Tag Archives: FSSAI



By Kamlesh Tripathi

c3 maggi salesman


Heart:  I just don’t feel good these days.

Mind: But why, what happened?

Heart: Arrey yaar for the past five years I’ve been selling ‘Maggi Noodles’ thinking it is perfectly healthy and suddenly the lab tests by FSSAI reveal it has a high lead content which is extremely bad for health.

Mind: But that’s not your fault. As a loyal salesman you did what the company told you to do–sell. Plus, you have your wife and kids to look after. So you if won’t sell who will? And, as a matter of fact there are many salesmen who even sell cigarettes and liquor both being killer products, for the sake of their career, family and themselves; so how should they feel?

Heart: But there is a huge difference between the two situations; for a salesman selling liquor or cigarettes knows he is selling poison to his customer, and the customer too knows he is buying poison and that squares off. But in this case neither I, nor the customer, mostly children, knew they were consuming something poisonous, not good for health. And, considering it safe, I must fed thousands of Maggi packets to my own children, and today my wife and children question my wisdom and integrity when they see the product being banned on TV.

Mind: But you haven’t done it knowingly, so you shouldn’t feel guilty. And for all this while your company kept advertising it’s a quality product and perhaps the safest to consume. Am I right?

Heart: Yes you’re right. But I guess the company forgot the meaning of quality. Where, I always thought quality means, deliver what you promise, but in the case of Maggi it was not so. And the Food Safety and Standards authority of India also kept sleeping all this while, and they should also take the blame.

Mind: What is done is done, and can’t be undone, but what are you planning for your future.

Heart: Well, I haven’t thought about all that. But yes, I guess in the last five years I too could have taken a personal initiative, like that food inspector in Barabanki town, to get Maggi tested, but I didn’t. We often trust big names and brands for the simple reason that we believe they will deliver what they promise. But this was not the case here. And even brand ambassadors ditch the consumers.

Recently Nestle India had to destroy ‘Maggi noodle’ stocks worth three hundred and fifty crores as same was banned by Government of India, because tests revealed it had high lead content.

We have many dutiful salesmen in the food industry, putting their heart and soul together, in bringing about various delicious food products to customers across the world. And in this fraternity we also have Maggi salesmen. And there is no need for them to feel guilty, for, they have only done their duty in providing what the customer wanted and it was for Nestle to have ensured quality—deliver what you promise which they couldn’t. And so, I will not be surprised if this turns out to be one of the biggest cases of brand erosion under a big banner.



By Kamlesh Tripathi

maggi maggi1


What MNCs should know #MaggiRecalled

High lead content in Maggi. Has sent Nestle into a tizzy of a lifetime. Vigorous tests are on, in the food labs of India. Soon anyone’s bluff will be caught if not already. And, it is not only for Nestle. But a reminder for all MNCs. That gone are the days. When you could serve a sub-standard and obsolete product in India and get away. But now the equations have altered and tables have turned.

    Today the literacy levels in India are at 74%. Most Indians, when they walk into a store have already made up their minds. About what they are going to buy and why. Consumer laws too have firmed up, even when they may not be as pungent as the US.

    India over the years has become a very attractive and money spinning sub-continent market for any MNC. With its newly rich population and the population explosion. In some ways it fares even better than the markets of the US. In fact serving the Indian market is like clocking a revenue equivalent to serving half of Europe. When we milk the geographical advantages of India’s neighbours.

    The Indian population as per 2011 stands at around 1.21 billion. Out of which around 830 million is rural and 380 million is urban. As compared to the total US population of 319 million. So, even our urban population is higher. Than the total population of the US. Our urban distribution is at 69% and rural 31%. Quite favouring, a smooth flow of goods and services across the sub-continent.

    With a population of 1.25 billion. On an average every seventh person in the world is an Indian. This has extrapolating advantages when you sell in India. In terms of scaling up a brand, brand recall or even name recalls of niche segments in prominent SKUs. And a big chunk of Indian population, are expats and NRIs. To them what is sold at home is acceptable in foreign lands too, from day one. So, a MNC, even gets a ready export market should it want to manufacture in India. Where, labour and cost of infrastructure is way below the western world.

    Although India’s population is three times that of the US. Its land area is only 1/3rd of the US (India 3287590 square km—US 9857306 sq km). That makes India a much more compact market than the US. Where, distribution costs are much lesser. And, an even more gleaming factor would be the population density. That directly triggers footfalls, and consequentially sales. The average population density of India is 364/km as compared to the US which is 90/square miles—again a favourable tilt towards India.

    Summing up. In times to come. Such large markets in confined clusters. That will give high footfalls will be a rarity. Therefore Indian consumers and markets need to be treated with a lot more prestige and seriousness by MNCs. As days are not far, when operating headquarters of many MNCs will move closer to the bulk of their consumers. Where, only China and India will be their likely destinations.

    So, MNCs should move around with bags. That have single pockets, and not bags with too many pockets or hidden pockets for various countries. As transparency is the wholesome virtue in present times. And last but not the least. The golden goose is very much there. But the MNCs shouldn’t try to kill it for short term gains.

    And brand ambassadors of MNC products. Need to verify complete details, before they sign up for any product.