NATCO is an acronym for the initial”s National Confectionery Co. It is a very popular brand name in England, which tries to satisfy the needs of the Asian community it is often mistaken that NATCO is the name of the company; but this is not true. NATCO is only a brand name for an international trading company, a specialist in Indian foods, -T. Choitram & Sons. T. Choitram & sons is the largest chain of supermarkets in the U.A.E., a confectionery manufacturer, a wholesaler, a cash &carry operator, and the manufacturer and packer of more than 250 products marketed and distributed in the UK under the NATCO brand.
Some of the other brands of the company are Papa – lentil and spices, Leone – tea, Koto – medicated products, Family – tissues, NATCO – sweet and biscuits. NATCO was their first and is their main brand, and NATCO sells more than any other of their brands does. This is why we also have emphasized more on the NATCO brand in our report. NATCO is called the lucky brand for the company, as they believe that this brand has led to them towards success.
Topics, which will be discussed in the report, are the management structure, their company history, manufacturing process and facilities, inventory control, quality control, just in time and forecasting. The helpful staff of NATCO kindly provided this information.
T.Choitram although an Indian migrated to West Africa in 1942. At the age of 17, he began his enderpreneurial career by selling seeds fruits magazines. He was a man who was always motivated with the dream to be a very successful businessman. He saw his future in the food industry and so he began his own supermarket and named it after himself. As years passed by he gained tremendous success and due to this he launched a brand name i.e. NATCO for his trading company in the year of 1968.
In London, T. Choitram & sons, a packaging firm has been in the competitive market of packaging and distributing foodstuff, spices, and confectionery for over 40 years. The owner of company has come a long way from a small grocery store in Sierre Lonne to one of the biggest distributor of foodstuff in London. With his unique managerial style he succeeded in bringing up his trading company to be one of the best in the world.
T. Choithram & sons is located at Wembley. The factory and warehouse together under one roof occupies around 25,000-sq. ft. in area. NATCO has employed over 150 skilled and unskilled labor, and has a staff of around 50 people, which adds up to a total of 200 people employed at NATCO. NATCOs team of highly experienced buyers is regularly traveling the Four Corners of the globe to source the best quality crop for export to their Wembley factory to be packed under the NATCO label. They guarantee premium products at the best price, ensuring that NATCO is excellent Value of money.
The NATCO brand was first launched in the UK in the early 60s, catering to the needs of the Asian communities. The extensive product range includes Spices, Lentils, Beans, Flours, Nuts, Dried Fruits, Basmati Rice, Canned Products, Butter Gee, Betel Nuts, Pappadums and much more. NATCO brand today is known for its superior quality standards. NATCO products are exported through a network of distributors to U.S.A, Canada, European Community, Middle East, and West Africa and they are continuing to develop these export markets.
Papa is the other brand name for NATCO. T. Choithram and sons came up with this other brand name because in many countries, government regulations allow only one agent for a brand for the whole country. This limits the sales in those countries. To increase the sales in these countries they planned to have more distributors. They could not introduce Papa into the other countries as a brand of T. Choithram as it would be an illegal activity. To legalize it they came up with a plan, which would help them to sell the Papa brand in the countries where NATCO already exists and it would not be illegal at the same time. They established a new company Orient Foods. Papa is a brand name for this new company and sold in outside market, which helps NATCO compete with other similar product. This move has helped the company as its sales have increased in foreign markets.
The mission statement for NATCO is we shall strive to produce the very best product and materials available, when and where they are wanted and at a price that represents good value at every stage of the trading process, from the harvest to the shelf, to the factory to the home.
The organization of NATCO is based mainly on the three function called Finance, Marketing, and Operations. Each of these functions has its own managers or directors.
Finance is the lifeblood of commerce and industry. The finance department of NATCO has the responsibility of ensuring that enough funds are available for the smooth operations of the organization. Mr. R.D.Rajwani, the managing director of the company, also commented on the finance department that it is concerned with budgeting activities of the other departments. He also mentioned that this department also operates the cost and budgeting control system by gathering and analyzing cost and other financial data, before the redistribution of information in the form of performance report. Mr.Rajwani also talked about the other activities dealt with this department, such as handling accounts of income and expenditure, payment of wages, pricing decision, etc. It also involves the function of banking. Banking involves depositing cash, withdrawal of cash, taking loans, discounting of bills.
Marketing function of NATCO comprises of number of sub-function such as publicity and advertising, sales promotion, samples and coupons, fairs and exhibitions, public relations, distribution and marketing resources. It is the function of the marketing department to advertise and price the product. The marketing department closely works with operation and production department, so that the changes could be administered from time to time as per the result of market research. The sub-functions under marketing are very essential for the business. They sub functions are explained as follows: —
1) Publicity and Advertising– Advertising has become an indispensable function in the modern business due to the competition and mass production. Publicity brings forth production to the knowledge of the consumer and helps both in creating and maintaining demand for the goods produced. It persuades people to buy goods and services again and again. It helps to create regular demand by smoothening out seasonal and other fluctuations. Without publicity, goods may not be taken note of and in the absence of demand; production of those goods may have to be stopped. It creates a good image of the company and reputation of the products. It adds to the goodwill of the enterprise.
2) Sales Promotion- Sales promotion includes all those activities, which are directed towards the promotion of sales such as organizing publicity, introductory sales. It also includes personal as well as innovative selling. Though the ultimate aim of sales is to increase sales and profit, but it is different from advertising and personal selling in approach and technique.
3) Samples and Coupons- Distribution of free samples of smaller size of the product is an effective device of sales promotion, especially to introduce a new product. Samples may be widely distributed or given only to selected customers. Customers can test the product before purchase. Premium or prizes may be given to the buyer on the purchase of some specific product e.g. one Lux toilet soap for the purchase of an economy pack of Surf. In some cases coupons are issued to prospective buyers through newspapers. Sometimes clearance sales, off-season sales, reduction.
4) Public Relations- Public relations aim at securing favorable opinion and good of the public towards the enterprise. A business enterprise price must build up a good image of its own to have better sales. It must maintain cordial relations with the clients and always look after their welfare. It must go on informing the public about the improvement in packing, the quality or the new uses of the products and influence their decision to buy the product. It must give prompt attention to their suggestions and to the redressal of their complaints. It must take note of the bias or the special prejudices of the customers and try to win over their support.
5) Fairs and Exhibitions- Business enterprises always like to participate in fairs and exhibitions to promote their sales. Some of them organize their own exhibitions of their own products. Fairs and exhibitions are held on local, regional or international level. Trade Fair Authority of India organizes various exhibitions of different kinds at various places in the country.
This department of NATCO consists of all the activities concerned with the production of food and services. The operation function is dependent on the finance side for its financial needs and on the marketing department for further research and development of the products. The operation function of NATCO is concerned with transformation of various inputs into desired outputs.
Manufacturing organization is usually beuracratic in structure. The word beurocratic is not used despairingly but rather in true sense, which implies division of labor into bureaus or departments. The organization structure of NATCO is a typical pyramid type structure, each post at one level subordinate to a post at a higher level. After our visit to the company we observed that each person is responsible to only one-person level, which is a sign of an organized company.
The division of labor in the company allowed the advantage of specialization to be obtained. To be precise, each person had specific and often unique task to perform. As seen in most of manufacturing firms, the labor force is divided into skilled and unskilled labor, NATCO also has this kind of mix. The labor strength existing in the company is around 150 of whom the majority is skilled. The staff employed at NATCO is about 50, which add up to 200 people working for the company.