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By TPCI | April 28, 2020

Where the leading global wholesalers and retailers have been sourcing the right Indian products since forever and bringing it to the plates of every parts of the World, the Covid-19 crisis has disrupted the entire supply chain in a manner that players are running short of many Indian food products and still trying hard to meet the demands of the customers with the stocks.

Committed to bring the Indian taste and tradition in every kitchen, Sabrini is one such leading grocery wholesaler in Australia who is working day and night to ensure a hygienic dispatch and delivery of Indian food products in the country amidst the pandemic. It has been sourcing and selling India brands like Sabrini, Pattu, Daawat, Vadilal, Chings, and Shan in Australia for over 20 years now.

Whilst the world seems to take a little more while to overcome the corona crisis, IndusFood decided to talk to Mr. UVARaja Hariramakrishanan, MD, Sabrini Foods and know the current ground realities in the Australian food market, challenges posed by the situation and the solutions they are looking at so as to sail through the pandemic.

“When it comes to satiate the cravings for Indian food savories in Australia, Aussies turn to “Sabrini Foods”, one of the key promoter of Indian Food culture in Australia. Sabrini, also famous as Sabi Foods, has been supplying the choicest of handpicked spices, finely produced beans & lentils, and aromatic basmati rice to ready-to-cook food as curries, chutneys, pastes & frozen snacks from India. With making Pattu as a household name for every Indian in Melbourne to Sabrini as Australia’s First Chef-Designed Indian Food Range to a recipe as innovative as “butter chicken in a nugget”, Sabrini has feathers of many “firsts” to add to its cap!”

IndusFood: How are Global food buyers helping communities to find the essentials? Being a leading Grocery wholesaler in Australia, how are you managing surge in demand & delay in delivery?
Mr. RAJA HARIKRISHANAN: This Crisis has created a panic buy of Groceries, which is natural as the unknown factor was very high. Also with work-from-home emerging as new normal, the consumption of food in the household has also increased. Hence, we saw a huge demand for all food products during March, which continued till mid-April. Of course, distribution of the food products remained a serious challenge but our team has been working for nights and days for almost 3 weeks to keep things on track.

IndusFood: What safety measures have been taken by you at your units and warehouse amidst Covid-19?
RH: We were one of the early players in Australia to take measures and prepare ourselves for protecting our team. By the Feb end, all sanitizing rules were implemented in the premises and each and every nook and corner was being sanitized. Even on each door of the warehouse we had installed sanitizing tunnels. Everybody at Sabrini has been following social distancing. We have made signs including lines drawn on the floor to ensure it is followed. Sections were split between each floor, each department of warehouse including all facilities, so that they don’t physically interact unless very essential. Two-way radio were used in the system to communicate within the office/warehouse so as to avoid physical contact. It was a challenge but our team pulled it well and extremely good co-operation from the team has proven a good protection so far.

IndusFood: Do you look at any Innovation in the last mile delivery?
RH: We have introduced paperless system throughout the warehouse which certainly is an advantage for this situation. It also includes smart POD systems when we deliver, thus reducing usage of paper even in our delivery system.

IndusFood: Do you think the pandemic has brought our priorities back to the basics? What social implications do you see to it?
RH: Yes off course. Infact, Food will be a basic commodity that the world would be looking for relentlessly. Also, as we all know, there are many business which are affected due to this crisis and many have lost their jobs. It is our responsibility to help those in need, especially students who were on casual jobs and many who were in need of help. We also donated food to those who took initiatives to support those in needs.

IndusFood: Do you see any Special Delivery Programs or intense AI taking over the control post-Covid?
RH: This crisis is an opportunity for many business to think outside the box, to come out strong with new thoughts, innovations, technologies and advancements.