HomeBusinessInterview: Mukunda Foods CEO Eshwar K Vikas on Driving Innovation in Commercial Kitchen Technology

Interview: Mukunda Foods CEO Eshwar K Vikas on Driving Innovation in Commercial Kitchen Technology

Eshwar K Vikas reveals Mukunda Foods' commitment to sustainability, featuring energy-saving features like the EcoFryer and waste-reduction measures, helping food businesses achieve environmental goals.

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In an interview with TechGraph, Eshwar K Vikas, Co-founder & CEO of Mukunda Foods, discusses how its innovative commercial kitchen technology simplifies complex cooking processes, by reducing labor-intensive tasks and ensuring consistent quality and taste, catering to diverse needs in the food industry.

Read the complete interview:

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TechGraph: Mukunda Foods has been at the forefront of revolutionizing kitchen technology. Can you discuss how your products are transforming the way food is prepared and served in commercial kitchens? What specific features or advancements make your technology stand out from traditional kitchen equipment?

Eshwar K Vikas: We are a Kitchen-Tech company, and our idea is to help food brands scale rapidly with less dependency on skilled staff labor while maintaining food taste consistency. We have endeavored to address the strenuous and repetitive tasks involved in cooking processes, such as stirring, tossing, monitoring heat temperatures, frying, grilling, etc., by automating them using our technology.

Currently, we offer nearly 15 products capable of cooking 80% of global cuisine. These machines can replicate a brand’s signature dishes while adhering to standard operating procedures (SOPs). Our machines can be easily operated by individuals without extensive skills and still deliver the same quality and taste of food. By alleviating chefs’ constant monitoring and staff training, we provide them with a helping hand.

TechGraph: With the increasing demand for efficient and streamlined kitchen operations, how does Mukunda Foods’ kitchen technology contribute to improving productivity and reducing labor-intensive tasks for chefs and kitchen staff?

Eshwar K Vikas: For instance, Chinese cuisines are prepared using 3-4 kg (unloaded) heavy work, which requires skilled and experienced chefs to toss and fry all day long to cook hundreds of dishes. However, an automated wok machine called Wokie, offered by Mukunda Foods, helps in preparing food of the same quality and taste by automatically tossing the ingredients while maintaining an even temperature across the hot plate. It also instructs the operator when and what to add, ensuring that all the steps are followed at the right time. This ensures a reduction in labor-intensive tasks for kitchen chefs and staff.

TechGraph: Mukunda Foods emphasizes robotics and automation in its kitchen technology. How do these elements enhance food safety and hygiene standards in commercial kitchens?

Eshwar K Vikas: Through robotics and automation, we ensure lesser human intervention while food is prepared. And fewer human interventions mean less human contact to worry about hygiene. Since its brand’s recipe, ingredients, and SOP, safety is also addressed. Additionally, cleaning the machines post-use is quite simple and standard so the brand just needs to follow simple instructions.

TechGraph: Sustainable practices are becoming increasingly important in the culinary industry. How does Mukunda Foods integrate sustainability into its kitchen technology solutions? Are there any notable energy-saving features or waste-reduction measures incorporated into your equipment?

Eshwar K Vikas: In a kitchen, fryers can be the most energy, cost, and resource-consuming equipment. In a product developed by us – EcoFryer, we have included sleep and deep sleep mode. This saves power/energy consumption but also strives towards kitchen safety.

Also, when food is prepared as per the SOP without under or over-cooking, there is no food wastage. Also, since these machines are centrally connected, the business owner or chef can monitor the number of times cooking is done vs orders to control wastage and pilferage.

TechGraph: Mukunda Foods offers automated cooking equipment. Could you elaborate on how these technologies simplify complex cooking processes while ensuring consistent quality and taste?

Eshwar K Vikas: I will answer this with an example. Boiling or steaming rice may seem like a simple process, but it varies significantly for several varieties of rice and various types of food preparation. Cooking rice for Chinese cuisine, for example, is very different from Biryani. Each requires different timings for soaking, rinsing, and cooking, and it becomes challenging to control these factors with human judgment alone.

This is where the Rico Pro machine comes in. It ensures that soaking, rinsing, and cooking are done according to the chef’s recipe. The process ensures there are no lumps or breakages during cooking and even includes a buzzer notification when the rice is prepared.

TechGraph: Mukunda Foods caters to various sectors within the food industry, including hotels, restaurants, and catering services. Could you discuss how your kitchen technology is adaptable and customizable to meet the diverse needs and scale of these establishments?

Eshwar K Vikas: The machines come with a menu management feature, allowing the brand chef to load their recipes onto the machine. Once the recipes are set, interacting with the machine becomes easy, thanks to a simple user interface (UI).

Anyone familiar with an Android phone can operate the machine. Screens display the steps required to prepare each recipe. The chef’s specially curated recipes are saved on the machine with encryption and can only be accessed by authorized users.

TechGraph: Innovation and research are key drivers in the technology sector. How does Mukunda Foods continue to innovate and stay ahead of the curve in terms of kitchen technology? Are there any exciting developments or plans in the pipeline that you can share with us?

