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By TPCI | October 23, 2019

SSP is an Indian process engineering company offering an extensive range of projects, equipment and innovative process solutions based on advance technology and a real understanding of customer needs in the food, dairy, beverages and chemical industries.

With a vision to provide highly energy efficient and cost effective projects/equipment not just in the domestic market but also across the globe, SSP has been emphasizing a lot on innovating the latest technologies, especially through its Innovation Centre, which it coins as its back bone. For its unwavering focus on standards and stellar business performance, SSP was awarded SME of the Year 2012 at “ET Now-Indiamart Leaders of Tommorow Award Programme. It has also recently been presented the award of ‘Outstanding Export Performer’ by EEPC.

In a recent conversation with Indusfood-Tech, Tapas Chatterjee, MD, SSP Pvt Ltd. shares insights to its rich global presence and as to what are the new upcoming markets that the conglomerate wishes to penetrate. With some more interesting conversation, here are few excerpts from the interview:

Indusfood-Tech: Tell us about the company’s formation and growth story? How have you evolved as a business in India and abroad?
Tapas Chatterjee: The journey of SSP started in the year 1977. The first manufacturing unit was set up in the year 1981 followed by setting up one of the largest R&D centres in Asia for Evaporation and Drying Technology in 1986, which is recognized by DSIR, Government of India. The second unit was set up in 1993 in Nagpur, the 3rd unit in 2007 in Sitarganj and finally the 4th unit was set up in Chandpur in 2010. Later to spread our footprints to developed economies, we acquired a company Prosoya Inc in Canada in the year 2016 to cater to USA/Canada and European markets. All the manufacturing units are equipped with latest and most modern fabrication and testing facilities.

Today, SSP is an ISO 9001:2015 certified & ASME U Stamp Holder. We also have 3 A certifications and CE certification and stand stern for quality. SSP complies with all applicable international standards and engineering practices applicable for our field of business.

Indusfood-Tech: What are the key product categories you cater to? And what are the major end use sectors where you are witnessing good demand for your equipment?
TC: SSP is a leading Indian Process Engineering & Project Company which is engaged in providing end-to-end customised solutions for projects, right from Design, Engineering, Manufacturing, Procurement, Supply and Supervision of Erection and Commissioning to onsite training for the equipment. We have been successful in delivering projects in the fields of Petrochemicals, Food Processing, Milk & Dairy, Nutraceuticals & Phyto Chemicals, Tea & Coffee, Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) and Green Technology for Waste and Effluent Treatment.

Globally, the governments and people at-large are day-by-day becoming more cautious about the proliferating pollution that exists in all forms in the environment and also in water bodies (sea, river, ground, lakes, etc). With this, disposal norms are also becoming stringent. This is where SSP plays a very vital role in offering Green technology – Zero Liquid Discharge. This sector is growing and demand for our products is also growing. The second growing sector is Food Processing and we offer a wide range of equipment and complete projects for milk & dairy, tea & coffee, honey, salt refinery, agro produce processing, projects for starch & its derivatives (from cassava, maize, wheat, rice & potato), etc.

Indusfood-Tech: How strong has been the role of the R&D for your business to be a success? Any major R&D/innovations that you might wish to share with us?
TC: Our R&D Centre, we call it Innovation Centre, is like a Central Nervous System and is the back-bone of our company and technology. Here, apart from testing & validating new designs for their accepted performance, we also conduct product trials to establish process parameters required for delivery of the final product & meeting customer specifications. It is equipped with fully operational commercial size plants like Multi Stage Evaporators, Continuous Extraction System, Freeze Drying/Vacuum Drying, Rotary Cone Aroma Recovery System, Agglomeration Plant, 3-Stage Drying System, Soy Milk Processing Plant, High Yield Pressure Extraction System and Agitated Thin Film evaporators. Buyers can conduct trials of their products. 

