products, reduce GHG levels and make it more sustainable than the previous year. As we are already ahead of the curve, reaching these goals needs us to push ourselves hard each passing year. More than being troubled, we are enjoying this challenge.
5) A little on any initiatives taken up by your company towards sustainability?
As a responsible corporate citizen, we go above and beyond to keep our solutions sustainable. All the material we use in our solutions is reusable and we strictly avoid single-use plastic.
Additionally, in sync with the sustainable goals that every established corporate is expected to follow, we are also looking to embrace the solutions from ground zero. We are also experimenting with the alternatives such as green thermal, insulated packaging and recycled expanded polystyrene.
A case in point: TESSOL’s eutectic vehicle saves 60% operation costs for the distributor and displaces 15,000 litres of diesel over its lifetime.
We engineer solutions that are viable, reliable and sustainable. We follow it and we encourage our clients too. Sustainability comes first and then the business.
6) Since, investing in Cold Chain facilities is an expensive affair, could you tell us any recent opportunities that could be explored by food businesses in investing in Cold Chain storage facilities, while also being able to benefit simultaneously in the process?
Some of the large ticket items in the expense are really the fuel, usage of old cooling methods, food wastage and inability to properly track. While equipment costs are not in our control, there is a ton of savings possible through the usage our right cold chain technologies. E.g. Usage of fuel-free refrigeration systems, advanced phase change materials, heat exchangers and chargers, multiple cool compartments in transportation and insulated carriers and cartridges help companies immensely not only save the costs, but the environment too. In our experience, companies have saved over 60% cost of ownership in last-mile delivery, 100% product safety, significant fuel savings and GHG emission reduction.
7) Any suggestions for the Indian Government to help boost the growth prospects of the Cold Chain Industry?
The Government is playing a big role in boosting the Cold Chain sector and creating awareness towards the development of the scheme. The many schemes launched with a clear focus on developing the Cold chain infrastructure and ensuring continuity of the cold chain from farm to customer has helped increase the investment towards the same. The impetus on EV infrastructure and associated policies greatly helps adoption of sustainable technologies like ours.
However, most of the policies are targeted at development and deployment of cold storage facilities and reefer vehicles which cater to the farm-gate and storage and transportation of large quantities. More schemes and policies targeted at the last mile and home delivery segment will further boost adoption at the last mile segment. This not only benefits suppliers like us, but also ensure reduced food wastage and better product quality at the customer end.
8) Finally, a little on the recent trends in Cold Chain Logistics that are gathering steam in India and why you feel that they can play a major role in benefitting the Indian Food Industry in the days to come.
India is one of the fastest-growing markets when it comes to the cold chain. While this trend was waiting to happen, the pandemic accelerated it. Here are the trends that are propelling the demand for cold chain in India:
• Growing demand for organized retail;
• Increase in awareness among consumers to mitigate food wastage;
• The increasing adoption rate of packaged food & beverage products;
• Food value chain moved from open-air markets to a cold-chain model;
• Change in consumption patterns of food for well-being;
• Rising consumer demand for perishable goods;
• Ensure food quality and safety by preventing premature expiry, decay and spoilage;
• Protecting the product integrity as the consumers are demanding for high quality products.