INTRODUCTION

India is
the fastest growing economy with all the states contributing immensely to its
growth (Indian economy report, 2011). One of the core areas of economic
development is bringing forth latent talent and a strong entrepreneurial spirit
(Tiwari, 2007). The government of India is turning to small and medium scale
industries and entrepreneurs, as a means of economic development.
Entrepreneurship is a seedbed of innovations, inventions and employment.
Without entrepreneurship and growing number of entrepreneurs, an economy is
certain to become sluggish in growth (Wennekers, 1999; Toombs, 2006). The
emergence of entrepreneurs and their contribution to the national economy is
quite apparent and has visibly grown over a period of time. This gives a
definite upsurge to the economic growth of a nation (Patel, 2007).

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It is very
important for entrepreneur in any area to explore opportunities, scan the
environment, mobilize resources, convert ideas into viable business proposition
and provide new products and services to the society by bringing together and
combining various factors of production (Awasthi et al, 2006).

For the
past couple of years entrepreneurship development is considered as the priority
area in the development policy in many countries, especially in India. The
entrepreneurs are engaged in varied form of small and medium scale enterprises
ranging from paper to electronics, textile to metal and pipe industry,
construction to food processing, education to handicrafts and many more
(Kalyani, 2011). The word ‘entrepreneur’ derives from the French word
“Entreprendre” (to undertake). Generally, an entrepreneur is a person
who combines capital and labour for production. According to Drucker 1993, “He
is one who always searches for change, responds to it and exploits it as an
opportunity.”

According
to Ministry of Food Processing Industries, GOI, India is the world’s second
largest producer of food next to China, and has the potential of
being the biggest with the food and agricultural sector. With India’s
food production likely to double in the next decade, there is an
opportunity for large investments in food and food processing
technologies, skills and equipment.

The food
processing industry has emerged as one of the major driver of economic
growth and is expected to continue in future. Indian Government’s
proactive measures like de-licensing of the sector, several duty and tax
relief, financial assistance for infrastructure building and setting up
of food processing units is expected to benefit the sector. Primary food
processing is a major industry with lakhs of rice-mills/hullers,
flour mills, pulse mills and oil-seed mills. There are several thousands of
bakeries, traditional food units and fruit/veg./spice processing units in
unorganized sector. In the organized sector, there are over 820 flour mills,
418 fish processing units, 5198 fruit/vegetable processing units, 171 meat
processing units (Singh et al, 2008).
Retail in India is essentially “unorganized.” 98% of the retail industry is
made up of counter-stores, street markets, hole-in-the-wall shops and roadside
peddlers (Vishwanadham, 2006).

Food
processing is the methods and techniques used to transform raw ingredients
into food for human consumption (Comstock et al, 2004). The Ministry of Food Processing, Government of India
has defined the following segments within the processing industry – dairy,
fruits and vegetable processing, grain processing, meat and poultry processing,
fisheries, consumer foods including packaged foods, beverages and packaged drinking
water. Consumer food industry includes pasta, breads, cakes, pastries, rusks,
buns, rolls, noodles, corn flakes, rice flakes, ready to eat and ready to cook
products, cocoa products, biscuits, soft drinks, beer, alcoholic beverages
(non-molasses based), mineral and packaged water. Bread and biscuits constitute
the largest segment of consumer foods. Their production is about 4million
tons per year. Manufacturing of bread is reserved for Small Scale Industry
sector. Out of the total production of bread, 40% is produced in the organized
sector and the remaining 60% in the unorganised sector. Similarly, production
of biscuits in the organized sector is about 13.00 lakh tons and quantity of
biscuits produced in the unorganised sector is about 3.80 lakh tons (Khetarpaul,
2005).

Entrepreneurship
in the field of food production is facilitating more job opportunities to young
generation in small and medium sector industries. It has provided productive
self-employment to a number of educated and less educated young men and women
(Kumar, 2011). Businesses in small and medium sector are increasing day by day.
Such business are ranging from paper to electronics, engineering to electrical,
textile to metal and pipe industry, construction to food processing, education
to handicrafts and provides more options for women. (Kalyani et al, 2011)

Incorporating
new entrepreneurial modules in current educational system not only pave ways to
development of economy but also give more job opportunities to young
entrepreneurial aspirants who startup small scale ventures, especially women
youth. Relating current topic of study to Indian scenario, the scope of
entrepreneurial education and training is having much scope in rural and semi
urban localities where many small and medium scale industrial firms operate.

Thus the
present study has been undertaken to understand the nature and basic
requirements of small scale food industry. For understanding commercial
requirements of small scale food (consumer food) industry has been taken as an
example because Consumer food products are an important part of a
balanced diet and, today, a wide variety of such products can be found on
supermarket shelves (Smith, 2010). Attempts at popularizing these
products among all has been successful because these products are considered easy,
convenient and rather inexpensive means of taking food in hygienically prepared
ready-to-eat form. The projected growth rate for this industry is 11.10% in the
future and is a source of employment for people. This can be a good investment
for an entrepreneur to meet the ever-increasing demand.

The present study “understanding the requirements of
a small scale food production unit viz. a viz. and case study of a small scale
food production unit” has been undertaken with the following objectives:

Hence the objectives of the present study are to:

·        
To understand the consumption pattern and preference
of available snacks in the local markets by the adult group.

·        
To study the requirements of a small scale unit and
design a referral material for providing information for establishment of a
unit.

·        
Case study of small scale food production unit.

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