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Indian Dairy Market – Poised for Growth

India is the world’s largest milk producer and consumer of dairy products, using up nearly 100% of its milk production. The Indian dairy industry is estimated to expand at a CAGR of 15% Year-Over-Year to reach Rs 9.4 trillion by 2020.

With demand for both cattle and buffalo milk, India’s dairy industry is uniquely positioned compared to other dairy-producing nations. The average milk yield per animal is however substantially low, with the majority of India’s milk production sold as fluid milk. Because of this, the industry is at the crossroads, holding tremendous potential for overall value-addition and development.

Latest trends in the Dairy Industry:

  • Consumers are increasingly demanding dairy products with cleaner labels, value-added ingredients, sugar reductions, and much more.
  • Plant-based milk, meat alternatives, and vegan offerings are becoming mainstream.
  • Manufacturers are trying to enhance the nutritional profile of dairy products by adding health-enhancing ingredients. They have to find and use ingredients that can offer functionality and shelf life in the most minimalist way possible.
  • Reducing waste and optimizing production. Reducing energy consumption and fuel bills.

Challenges faced by the Industry:

Shortage of feed/fodder:

With regard to the utilization of available feed and fodder, unproductive dairy animals compete in equal numbers with their productive counterparts.  The total grazing area gets reduced every year due to urbanization & industrial development. This results in the shortage of feed and fodder in the context of total demand, hiking up fodder prices, and resulting in inadequate feeding. This ever-increasing demand-supply gap restricts overall milk yield. Poor quality forage and lower purchasing power of small, marginal dairy farmers and agricultural laborers engaged in the dairy industry adds to the whole conundrum.

Breeding system:

Late maturity in the majority of Indian cattle breeds is a common problem. Cattle owners don’t have a proper and effective detection mechanism for heat symptoms during the oestrus cycle. The calving interval (the time gap between the birth of a calf and the birth of a subsequent calf from the same cow) is on the rise, reducing animal performance. Diseases causing abortion and mineral, hormonal and vitamin deficiencies lead to fertility problems, affecting the industry.

Education and Training:

Scientific education and training programs on good dairy practices is the need of the hour and could overcome critical challenges faced. They need to be effectively marketed, to boost participation in such programs. Education and training for all dairy sector employees become essential to develop a sense of ownership, and to inculcate proper knowledge of best practices. Implementing such programs in the dairy sector requires strong, relentless commitment from the management, which at times could be a stumbling block.


Veterinary health care centers are located in places that are far off and difficult to access. There is a lesser number of veterinary institutions in proportion to the cattle population, leading to inadequate health services for these animals. Irregularity in vaccination schedules and deworming programs lead to heavy mortality in calves, especially buffaloes. As stated earlier, there is a lack of adequate immunity amongst cattle, making them susceptible to diseases.


Many cattle owners do not provide proper shelters to their cattle, leaving them exposed to extreme climatic conditions and the vagaries of nature. Cattle shed and milking yards are unhygienic, giving rise to mastitis. (In this, the udder tissue or mammary glands get inflamed due to physical trauma or microorganism infections. It is the most common disease in dairy cattle in the United States and worldwide). Unhygienic milk production also leads to poor quality milk being stored and spoilage of milk and other dairy products.

Marketing and Pricing:

Dairy farmers continue to get unremunerative prices for milk production. Due to the adoption of extensive cross-breeding programs with the Holstein Friesian breed, the fat content of a cross-breed cow’s milk is on the decline. Because of this, lower prices are offered, since milk price is estimated based on fat and solid nonfat milk content. Due to a lack of proper marketing and education, commercial dairy enterprises are poorly perceived by farmers as an alternative to other livelihoods.

Low dairy penetration & high cost of milk handling and distribution:

In India, dairy penetration continues to be at low levels. Milk is mainly collected by private players and sold to private dairies or other members of the distribution channel. Milk passes through multiple levels until it reaches the pasteurization centers, thereby increasing the final retail price. There is good scope for reducing the number of agencies handling milk, to minimize the overall cost of handling.

Future in Dairy Industry: D2R & D2C business models

The milk industry in India is an extensive network of farmers, dairy cooperatives, and private players. To increase profitability levels and safeguard the industry’s future, Direct to Retail (D2R) and D2C (Direct to Consumer) or DTH (Direct to Home) business models are now gaining momentum. The largest dairy companies in the world like Dairy Farmers of America, Fonterra, Nestlé, Amul (GCMMF), and Danone all actively adopt these models.

Direct to Retail (D2R): Under the D2R dairy model pioneered by Amul founder Dr. Verghese Kurien, middlemen are effectively eliminated, as companies/brands procure milk directly from farmers, pay them commensurately, process the milk, and sell to end consumers through company-owned milk parlor chains and retail stores. Examples of prominent D2R players are the dairy co-operatives and milk federations of respective states (like Mother Dairy in West Bengal, Aaarey in Maharashtra, Aavin in Tamil Nadu, Nandini in Karnataka, etc.) and private players like Heritage Foods, Creamline Dairy Products, and Schreiber Dynamix Dairy.