Eshwar K Vikas: Engineering has always been a core function at Mukunda Foods. We strive to continuously improve by conducting research with our R&D team. This team includes brilliant minds from companies such as IKEA, Bosch, Volvo, and more. We maintain regular communication with our customers, who provide feedback on the machines based on their usage. By utilizing the data collected by the machines, we can refine our technology.

Recently, we upgraded our machines with AI, enabling the brand to receive advanced alerts for service or updates. This helps us avoid showstopper situations and ensures smooth operations. Additionally, we plan to add approximately five new technologies to our portfolio this fiscal year.

Looking at the surge in demand, we recently opened one of India’s largest kitchen-tech manufacturing units in Bangalore. The 20,000 sqft facility has an installed capacity of 25,000 units per year with dedicated pre-testing and PDI of products, ensuring customers receive only the highest quality products.

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COP28 UAE: SANY Promotes Green Manufacturing Transformation, Takes Concrete Action to Tackle Climate Challenges

CHANGSHA, China, Nov. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- SANY Group, ("SANY"), a globally leading enterprise of the high-end equipment manufacturing industry, is accentuating advancing sustainable development and the green manufacturing transformation of the heavy machinery industry, ahead of the COP28 UAE, that is set to take place from November 30 to December 12 in Dubai. The theme of the 13-day program this year is "Actionism," calling for people to rise to meet the climate change challenges.

The COP28 will center on four major paradigm shifts – namely accelerating the transition from fossil fuels, agreeing on climate finance shifts, emphasizing the role of people and nature in climate action, and ensuring the summit is an inclusive event that women, indigenous people, local communities, youth, countries and more can all be a part of.

SANY is responding actively and positively to the summit's agenda with concrete actions to promote the transformation of green manufacturing, bringing sustainable solutions to the industries of mining, construction, wind power, and more.

Taking green actions to build a sustainable future

SANY is vigorously expanding the use of green energy (renewables such as solar and wind) in production processes to reduce the reliance on traditional energy sources, lower carbon emissions, and support climate change actions. It has adopted multiple initiatives, especially in accelerating the R&D and application of wind energy, hydrogen, and electrification solutions, and achieved significant results.

SANY's subsidiary SANY Renewable Energy has been investing in and constructing wind farms to boost the proportion of wind power in the energy structure, through intelligent upgrades in manufacturing and creating intelligent workshops. By doing this, SANY Renewable Energy has reduced the overall unit energy consumption and carbon emissions by 15 percent compared to pre-upgrade.

In 2022, SANY has added more than 3,000 energy metering connections. SANY built China's first intelligent mixing station park and invested 3.22 million yuan in photovoltaic construction that will produce 900,000 kWh of power annually. The park will cut 887 tons of carbon emission, 242 tons of dust emissions, 26.7 tons of sulfide, and 13.4 tons of nitric oxide to achieve synergetic development of intelligent manufacturing and environmental conservation.

A total of 11 subsidiaries of SANY have installed photovoltaic power generation equipment, with clean energy usage amounting to 16.013 million kWh.

SANY is actively engaged in the R&D of hydrogen fuel cell technology to improve battery efficiency, reduce cost, and boost the production and storage capabilities, while expanding the applications of hydrogen energy.

Innovation-driven climate action tackles industry bottlenecks

Through establishing a green supply chain, SANY adopts renewable materials and environmentally friendly technologies to reduce resource waste and improve the sustainability of the supply chain.

SANY continues to improve the long-term mechanism for pollution prevention and control, strengthen the control of waste emissions including water, gas, and other hazardous substances, and be cautious of business and operation actions that could damage the ecological environment. In 2022, the group's wastewater and gas emissions met the standard rate of 100 percent, with a 100 percent compliance rate for hazardous waste disposal.

The group is also pushing for using environment-friendly materials to minimize pollution, so that the carbon reduction throughout the product life cycle also includes materials. In 2022, its VOCs emission density was 0.0011 tons per million revenue, a 39.71 percent reduction from the base year.

Meanwhile, the continuous upgrade of production techniques and processes, promotion of energy conservation technologies, and advancement of low-carbon technology development are not only playing key roles in improving production efficiency, but also reducing carbon footprint and aims to reach the "dual-carbon" goals.

Calling for the public's participation

SANY has been carrying out training programs and campaigns centered on environmental protection for employees, while further raising community engagement in terms of green, low-carbon, community-friendly, and educational innovation agendas. In 2022, the company employees completed 687.4 hours of volunteer work, and SANY invested 9.75 million yuan in the year to support 15 public welfare projects.

SANY Construction Industry is leading the green technology application in urban infrastructure construction to accelerate the sustainable development of cities and building intelligent cities, green transportation systems, and energy-conserving architectures to reduce energy consumption, improving urban environment quality and people's livelihoods.

In terms of biodiversity and sustainable development, SANY emphasizes the conservation of soil, ocean, crops, and animals to create a better future, and advocates a circular economy to decrease the waste of resources.

In the context of increasingly severe issues of global climate change, SANY, as a leader in the green industry, is committed to promoting sustainable development and actively joining global efforts to address climate change through comprehensive initiatives such as green supply chains, green energy, and carbon emission reduction.

For more information about SANY Group, please visit www.sanyglobal.com or follow us on Facebook or YouTube.

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