Who We Are

Committed business partners to the global food & nutrition industry


Food Industry Experts

We are experienced food industry professionals with strong technical, R&D and business expertise supported by an on-demand global network of functional specialists

Our Areas of Expertise

Our areas of expertise are Product Innovation, Technology Scale Up, Manufacturing, and Nutrition & Health Communication

Our Network

Our ability to tap ‘on demand’ into our global network and partnerships with specialists enable us to deliver a range of comprehensive solutions to our clients.

Vision & Mission

Be recognized as a key growth enabler of the Food & Nutrition industry


Vision

We will be a true business partner to our clients. We will collaborate with them in a truthful, transparent & professional manner; providing them with holistic solutions from ideation to execution, using a creative blend of consumer insights, and a strong functional and business expertise of our team

Misson

Our mission is to be a key contributor to responsible growth in the global Food & Nutrition industry. We will achieve it through a commitment to continued innovation driven by deep domain knowledge and technical skills.

What We Do

End to End Solutions >> Flexible, Customized, Holistic


Innovation Statergy Formulation
Strategic advisory based on consumer & competitor understanding, regulatory scenario, our business experience and technical expertise

New Product Development
Consumer and technical insights generation Prototype Development (Product, Packaging, Process, Claims) Technical Feasibility Consumer Validation.
Technology Scalup & Support
Shelf life, Cost optimisation, Manufacturing feasibility and scale up support, Regulatory compliance

Nutrition & Health Communication

Claims development workshops-short term and long term roadmaps

Product communication-on pack, point of sale (POS), below the line activation (BTL)

Key opinion leaders/health influencers-mapping, strategy development, communication design

Approach

End to End Solutions >> Flexible, Customized, Holistic


End to end solutions
We partner with our clients from inception to execution, following a stage gate innovation process of:
Ideas
Feasibility
Scale up
Launch

We bring in relevant technical & business expertise at different stages of a project through our internal team and external networks

Holistic Product Design

We use strategic design tools to marry consumer insights, creative thinking, technological possibilities, and a pragmatic grasp of operational reality for delivering business success.

We believe in driving user delight through developing a 360° product benefit communication approach

Flexible

We undertake a variety of projects within our scope, varying in duration / nature of engagement e.g.

Early stage concept / prototyping
Short duration engagements
Medium to long term retainerships
End to end innovation projects

Customised

We work with our clients to research, visualize and understand their unique challenges and opportunities, help them define and articulate the things that set them apart.

We identify solutions realistic to the client’s needs, while meeting the requirements of recommended best practises

Product Innovation (Area’s of support in NPD)

1
Step
Scoping
Need assessment & Ideation
Technical literature search
Consumer & eco system insights
Technology route exploration
Concept-Prototypes Development
Qualitative consumer evaluation
2
Step
Feasibility
Product, Pack, Process, optimisation
Establish pilot scale process
Shelf life testing
Regulatory assessment
Product benefits & claims development
3
Step
Scale up & Validation
Specifications :
Materials, Process, Equipment, & Finished Product
Technology scale up support:
material,equipment, manufacturing unit selection
Product and Process validation on factory scale
Re-confirm Consumer acceptance
4
Step
Commercial- isation
Manufacturing :
Quality standards development - dHACCP, GMP
Regulatory Compliance:
Product classification, scientific substantiation, and product approval dossier preparation
Brand communication :
Technical claims on pack, point of sale, activation
Nutrition & Health communication development for key opinion leaders

Nutrition & Health Communication


Consumer

Claims development:
ideation brainstorms/workshops;
claims roadmap development
Communication Development (Content & Visual Design):
On pack - Claims, Benefits, Nutrition label
Point of Sale and below the line (BTL) - activations, school contact programs, PR article etc

Key Opinion Leaders(KOL)

KOL mapping & strategy development
Workshops with KOL’s to engage & align
Communication development for KOL’s:
newsletters, science decks, workshop/ conference material, PR articles etc.

