BENGALURU: Having rewritten India’s way of cooking and eating, Maiyas is now in a transformational phase, eyeing the globe through its online platforms. And it is not just the module of selling that Dr P Sadananda Maiya, a pioneer in the Indian food industry and the face of the legendary outlet MTR, is reinventing. He is all set to redefine the idea of everyday food that we consume with the revolutionary use of research-based and technologically intensive production. The chairman and managing director of Maiyas Beverages & Foods Pvt.Ltd speaks to City Express about the use of technology in food making, his new range of products and how he has been able to bring back the traditional methods of preservation without using any preservatives.
Tell us about the initial challenge when you departed from MTR and set up Maiyas.
Right from the beginning, our mission was to serve traditional food at its purest form. While there were some ‘technical’ issues due to which I had to depart from MTR, I parted ways with the knowledge I had gained over the years. But the challenge was that I had to fight against my own baby. And I will only say that Maiyas is better.
There were always some or the other technical problems related to food during my time with MTR. When I started Maiyas, I drew upon my engineering skills to add to the values of the master cook that my father proved himself to be. I attribute my success with packaged foods to the unique combination of technical knowhow from my engineering background and my knowledge of food and food making processes.
I roamed around the world, identified machines which could be used to my requirement, purchased them, and made my own modifications. Between 2010 and 2013, I was able to solve all technical problems. Technology gave us the freedom to explore more avenues.
Can you give some examples of machines which have been modified to Indian needs?
The doughnut machine has been modified to make crispy Koduboles within minutes. For the Frozen Foods range, we adopted spiral freezing technology that keeps the food fresh for long. Products made using nanotechnology need no cooking and can be consumed by just adding hot or cold water. In addition to using cholesterol-free oil to prepare products, our innovative technology extracts at least 30 per cent of the oil from the final product making it a healthier option. We use such technology optimally at every juncture of food production to bring alive the authentic traditional taste, with faster turnarounds.
Tell us about the new range of products.
Apart from the entire range of processed foods - savouries, snacks, ready-to-eat, ready-to-cook, frozen food mixes and masalas and beverages, we have now launched an innovative product range with unique packaging and focus on ease of eating. Products like the Bhel Bar, are an exact replica of the usual Bhel Puri that we eat but packaged differently. And the best part is while it has all the ingredients used in an actual spot-made Bhel Puri, the Bhel Bar lasts for nine months, without any preservative. In the same way, we have Ragi bar, two minutes rasam, curd rice (which can be consumed without heating), rasmalai, a variety of mixtures or sev - usually available in loose form. We have contracted them into small nuggets like a peda; all last for more than nine months and there are no preservatives used.
Will these be available in retail outlets or have you planned a different route to market them?
These new range of products will be available on our newly launched online platform targetting B2B and B2C. So while consumers can book an item by going to www.maiyasonline.com, dealers, distributors and even corporates can avail the service.
What are your future plans?
Using the same format, I am now planning for a variety of Kashayams (home-brewed Indian Ayurvedic medicine used for ailments) and trials are on. We are also looking at the railways and the airlines to supply these new range of products. We are keenly looking at exports. We have recently launched the Maiya’s mobile app also, which will make it easier to order.