In a district that has a large number of colleges, schools, hospitals and industries, one of the rapidly growing markets is for kitchen automation.

Yet, most of these needs are now met through equipment from other countries or cities, says M. Sathish Kumar, Managing Director of Essemm Corporation.

Canteens in the institutions have gone in for automation for food preparation, processing, and delivery. They also invest and prefer to have the latest technology. For instance, some of the industries and hospitals have moved over from steam cooking to combination ovens, he says. There are about 40 units here that make equipment for activities related to food preparation. But, most of them are fabrication units. Automation solutions are available for south Indian kitchens too but are mostly imported, he says.

On the market potential, he says that automation solutions can be offered for kitchens that cook for just 10 or even for 30,000.

The scope is huge if the manufacturing units here start making the equipment locally. They need to innovate and invest in research. Indigenous production will reduce the cost of the machinery and improve the market potential. In cities such as Chennai and Bangalore, automation is wide spread in institutional canteens and hotels, he says.

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