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“Great Scope For Indore’s Namkeen”: NRI Businessmen After PM’s High Praise

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The mega meet for NRIs at Madhya Pradesh has raised hopes of Indore’s local munchies finding a booming market in Gulf countries and Kenya.

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi tagged Indore “Swaad ki Rajdhani” – meaning ‘Taste Capital’ –, a 48-member group of NRIs visited a snacks factory on the city’s outskirts and assured that they will explore ways to push Indori Namkeen in Gulf markets.

The visit came a day after the Prime Minister, while inaugurating the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Indore, urged the visiting guests to enjoy Indore’s local cuisine and visit the popular food streets Chhappan Dukan and Sarafa Bazar.

“Indore has established a distinct identity in the country in the field of cleanliness. But in terms of food, ‘Apan ka Indore’ is amazing not only in the country but in the whole world. Indori namkeen tastes ‘gazab’ (amazing),” the Prime Minister said.

The delegation that visited the factory of 420 Namkeen near Indore today comprised businessmen currently based out of Gulf countries and Kenya, many with roots in Kerala. They closely observed the processing of papad, namkeen, snack mixtures, sweets, bakery products and spices. They expressed a strong wish to import the Indori namkeen to the Gulf nations.

Sehnawaz, who led the delegation, said the Prime Minister had rightly said that the Indian diaspora are brand ambassadors of India in the countries they live and work in. “We want to take more and more products from India to the Middle East market. Indori Namkeen, too, can have a great scope in markets there,” he said.

Noor-ul-Haq, a member of the delegation, said, “Most businessmen in our forum represent retail chains, including hypermarkets and supermarkets in the Middle East, particularly Qatar. We are interested in sourcing Indori Namkeen for those retail chains and markets.”

Naman, owner of the 420 Namkeen factory, was hopeful of local snacks finding new markets overseas.

“Middle East could be a major market for us. They have promised to finalise the logistics of export through e-mails and over the phone,” he said.

Mr Naman also shared the story behind the company’s name – 420, often used to refer to the section in Indian law under which cheating cases are registered.

The owner said his grandfather, who founded the company, was a huge fan of legendary actor-filmmaker Raj Kapoor. He had named the brand after Raj Kapoor’s 1955 classic Shree 420, Naman said. “We conduct our business with honesty,” he said with a smile. Naman added that they already supply papad and pickle to six other countries and have a turnover of nearly Rs 100 crore. 

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