Direct to Consumer (D2C) or D2H (Direct to Home) – The rise of ‘Milktech’ Startups: This model has gained popularity during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, as consumers have shunned physical stores and favored direct door-delivered purchases. Prominent examples of this model include Kiaro – a Hyderabad-based app-driven organic dairy products brand, Parag Milk Foods’ ‘Pride of Cows’ in Mumbai and Pune and Milk Mantra’s Milky Moo in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. 

Disrupting the industry in recent times, new-age start-ups have changed the game.  Attracting global investors, they have redefined the market by offering customized tech-focused services, with flexible options of pre-payment and long-term subscriptions.

The future of the dairy industry is D2R and D2C.In these business models, product quality is standardized and maintained in conformity with international standards and certifications, and the network farmers get a better price. With regard to the milk industry, these private players use state-of-the-art infrastructure, world-class farming practices, advanced technology, and packaging techniques. 

How Industry can overcome these challenges

  1. Process Excellence

Dairy products are a perishable food item.  Hence, they have to be refrigerated in robust cold chains and sold quickly to preserve product quality. The short time to market and the quick flow of products differentiates the milk industry from others. Time and information management is key to reducing waste and improving the quality of delivered dairy products, and this is where a lean manufacturing consultant can bring about improvements. 

i) Define SOPs/ Process Automation:

Process automation is what IT systems can do to optimize and make your dairy business effective, helping to quicken internal processes by eliminating human error. This could be in the form of Artificial intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Internet of things (IoT), ERPs, chatbots, packaging & handling equipment, etc. All of these helps to save man-hours, which could be better utilized in more critical processes.

Dairy Processing Handbook (framed by food packaging major Tetra Pak) provides exhaustive, easy-to-understand guidance on dairy manufacturing processes. It explains the intricacies of modern dairy processing technology and the entire chain – i.e. pasteurization, blending, and overall UHT milk treatment to filtration, automation, service systems, and wastewater management.

Implementing a state-of-art dairy system is the dream of every dairy farm consultant. The industry continues to be plagued by the scarce availability of standardized process documents leading to lack of proper communication (internal & external), mismanagement in feed management, sanitizing practices, input vs output, waste management, manpower utilization, breed selection & tracking, value addition & dairy farm profitability. Dairy consulting services try to address all of these issues and more.

Dairy consultancy services recommend best practices for milk production and procurement, products and procedures and machinery design and maintenance support. They draw up techno-economic feasibility reports for dairy enterprises covering the while milk production ecosystem, and provide R&D assistance for product processes, quality assurance & product testing, including feed analysis and evaluation.

SOPs in Dairy Industry: Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in dairy are instructional roadmaps for the entire dairy’s operations. Dairy businesses worldwide widely use process automation that overcomes the shortcomings of existing methods. Dairy consultants try to ensure that SOPs and process automation covers the following facets of dairy businesses, i.e.

  • General herd health management including vaccination and treatments
  • Reproduction management (deliveries through timed AI protocols)
  • Milking management (procedures, parlor setup, cleaning, sanitation)
  • Veterinary Assistance
  • Productivity management (including breed selection and tracking)
  • Feed management (including newborn calves)
  • Waste management (including newborn calves)
  • Maintenance crew
  • Organizational blueprint (including manpower utilization)
  • Production and supply chain safety
  • Location management (diagram or maps of where animals and facilities are located)

Initially, dairy employees are enthusiastic about process improvement measures, but their interest gradually wanes over time. This usually occurs when monitoring and feedback mechanisms are not built into the SOPs.

      ii) IT System Integration of SOPs:

A strong IT infrastructure forms the core of all business processes. IT applications can significantly reduce operating costs, also boosting process accuracy and automation.

Integration of ERP with SOPs: Buyers need to know when products are available for ordering and when they will be delivered. This is where e-commerce for dairy comes in through live, interactive online sales portals that are fully integrated with the source of all business data and logic: ERP (a software-driven information system fueling all your business processes). The integration of ERP and SOP enables software programs to be designed and customized according to predefined operational procedures and business specifications. Examples of effective ERP systems for the dairy industry are SAP and Microsoft Dynamics.

Essential IT SOPs necessary to control the entire diary processing system

System Maintenance SOP: This consists of system controls that ensure periodic system checks and maintenance. Thus, this SOP describes system monitoring procedures and process decommissioning systems. We have to always ensure the integrity of any data contained within these systems.

Physical Security SOP: are controls in place to secure access to building premises. It manages digital cards and codes, building alarm systems and intrusion control. It also includes environmental controls to safeguard data installation systems, i.e. the fire detection, temperature and humidity controls.

