NIT Engineer Builds Automated Momo-Making Machine, Earns Rs 25/Cr a Yr


What’s the frequent thread that has intricately woven our nation’s huge lengths and depths right into a small but spicy and flavour-packed delight? Right here’s a touch: these are tiny pockets of goodness, generously full of both succulent meat or vibrant veggies, and served alongside fiery pink chutney and creamy mayo.

When you haven’t guessed already — it’s momos!

This in style dish captivates the style buds of youngsters, youth, and elders alike, evolving into an emotion for a lot of.

Reflecting on a number of years in the past, these heavenly pockets of flavours weren’t as available as they’re now. Rising up with a mom who hails from the Northeast, momos had been a deal with that she crafted on particular events.

It turned a household affair — my mother intricately weaving the momo design, me managing the dough, and my brother at all times able to sprint out for any last-minute elements. Our household pals would even take a break from their busy schedules simply to savour the style of my mom’s particular momos.

Like another Indian family, we might talk about elaborate enterprise plans whereas delighting within the tender meat filling. The frequent consensus — since nobody else is making it, you’re destined for large success. However whereas my mom was glad with the compliments from family and friends, somebody on the market was taking the enterprise alternative critically.

This notable success story within the ‘momo world’ is of Shouvik Dhar, the Founding father of Prabhati Meals Personal Restricted and Zomoz.

Zomoz harbours a novel secret — past merely delighting lakhs of consumers with its scrumptious momos, it has pioneered an automatic momo-making machine. “We stand as the one model with 100% automated operations at our centre. Due to our momo machine, we’ve been in a position to considerably scale up manufacturing,” Shouvik Dhar tells The Higher India.

Spreading the enjoyment of momos

Born and raised in Silchar, Assam, Shouvik developed a passion for momos from a younger age. Whereas pursuing his research at NIT Silchar, Shouvik had no preliminary plans of venturing into entrepreneurship.

“After finishing my engineering, I joined DRDO as a scientist. Although I hadn’t envisioned a profession change, I felt a powerful inclination to pursue a grasp’s course,” he explains.

Following his stint with DRDO, Shouvik determined to pursue an MBA. “After finishing my MBA, I realised that beginning my very own enterprise was my true calling. Earlier than Zomoz, I ventured into a number of companies, starting from a talent coaching firm to a tech agency,” he remembers.

Shouvik realised that there were no good momo places in Hyderabad and decided to start Zomoz.
Shouvik realised that there have been no good momo locations in Hyderabad and determined to start out Zomoz. Image credit score: Shouvik Dhar

Regardless of the success of his companies, Shouvik desired to discover an untapped market. “Momos are a staple within the Northeast, integral to our lives. Nonetheless, after I was dwelling in Hyderabad, I seen a ignorance about them,” he displays.

“For example, folks in Hyderabad had not tasted the magic of momos! There have been some distributors right here and there however folks didn’t have many good choices. I may see that there could be a market there and welcome a brand new product,” he says.

With not plenty of competitors in hand, Shouvik determined to promote his current tech enterprise and take the leap with Zomoz.

In 2016, Zomoz opened its first outlet in Inorbit Mall in Hyderabad. “It was our first joint. We instantly began to see a rise within the gross sales,” he remembers.

“I knew individuals who made distinctive momos, so I employed a number of people from Northeast India and introduced them right here. We began the operations with a small staff, and presently, we’ve grown to 173 folks and 75 retailers throughout India,” he beams.

Inventing a completely automated momo-making system

As soon as the primary outlet was opened in Hyderabad, Zomoz began gaining recognition and extra retailers began arising.

In 2017, the corporate was approached by a cinema chain to provide momos in all their theatres in Hyderabad, Kerala and Vijayawada. “I used to be glad and we readily accepted, nevertheless, in three months, we realised that our kitchens and employees usually are not gonna be capable to meet the demand,” he says.

The automated momo machines can make up to 2.25 lakh momos a day.
The automated momo machines could make as much as 2.25 lakh momos a day. Image credit score: Shouvik Dhar

The apparent alternative of hiring extra folks was there however Shouvik determined to go for one thing totally different. “The method of hiring and coaching felt prolonged and repetitive to me, so I made a decision to innovate one thing new. This set me on a quest to discover several types of machines used for making meals objects to finally invent my very own,” he shares.

Shouvik launched into journeys to nations like China and Korea to check their practices. “I found varied equipment, reverse-engineered many, and in the end developed my very own momo-making machine. By 2018, the machine was up and operating. At the moment, our firm operates solely on automated equipment,” he proudly states.

Explaining how the machine works, he says, “There’s the outer cowl and the filling. In our case, the filling goes via a meticulous course of from slicing to washing. Let’s take the instance of a vegetable momo being ready. All of the veggies arrive within the kitchen after which the slicing course of is automated. Numerous machines, starting from dicing to shredding, deal with this stage.”

He continues, “After the automated slicing, the veggies are washed and transferred to a cooking wok. We use an automatic cooking wok — a robotic wok, primarily — to prepare dinner the filling. A number of woks are operated concurrently to fulfill demand.”

Throughout this section, Shouvik explains that the main focus shifts to dough processing, with the dough being ready in a vacuum dough mixer — a specialised gear that ensures even mixing by making a vacuum.

As soon as the dough and filling are ready, the dough is fed right into a forming machine, the place it’s taken in, and the filling is loaded onto a filling hopper.

“These machines work robotically to form the momos. Every manufacturing line consists of three totally different models, and every line can produce round 8,000 items in an hour. Every machine can produce 2.25 lakh momos every single day. The momos come out like on a conveyor belt, shifting to the opposite finish and coming into the steamer. They’re steamed for roughly 4 and a half minutes,” he says.

Following the steaming course of, the momos are positioned in a pre-cooling chamber after which shock-frozen. This speedy freezing course of ensures the preservation of the momos. As soon as frozen, the momos are packed, they usually have a shelf lifetime of about 9 months.

At the moment, Zomoz makes multiple lakh momos every single day, and the corporate is incomes Rs 25 crore yearly.

Shouvik is planning to open 13 more outlets in the UAE.
Shouvik is planning to open 13 extra retailers within the UAE. Image credit score: Shouvik Dhar

The corporate makes a variety of momos together with hen momos, hen and cheese momos, vegetable momos, paneer momos, crispy fried momos and extra. Amongst these, 65 % of the demand comes from hen momos, he provides.

Yashika Rawat, an everyday buyer of Zomoz says, “I didn’t know that the momos are literally not made by a chef. Momos made by a completely automated machine sounds so absurd however I’ve to say that it tastes the identical, and even higher! My favorite is hen and cheese momos they usually at all times style recent.” 

Speaking about his future plans, Shouvik says, “Tier two cities, identified for his or her worth sensitivity compared to tier one cities like Bengaluru, have confirmed to be a promising marketplace for us. Regardless of the worth sensitivity, our retailers in tier-two cities have demonstrated vital success. Over the subsequent few months, or inside the subsequent yr, we plan to additional increase our presence within the current cities and discover extra tier-two cities in proximity.”

Moreover, he provides that they’ve collaborated with one other meals enterprise to open 13 retailers within the UAE.

Edited by Pranita Bhat


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