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72 NETWORKING CULTURES Anila’s Authentic Sauces Handmade with love and harmony “I want to keep it home–made and hand– made at the high quality end of the market.” nila is the mastermind behind Anila’s Authentic Sauces, producers of premium hand–made cook–in curry sauces, chutneys and pickles, and her rapid growth recently prompted her to call in MAS specialists to provide expert manufacturing advice and support. It all began for Anila in 1992 when, as a full time working mother of two, she started making her sauces at the weekends in order to use them quickly after work for family meals. In Easter of that year she made the decision to launch four varieties of her curry sauce at a craft fair. “Today I have over 18 products on sale and they are stocked at delicatessens, farm shops and at farmers’ markets. Fortnum and Mason, Harrods and some House of Fraser stores also have selected stocks. Last year I won Gold at the “Great Taste Awards.” The Hounslow location is ideal for Anila, who starts each day at a nearby meditation centre before sourcing her ingredients at the International Market in Southall. Working in a calm and peaceful atmosphere is crucial to Anila and her staff, which is why her labels bear the message “handmade with love and harmony”. With the growth of the company and its move to new premises, Anila realised she needed specialist manufacturing advice to make further improvements to the company and to reach its target of doubling its size in the next two years. In A The London Manufacturing Advisory Service (LMAS) LMAS is a DTI initiative, supported in the capital by the London Development Agency. It provides straightforward advice and practical support to improve manufacturing competitiveness. It is delivered by EEF South, the Regional Centre of Manufacturing Excellence, with the support of the PERA, the innovation company. The London MAS aims to help manufacturers operate more effectively, design better products, create high performing individuals, teams and organisations and help manufacturers better promote themselves to new and existing markets. 2006 Anila contacted the London Manufacturing Advisory Service. Andy Lawson, Manufacturing Specialist at London MAS says: “The areas in which Anila particularly needed advice were the production process and, with the rapidly growing business, sales and marketing. We studied the stock room and stock rotation and formulated a more efficient process for the business eliminating waste. “We also discussed IT and data processing and put her in touch with the London Metropolitan University to provide assistance on matters ranging from hygiene to targeted sales and marketing activity. The result of our work together is that the production area is now better organised with a smoother flow of work resulting in greater effectiveness and consequently happier staff.” Anila says: “The specialist brought in by London MAS from the London Metropolitan University has now worked with us for a period of time, giving highly constructive hands–on assistance and advice which has broadened our understanding across a range of issues, and given us that extra confidence in our ability to meet our business objectives in the next few years.” “All of these developments have involved a sizeable outlay. However, the secret of my success is that I will not compromise the quality of my products. I gain valuable feedback directly from customers when I sell at farmers’ markets. My customers give me ideas and I play with the ingredients. The future for Anila’s Authentic Sauces? I want to keep it home–made and hand–made at the high quality end of the market.” The London MAS supports all types of manufacturers in London. Manufacturers can reach London MAS Specialists by calling the Hotline on 0845 850 4400, by visiting www.mas–london.org.uk or by emailing info@mas–london.co.uk engage | uk ISSUE THREE 2007