Radha Dagga was all of 69 when she launched Triguni Foods, the easy to eat food company which is now turned into a multi crore empire catering to more than 80 percent of the total food intake of India’s popular airline company, “Indigo Airlines”.
Dagga is a great follower of “Mother “ at Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry and vividly remember the association she had with Mother since her child hood days. He also remembered how she, had reached Arubindo Ashram on August 15,1947 when the country was enjoying its independence.
She is now heading a multi crore food empire cooking her way into the hearts a long list of people across the country and abroad. The Marwari enterpruner had successfully launched a garment export business but her calling was for food and she ventured into food business by using a small space of her garment factory and opened “Triguni Foods”.
Interestingly she was a successful garment exporter and there were times when she was employing 1000 people at a time. However her calling was food and food industry was beckoning her.
Radha while speaking to BPNS said,” Yes ,My garment business was a successful one but I knew that my calling was in food , but I don’t know why I was behind this dream. I used to stare at articles on food in magazines which were brought home during my young days and that spirit stood on in me through my life.”
The brands “Magic Upma” and “Magic Biriyani” which the airtravellers of are familiar with comes from the stable of Tirguni foods and Radha Dagga has come a long way to reach what she is now.
She said that she was bitten by the bug of enterprenuership much earlier in life but added that things clicked when the right time came.
The entereprenuer who has turned 78 said, “I don’t know when I started about becoming an enterpenuer or doing something independently but It happened when the right time came”.
She opened her garment exports by launching “Chimise Exports” which was a garment unit and the investment was 90,000 rupees in 1987 and Chennai was booming with exports of garments with several companies opening up.
The export of garments hit off and soon she converted the company to Chimise Indus Pvt Ltd and was providing jobs to several underprivileged women of the locality and getting exports directly to foreign clients.
Radha says,” The export of garments was good and I was providing jobs to several underprivileged women and we were soon producing 2000 shirts a day and I wanted to move to our own premises from the rented factory, but banks were not supportive and all the tall claims on banks providing loans and support fell flat and I had to depend on own money to construct my factory”.
While the bold enterprenuer woman became quite successful in garment exports and was fetching good profits, she wanted to fulfil her calling- it was food business.
One room of the factory was converted into a room to experiment on food models and with the help of a known Chef, the first food product was ready and it was Lemon rice, then biriyani and tamarind rice followed it. The company was named Triguni foods pvt ltd.
She says,” In 2012 – all by the grace of god- Indigo airlines contacted us for our biriyani which is a product that you can make in 8 minutes by pouring hot water into a cup with the readymade biriyani and it was quite impressive for them.”
Initially it was 2500 cups of biriyani per month but the product became a hit with the passengers and demand grew.
Radha Dagga says, “We made Upma and branded it Eze but Indigo turned out to be a major customer and they even changed our brand name to “Magic Upma”.”
The orders swelled up and there was no looking back and orders touched 1,50,000 cups of Upma and Biriyani a month.
By 2015 the successful garment factory was shut down and converted totally into a food making unit and the company has touched a high of making 9000 cups of Upma and Biriyani per day.
Today there are more than 15 various products with a shelf life of 6 months each and is available in retail stores of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkotta, Chennai and Bangalore. The “Dal Chawal”, is now exported to Singapore, Netherlands and UAE.
Radha says,” Our company use only natural preservatives- close to home made food and we will get more orders as several families have now opted for ready to eat food products with the increasing numbers of working couple.”
The woman enterprenuer is now 78 and still visits the company daily and gives directions to the staff and even refuses to use an elevator walking all the five floors of the company.
She says,” My concern has always been my staff and people who worked with me since 1987 are even now with the company and I take good care of them and they reciprocate being sincere to the core and give their hundred percent to the company which is the secret behind our success.”