India Journal reported on Paramount Farms talk about their success in India. I hosted the event and Mark Masten, our client and now my friend was kind enough to give his perspective on their success in India. Amritt and I began working with Paramount Farms over four years ago.
According to the paper, Mark Masten has had an ‘India connection’ for close to two decades and is now selling California pistachios in India. His first encounter with India was in 1994 as an employee of General Electric (GE). Paramount Farms is a wholly-owned operating company of Roll Global which also owns companies like Fiji Waters, POM Wonderful, Teleflora to name a few. Paramount Farms is among the world’s largest grower, processor and marketer of pistachios and almonds. Masten joined Paramount in 2005 and has since been leading the company’s growth in the US and developing markets.
Pistachios are grown on Paramount’s 10 K acres farm in the Central Valley in California from where they are exported to India. Paramount launched its brand in India five years ago and since then has seen major growth. Though Indian consumers prefer almonds above pistachios, Paramount is pitching for pistachios as a ‘healthy snack’, trying to make it more affordable and getting rid of the image it has as a luxury item.
Paramount has its main office in Delhi with branches in Vadodara, Gujarat; Calcutta, Mumbai among others. Masten pointed out that India does not grow pistachios. All pistachios come either from the US or Iran. Paramount pistachios are roasted and packaged in India. Research is on to introduce flavored pistachios suited for the Indian palate. Paramount is also working in conjunction with the Diabetes Foundation of India to establish that pistachios are a healthy snack. The company is also investing in local pistachio health research. It has a 100 percent commitment to quality and will not compromise on this at any cost.
If you wish to watch Mark’s speech and the Q&A that followed, click here http://youtu.be/2FMkk8n4hkQ
What this means
An American company can build an honest and profitable business in India and Indian consumers will pay a premium for quality if communicated effectively.