Technology Scale up & Support


Product Quality Improvement
Identification of quality problem
Root cause analysis
Technical solutions; Training – GMP
Best practises in R&D and food manufacturing
Quality standards development
Cost efficiency / Margin improvement
Material (raw & packaging material) cost optimisation
Formulation cost optimisation
Process optimisation
Technical Capability Assessment
Technology capabilities
R&D expertise
Manufacturing standards
Quality systems
Regulatory Support

Advisory on FSSAI product classification
product approval dossier preparation
Preparation & validation of pack labels as per FSSAI guidelines

Core Team

THINKING FORKS TEAM BIOGRAPHY


  • Rinka Banerjee
  • Meera Srinivasan
  • Ranjit Charan Singh
  • Prabuddha Dasgupta
  • Shuchi Gangwal

Rinka Banerjee

Rinka has a Master’s degree in Food Science and a Bachelor’s degree in Dairy Technology. She has over 20 years of experience in the Food Industry in India and USA. Her passion for driving business growth in Foods through technology and innovation led her to create Thinking Forks, a consulting firm offering tangible end to end solutions to the Food & Nutrition industry, backed by a team of technical professionals with strong business experience and deep domain expertise.

Prior to her current role, she spent 16 years at Unilever in R&D. In her most recent role at Unilever as the R&D Director for Foods in South Asia, she was part of the category leadership team driving Unilever's food strategy in the South Asia cluster and part of the global R&D leadership team driving global R&D strategies. Over her career at Unilever, Rinka has had a large number of innovations with diverse product and process technologies to her credit across dry and liquid beverages, dry and wet savoury products, sauces, dressings, icecreams & frozen desserts, staple foods and value added staples, bakery, functional foods. She also made significant impact on bottom line improvement through driving cost efficiency projects, and the Unilever Sustainable living plan on waste reduction and nutrition enhancement.

Prior to joining Unilever, Rinka worked in the US for The International Food Network, a contract R&D company based out of the Cornell Technology Park working on a wide variety of projects with leading brands such as Haagen Dazs & Slim Fast.

Rinka has built strong networks with the food innovation eco-system in India. She been a core member of external bodies such as the governing board of the Protein Food & Nutrition Association of India and the R&D core group of FICCI, a leading industry association in India.

Meera Srinivasan

Meera Srinivasan is a food technologist and nutritionist with over 16 years of experience in the food industry. Apart from being a core team member at Thinking Forks, she is also a freelance consultant and part-time editor for a parenting magazine (ParentEdge) anchoring features in the health and nutrition space. In addition to developing and scaling food technologies, Meera has been active in the domain of nutrition communication. She has worked with numerous partners to land business opportunities in both food technology and nutrition. She is passionate about nutrition communication in the health and wellness area, simplifying nutrition messages for the lay person and making children “self-aware” on nutrition and health.

She has been involved in food product development for a decade at both M&M Mars Inc. in the United States and Hindustan Unilever, India. As a team member and leader of many technologically challenging R&D projects, she has worked with various partners globally and has innovative food product launches to her credit. In her previous role, at Hindustan Unilever, she headed the Nutrition function for south Asia. During her tenure, she made nutrition a core business enabler for marketing teams and has also helped set up a corporate nutrition agenda for the company while building a strong nutrition team for South Asia. She has built strong networks with leading professionals, institutes, government and non government organisations in the nutrition & health area.

She has a Masters Degrees in Food Technology and Nutrition from prestigious universities in the United States and India which equips her with a unique expertise that has been amply enhanced by her rich work experience.

Ranjit Charan Singh

Ranjit completed his Graduation in Science from Bombay University, India. He Joined Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) in India in 1975 and retired from HUL in 2012. Over his 37 years of hands on experience at HUL, Ranjit has built a wealth of knowledge in Manufacturing Operations across diverse categories such as Foods, Home & Personal Care, and Aroma Chemicals.

He has long experience in Quality Assurance Management and Technology Management for R&D. Some of his major contributions to the foods business at HUL have been in commercialising Ready To Eat Indian Flat bread technology on a fully automated indigenous plant as per global standards, for the first time in the country.

He managed the quality function and contract manufacturing (3P) management centrally for Bread, Wheat Flour and Salt business’s and later moved on to be the Technical Head of the Bread business. As the Technical Head for the Bread Business, he ensured all factories and 3P’s were Audited and upgraded to receive A ratings as per Unilever Quality Management Systems.

