Organic milk company had signed GM Nihal Sarin for Rs 80 lakh

Chennai, Dec 2: It is now official that 16-year old Indian chess Grandmaster Nihal Sarin has been signed up by Bengaluru-based organic milk and milk products company Akshayakalpa Farms & Foods Private Ltd for a sponsorship deal of Rs 80 lakh, a top official of the company said.

He also said the company is setting up a 150,000-litre per day (lpd) plant near Bengaluru at an outlay of Rs 30 crore and a smaller milk packeting plant, Uthiramerur, in Tamil Nadu with an investment of Rs 5 crore.

"The sponsorship is for Rs 80 lakh and the deal is for two years. I see a lot of potential in Sarin," Shashi Kumar, Founder and Managing Director of the company, told IANS.

Akshayakalpa had signed up Sarin as its brand ambassador last year and it was rumoured then that the young Grandmaster had signed a deal that is next only to former world chess champion GM Viswanathan Anand.

Asked why the compnay's advertisements doesn't feature Sarin much, Kumar said: "He is busy. We have to see how his time could be used."

At a time when not many corporates look beyond cricketers as their brand ambassador, it surprised the chess fraternity when Akshayakalpa signed up young Sarin.

But the secret is Kumar himself is a chess player and had played for Bangalore University in 1992.

According to Kumar, the company is targeting a turnover of Rs 120 crore this fiscal.

Queried about the revenue split between milk and milk products, Kumar said 90 per cent of the income comes from liquid milk business and the balance comes from products like butter, ghee, paneer and curd.

"We do not want to make products with refined sugar as it is not possible to get organic sugar. We make our paneer using our own organic curd to break the milk," Kumar said.