Srinagar, June 24 : As part of promoting various ventures in the State, the Jammu and Kashmir Government has facilitated setting up of the first ever Ice Cream factory in the Kashmir Valley with the brand name--Dairy Foods.
"This ice cream factory has created lots of opportunity for employment. We get dealers, distributors and vendors. From one dealer we get about 100-150 other sub dealers. So lots of job opportunities have been generated," said Ravi Kumar, in-charge of the Dairy Foods ice-cream factory.
Dairy Foods ice cream factory is located on the outskirts of Srinagar in Shalteng, an industrial area developed by Jammu and Kashmir Industrial Development Corporation (SIDCO).
Local residents are cheerful about the setting up of the first ever ice-cream factory here.
"In our industrial complex at Shalteng, they get all the facilities. Whole of this area is an industrial estate, where there are proper roads, proper drainage system. So this infrastructure is nice. I came to know that they have started making ice-creams there and their turnover is expected to be in the range of rupees 70 lakhs (Rs.7 million)," said Sajjad Qadri, the General Manager of the Jammu and Kashmir State Industries Development Corporation (SIDCO).
This Dairy Foods ice cream comes in nearly two dozen varieties which include Vanilla brick, Pista, Choco bar, Oranges Choco feast and others.
Earlier, people had no choice but to buy ice cream of other brands ferried from outside Kashmir. However with the arrival of Dairy Foods, the residents are more than pleased to patronise their own home brand.
"Its product is very nice and there is a lot of demand. Customers are coming back for more. Earlier, even many companies came here. But this is for the first time in Kashmir that we are making ice cream in Shalteng," said Ishfaq Ahmed, a shopkeeper.
With temperatures soaring even in the mountains, there couldn't have been a better timing for the entry of Dairy Foods in Srinagar.
"Whosever owns the ice-cream factory, he is really on the right track. He made a very good investment at a very good time. The cassata that we recently had when we compare to it, I think it (Dairy Foods) is as good as others, if not better," said Altaf Ahmed, one customer.
Good quality and reasonable pricing are the USP of the brand.
This is a rupees 2.5 crores (Rs. 25 million) project. I have spent rupees one crore (Rs.10 million) on the project and the market of our ice cream namely Dairy Foods are very good. The workers working in the factory are very happy because these units are helping them fulfil their domestic needs. Twenty workers from Jammu and Kashmir are working here," said Mushtaq Ahmad, the factory owner while adding: "
"I am very thank full to the government who provided land for me to the project at reasonable rates," Ahmad added.
Business analysts have predicted encouraging growth trends for Dairy Foods.