Logical Security SOP: This refers to data security protocols such as VPNs, Firewalls, and Virus protection apps. This includes password format or aging, and technical controls to improve security like password-protected screen savers.

Incident and Problem Management SOP: This takes care of the process for managing any incidents or problems related to regulated computerized systems. They typically describe how incidents and problems are recorded, analyzed, and resolved.

System Change Control SOP:Critical to the management of regulated systems, this SOP could be the most problematic of all.  The system change control procedure is used during the change of any computerized component, typically using a form or template to allow the documentation of the change control. The process demands that the change rationale and steps be documented, after which a system impact assessment is carried out. A revalidation plan if any is documented, along with executable test scripts and evidence. The rollback path, review, and approval process (pre and post-execution) should be clearly defined here.

Configuration Management SOP: Often used in conjunction with change control, this SOP governs how system configurations are regulated, managed, and documented. A standard process has to be laid down so that configuration changes can be reviewed and approved.

Disaster Recovery SOP: Whenever a disaster occurs, this SOP ensures that data is properly protected and disaster recovery is carried out in a timely and controlled manner. The SOP has to clearly define a disaster and its parameters, and provide an overview of the disaster recovery plan which should be tested at regular intervals.

Backup and Restoration SOP: The final and possibly the most vital SOP is backup and restoration. The procedure should clearly outline the schema and methods used to protect data and systems. Creation, maintenance, and verification of backup jobs should be clearly defined. A restoration request process should be defined and tested periodically to ensure complete data restoration is possible. Last but not the least, long-term archiving of data should be addressed in this SOP as well.

     2. Digital Sales Techniques for rapid expansion

Adopt D2R (eliminate distributors and directly reach out to Retailers) 

Under a Direct to Retail D2R digital sales model, dairy companies procure milk from farmers and then use a transparent, digital selling mechanism (example: online sales portals), eliminating all middlemen. Customers can educate themselves on the go, and digitally purchase the latest dairy products through live web stores and mobile apps. Buyers can place an order at night, and fresh milk & dairy products are promptly home delivered the next day by 6 am.

Data Analytics-centric Dashboards keep up the sales momentum

Data-driven analytical dashboards provide statistical insights to customers and clients digitally, helping to drive up sales.  Operational dairy processes, data, and customer information are entered into these user-friendly web platforms. There are several B2B e-commerce platforms and E-hubs like which serve as digital marketplaces, providing dairy producers and retailers the opportunity to find new customers or deal with existing customers online.

D2C business model (via e-commerce directly sell to end consumers) 

Direct to Consumer digital selling techniques give the producer greater control over the brand, reputation, marketing, and sales strategy. Additionally, it helps the milk producer to remain agile, directly engaging, and continuously learning from customers. Here, digital advertising in interactive social media channels is the norm, i.e. Facebook marketing, Instagram and YouTube video ads, and customer-created marketing content (which in turn spurs them to make online purchases).

By integrating your e-commerce solution with ERP, you can improve your sales standing. Real-time product and logistics data (like current and future inventory) are displayed in your web store, and all processes and data can be effectively managed from one centralized location. This automatically helps to meet and generate current and future buyer demand.

What does the future hold? Dairy E-Commerce set to rule the roost

Tech-backed milk and milk-product delivery platforms are likely to grow even further over the next few years. Leading players will focus on delivering an enriching shopping experience through one consolidated umbrella app. These platforms will go all out to stock and deliver milk, milk products, vegetables, groceries, and other everyday essentials, including niche, premium products like camel milk which are rapidly gaining in popularity.

Growth Opportunities multiply post COVID-19

The massive rise in internet penetration and the recent COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge growth opportunities for digital sales of dairy and milk-based products. Fulfillment options such as click and collect and on-demand delivery has grown exponentially, as every consumer is now ordering fresh perishables online daily. All this is leading to a self-sufficient and viable dairy ecosystem, which is a win-win proposition for all. Hopefully in the next two decades, as the market becomes more defragmented, supply chains strengthen and innovations rise, India would transform into a global dairy superpower with dairy production at its peak.

For achieving your true potential and integrating SOPs & process automation benefits into your dairy business, contact YRC (Your Retail Coach) dairy business experts today


The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.


No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

Photography includes the following steps:

  • Cataloguing your products
  • Cataloguing your images
  • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
  • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)


Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.


Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.


  • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
  • Where should your Warehouse be located?
  • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
  • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
  • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
  • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
  • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
  • How much space do I require for warehouse?
  • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.


At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.


This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

Part 2: UX Designing:

“UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

“As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

Part 3: UI Designing:

UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!


This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.


Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

  • In-house Design Team
  • Freelance Designers
  • Outsourced Design Team
  • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.


Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

It is an integral part to attract the target audience.


Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.


Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.


Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.


Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.