When Tony Jassal arrived in New Zealand from his native Punjab 21 years ago, little did he know that one day he would make it big in the spices trade.
The market potential was developing with the number of people (members of the Indian community and other ethnic groups) keen to purchase Indian spices growing gradually.
It was not until 2003 that he decided to establish Jassal’s Mix Masala at 6A/20 Link Drive, Wairau Park in North Shore City, aware that the fledgling Indian community would find an increasing need for specialist and quality products.
Today, the 190 Sq m retail store, with car park facility, boasts of an extensive range of groceries, spices, rice, wheat, snacks, dry foods, pickles and many other items that are of use at every home.
Tony Jassal is justifiably proud of his enterprise, which operates on just one Mantra – Undiluted Quality.
“The retail store has more than 2000 items that are of use and demand for a growing number of customers. Although competition and difficult market conditions have posed serious challenges to businesses, we will never discount price at the expense of quality,” he said.
Mr Jassal said he and his wife Shobhna have worked hard to promote the company as an organisation that understands the market trends and caters to the varying needs of customers. The retail store has become a source of endearment not only to the residents of North Shore City but also to those in others areas of Auckland.
“We may not be the cheapest shop retailing Indian spices and other items that people need every day, but we are not the most expensive either; we will not try to grab market share at any cost,” Mr Jassal said.
The outlet also stocks and sells DVDs of Indian films.
“Quality is once again the hallmark of the DVDs that are on display and sale. We ensure that the DVDs sourced are original and not duplicates of unofficial versions. We do not encourage piracy and we will not be a party to any illegal trade in our shop,” he said.
Auckland is already saturated with retailers dealing with Indian spices and other products. Therefore, unless there is something different to offer, no company can expect to survive long.
Mr Jassal constantly seeks to improve the product range, branded products and variety, apart from seeking customer response.
“Claims must be matched by performance. In this retail business, it is hard to get customers and even harder to retain them,” he said.