Changemakers Programme

Dr. P.M Ganeshraam

Q1. Name, location?

A1. Dr. P.M Ganeshraam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Regional Convenor South India CAIT and Founder & State President of Tamil Nadu Consumer Products Distributors Association.

Q2. Name of business, type of business, date of founding?

A2. Own a FMCG redistribution business called Sri Ganesh Trading Agency.This company was incorporated in 1984.

Q3. Future business plans?

A3. For my current business there are no plans of expansion in the near future. The business is monitored by a manager and the operations are standard. Having said this, I am keen to start two new ventures. One is to start a chain of sandwich shops across Chennai and the second is to open a home cooked food tiffin / delivery service In Chennai there is huge demand for home cooked items. The households in which all family members work want a service wherein they get all meals delivered to their house for the sake of convenience. We hope to be successful in this segment. The eventual goal is to open 100 outlets (kitchens) in Chennai.

Q4. How many of your family (if relevant) work in the business and who are they?

A4. My wife works in the business with me. We both manage the day to day operations of the business. She will also be involved in the new ventures we start.

Q5. How hard has it been to access finance?

A5. I have taken bank loans earlier. We started the business with our own capital and managed to grow the company at a fast pace. During this we were always careful and maintained a record of all our legal and financial papers. Eventually when we needed a working capital loan it wasn’t very difficult to avail. This is due to years of experience,correct documentation, a strong relationship with banks and the fact that I pledged my personal property as collateral. However, the main pain point for me as a borrower in this entire process is the turnaround time it took for the loan to get sanctioned. There was a lot of back and forth with the bank managers and they kept pushing timelines. This was frustrating as the requirement for funds was relatively urgent. I will also require finance, for branding for the new franchise.

Q6. How digital are the operations of your business on a scale of 0-10 if 0 = completely analogue and 10 = completely digital?

A6. Our current trading business is completely offline. This is due to the nature of the goods we sell. There is a better market for this offline rather than online. However, for the new businesses, we will definitely have some online presence as well as offline.

Q7. Where do you think you will be on a scale of 0-10 in three years’ time?

A7. For the new food delivery venture, we will have a website from where you can order the food and schedule the delivery. We will also use a separate scheduling and tracking software to streamline the whole process. Along with the logistics and operations being digitised, we want to create websites to promote branding as well as social media accounts. I would therefore say 8/10. for

Q8. What innovation have you introduced in order to overcome issues around financing?

A8. Haven’t really introduced any innovation but we have tried to manage our documents well and maintain a strict record of our accounts and finances.

Q9. Any other information that you would like to share ?

A9. We are excited to venture out and start our new business. There is a very strong market for such a service and we hope to be very successful in this venture.