SSP has developed several technologies, established process parameters and applied for patents. To name a few:
- The first evaporator without condenser (patent is pending), by virtue of R&D efforts, SSP became the first Indian company to design and manufacture multi-stage evaporators and dryers.
- Concentration of Amino Acids for separation of Amino Acids without salting/precipitating out.
- Production of edible salt by mechanical refinery, katha (Catechin) concentration by reducing processing time and improve quality – from 22 days to 2 days.
- Successfully conducted trial to produce camel milk powder and commissioned commercial plant in UAE; recently received the second order for larger capacity plant from the same buyer.
- ZLD for molasses and grain based distilleries (patent pending), extraction of silicic acid/protein/ethanol from rice husk, etc.   

Indusfood-Tech: How do you ensure adherence to quality standards at SSP?
As I mentioned, SSP has been certified as an ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Company. SSP has a dedicated quality control department that takes care of the standards for all our ongoing processes.
We at SSP are committed to the most stringent norms of quality. All manufacturing facilities are well equipped with latest generation production machines. Raw materials are procured directly from the OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturer’s), thereby ensuring quality. For design and fabrication, SSP follows international standards like ASME section VIII Division I for pressure vessels, American 3A for food processing machineries. Also the projects can be manufactured in accordance with GMP and CE certification can be obtained on a case to case basis.

Our manufacturing processes and plants have also been approved by engineering consultancy groups like UDHE, LURGI, TCS, EIL, JACOBS, LLOYDS, SGS, ITS etc. We have selected partners with global reputation for outsourced components (like Siemens, ABB, Sweco, Bonfiglioli etc), thus ensuring high quality of the total project. We integrate the finest and most experienced human resources, information technology and process control to deliver the best quality as per the deadlines.

Indusfood-Tech: How do you plan to expand your business in the next five years?
TC: We have already acquired one unit in Canada to cater to the developed world. We have appointed a resident representative in Brazil and also have marketing and business development collaborations with companies in Argentina, Colombia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Dubai, Russia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, etc. We do have agents in other major markets including Africa, SE Asia, and the SAARC countries. We are now exploring business tie-ups in the European markets and that of USA.

We regularly participate in domestic and international trade fairs relevant to our business, present technical papers in international conferences, advertisements in international magazines & journals and last but not the least, visit the markets and reach prospective customers.

Indusfood-Tech: What has been the progress of your business on the export front and which are the main markets you have successfully penetrated? What are your future strategies to tap your potential target markets?
TC: The company has penetrated successfully new exports markets like Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Bangladesh, Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Canada, Russia, Indonesia, Vietnam, etc.

We are now focusing on Latin America, Mexico and US Markets. Although these are difficult markets to accept Indian technology and machinery, we are confident of our quality and services. To cater to these markets effectively, you need to have strong local base and support to win the trust and confidence of local buyers. We are exploring new Joint Ventures and Partners in LAC to manufacture our equipment locally in order to compete and provide after sales service and technical support to the buyers. This is the reason we recently appointed a Resident Representative in Brazil. 

Indusfood-Tech: How do you see the investment opportunities and the business environment for the food processing industry in India?
TC: India being the second highest populated country in the world, will always have excellent prospects in food processing. Unfortunately nothing much has been done in this sector. We have high losses on pre and post-harvest of agro produce because we lack in proper cold storage, warehousing facilities and processing facilities of the farm produce near to the plantation areas and logistics.

The initiative of setting up of Food Processing Zones by the Government will help a lot but participation of private companies is very important. The government can provide infrastructure but to accelerate the growth in this area, private sector entrepreneurs have to come forward.

Indusfood-Tech: How do you see Indusfood-Tech as a platform for the growth of the industry?
TC: I personally feel, it would be a good platform to exhibit our products and introduce and promote our technologies and projects to domestic as well as international buyers. I congratulate team TPCI as they have ideated a platform like Indusfood-Tech along with the Department of Commerce, Government of India. We are looking forward to the show.