In 2009, Ranjit was elevated to the position of Global Manufacturing manager for Devices, Consumables and Spares for the Pureit Water Purifier business at Unilever. He worked on putting up the first in-house factory for PureIt Consumables within 6 months, being responsible for Sourcing, Manufacturing, Testing, Installation and commissioning of the factory.

Ranjit is a certified ISO Lead Auditor. As the MR for one of the largest Exports factories at HUL, he obtained 4 ISO certifications for different product categories. He has Completed Training in Safety from National Safety Council, and undergone Training by Dupont on Behavioral Safety and Process Safety. He has been involved in getting the foods factories audited and upgraded to Unilever’s safety standards.

Prabuddha Dasgupta

Prabuddha is a well established Packaging expert in India with more than 33 years of professional experience in packaging. He has a Master’s degree in Polymer Chemistry, an Mphil from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and a diploma in Packaging from The Institute of Packaging, UK as well as the Indian Institute of Packaging in Mumbai. He is currently an independent consultant working with various companies, and suppliers to solve challenging packaging issues.

Prabuddha worked with Unilever for over 16 years and has worked across all the Food & Refreshment categories in Unilever. He led the packaging development team at the Regional Design & Deploy Centre in Bangalore for Unilever for more than 6 years and was responsible for all packaging innovations, renovations, cost efficiency improvement, and the sustainability initiatives at Unilever in South Asia.

Some of Prabuddha’s most noteworthy and discontinuous breakthroughs have been in the areas of Oxygen Scavenging Crown Caps for Tomato Ketchups, Bulk Tea Packaging, Easy Tear Laminates for small sachets, Narrow Flute Board Cartons for all Dispenser Cartons, High barrier foil replacement, Hot Fill Transparent ISBM PP Jars as Glass Replacer, Green Packaging, Inks Coatings and Varnishes for U.V Resistance Barrier, and Flexo Printing. He has won many prestigious awards such as 5 world star, 23 India star awards, 4 Chairman’s awards at HUL, and many other felicitations.

Prior to joining Unilever, Prabuddha headed the packaging function for leading pharmaceutical companies in India such as Ranbaxy and Wockhardt. He also has had long experience working with several packaging converters. He has authored several peer reviewed articles in books and technical journals. He is a member of several associations in India and abroad in Packaging. He has made several public presentations at conferences and seminars and has also been on the various committees and panels in trade associations for making representations to the government on regulations related to packaging. He also is a visiting faculty at The Indian Institute of Packaging.

Shuchi Gangwal

Shuchi Gangwal is a design strategist with a rich experience in strategic design, innovation, user centric design, research, design management and related fields.

She is working for organizations like Hindustan Unilever Limited, where she spearheads design thinking and has led multiple projects in the field of activation design, product to pack innovation, POS and retail design, organization design, design audit, brand communication design, space design etc. for multiple brands across different categories.

Shuchi is passionate about integrating design thinking and is specialized in dissolving the dividing lines of different communication media to create interactive / environmental brand experiences. She has been helping clients to find fresh new solutions to real life challenges by anchoring innovation workshops & brainstorming sessions.

Shuchi earned a bachelor’s degree in Fashion design from National institute of fashion technology (NIFT), New Delhi and post graduation in Strategic design management from National institute of design (NID), Ahmedabad.

Our Team Say

“ I truly enjoy solving challenging and diverse problems, leveraging our cross functional synergies as a team !” Rinka Banerjee
“I am keen to help the health food industry make powerful yet simple claims and drive user delight through impactful communication. Being part of Thinking Forks gives me ample opportunity to do it!” Meera Srinivasan
“Making good food is an art, that can be cherished by all. At Thinking Forks, I am able to blend this art with technology and help consumers have an enjoyable food experience” Ranjit Charan Singh
“Packaging is funny - It ‘s the last thing the product gets into after manufacturing, and the first thing which is taken out by the consumer. Between the packing and the unpacking lies the story of  branding, shelf life, quality, and sales ….. that’s what packaging is all about !” Prabuddha Dasgupta
“We use design in our process to deliver  innovation  that is truly relevant for end users ! It enables us to give a whole new perspective to the way we approach business problems”Shuchi Gangwal

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Thinking Forks
: +91 9611899406


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