News Details
REFCOLD: Entrepreneurs Conclave
15 February 2019

The spirit of entrepreneurship was celebrated on the evening of November 23. Entrepreneurs shared their success stories with a large invited audience drawn from the refrigeration and cold chain industry, inspiring and motivating them. Saurabh Patel, Energy Minister of Gujarat, was the Chief Guest, and Pradeep
Rawat, Chairman, National Shipping Board, was the Guest of Honour. The Conclave began with a panel discussion on ‘Cold Chain Policies, Innovation and Finance’. The panellists were Seema Gulati, Amit Gupta, Dr. Mahesh Patankar, Aditya Arya and M. S. Manjunath.

Vilas Shinde of Sahyadri Farms, a cooperative Farmers’ Producer Company (FPC) addressed the Conclave, sharing the success story of Nashik grapes. Guest of Honour Pradeep Rawat was the next speaker. He spoke about the ambitious Sagarmala Project of the Central Government, which aims to bring about a blue revolution by tripling fisheries production by 2024. Speaking about port-led development, he said that with a large coastline of over 8,000 km, India was late to the party in utilising its exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles. The project will leverage India’s perennial rivers for transportation and
tourism. The total outlay for Sagarmala is Rs. 16 lakh crores over 10 years, of which 4 years have passed; it will add 2-3% to the country’s GDP. REFCOLD has to play a pivotal role in preventing post-harvest losses.

Kapil Bhatia – representing Daikin India, the Poster Competition Partner – addressed the audience about Daikin’s entry into the cold chain space through
its strategic acquisition of Zanotti. He predicted that India’s cold chain market will grow to Rs. 500 billion to by 2022. He thanked the Jury for the competition and Technical Committee members. The gathering was next addressed by Saurabh Patel, who congratulated REFCOLD on this endeavour. He mentioned that while Gujarat has a large number of cold storages for potatoes, it needs multi-commodity facilities to prevent wastage of produce at Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) premises as well as the ports. The country is striving for fast growth, and all sectors have to contribute to growth. He wanted the industry to give inputs to the government to frame policies that would help the industry grow.

Saurabh Patel pointed out that the cost of solar energy has fallen to an alltime low of around Rs. 2.50 per unit. This presents a unique opportunity to farmers
to generate power in their farms, and to sell surplus power to the power utility. This can add Rs. 2,000-3,000 per month to their income. Solar panels are available at subsidised prices. He concluded that the cold chain industry has a very bright future, and complimented the organisers of the exhibition. Prof. Yash Shukla of CEPT University, Chair – Global Poster Competition Committee, announced the winners of the competition. He mentioned that 118 entries were received and scrutinised by the Technical Committee comprising of seven professors and one coordinator. Twelve posters were shortlisted, and their creators were provided travel and accommodation to explain them to the five-member Jury, who picked the final winners. The Jury comprised Dilip Sarda, R. C. Patel, Vishal Kapur, Kapil Bhatia and Dr. R. Saravanan. Prof. Hardik Shah was the Co-chair of the Competition Committee. Vivek Savla made a presentation on
the journey of Savla Food from a startup to its pre-eminent position in the country’s cold storage industry.

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