arada Charan Das also gave a research and development perspective to the company’s activities. In 1947, he set up a fully equipped laboratory, the Indian Scientific Industries, at Chitpore Road in Kolkata. Extensive research work there involved the bacterial culture required for “dahi” (curds). It also worked on the nutritional value of whey, and ways to package and market it as a soft drink. Commercialization of lactose and lactic acid from whey was another project. This laboratory also did pioneering work on making sweetmeats from soybean milk in the 1960s, but these could not be commercially produced.
It was not, however, a cakewalk. In West Bengal the stringent Milk Trade Control Order of 1967 cramped and smothered the enterprise initiated by Nobin Chandra and built into a tradition by his successors. Barring the Esplanade establishment which sold savouries besides sweets, in that year all the other K.C.Das shops had to close down, along with the famous Nobin Chandra Das establishment. Scarcity of quality milk and shortage of electricity had added to the organization’s problems.
It was in this context that the company began its ‘southern campaign’ in 1972, when Sarada Charan set up a factory and a shop in Bangalore. It has since then grown into a culinary landmark of the city, with the “Rossogolla” naturally the most popular of its products.
In a notable honour, the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India has recognised the Company’s in-house R & D laboratory in Bangalore. This laboratory is affiliated to the Bangalore University and now an industry resource and a much sought after research environment for the postgraduate students of universities across the country.
This laboratory has many pioneering initiatives to be proud of the use of probiotic lactic starter in the preparation of sweet curds; the fortification of Rossogolla with micro nutrients; low calorie Rossogolla; new preservatives to dramatically enhance shelf life of “chhana” based sweets; and many, many more. Each year, over thirty postgraduate students from all over India carry out research projects at this facility, with many of them going on to publish award-winning papers and theses based on their work.