Thoughts ridden by kash Apr 18, 2009

Maggi - The famous noodle brand

Pangs of hunger is what lead to this post. And as always, we turn to instant food to satisfy that instant hunger. One such brand of foods that I turn to most of the times is Maggi noodles. I cooked myself a packet of Maggi and sat down in front of my laptop. Looking at the bowl, I suddenly realised that I have eaten these noodles for last 15 years of my life and I never did find out as to where it came from, what was it that made it taste so yummy. And as always, it lead me here. The brand Maggi originated back in the 19th century in Switzerland. It started out as a soup specialist and then moved on to many food items of which one is the subject of this post. Please refer to the link above for more information on Maggi and its origins.

That lead to some more random search on the internet. I came across a question which I think is quite ridiculous. The asker wanted to know as to how to make a Masala(Ms) similar to that of original Maggi brand. One, if anyone could make a Masala similar to the original one, then Maggi noodles (MN) would be a non-existent entity. Non-existent because someone would have made it earlier and renamed it to say, Koodles, whatever and MN would never have been born. Two, Ms is a business secret. Businesses thrive on Intellectual Property (IP). They cant afford to lose a product secret. And what is even more ridiculous is one of the answers. I quote the answer here,

Hey, call the maggi customer care centre.......and ask for the ingredients......they have to disclose the ingredients which they are not doing presently......probably U can take cover of the Right to Information (RTI) act and ask the company officials about it........if u get any info on it........please share with all.....

I will comment on the above statement by taking it up in parts. 

call the maggi customer care centre

I tried to find a number for a customer care for Maggi but could not get hold of it. Assuming it does exists, I wonder what compaints must the people logging out there. Take a look here. Sorry for digressing but it does seem funny. :)

ask for the ingredients

The company is so nice that it will readily share its trade secret with everyone. It wants to run out of business but that is what it became such a big brand for. It is very easy to ask for something that you are never going to get. That way, you know you have not wasted your energy.

hey have to disclose the ingredients which they are not doing presently......probably U can take cover of the Right to Information (RTI) act and ask the company officials about it

And this brings me to main point, RTI. I would like to ask the questioner as to whether he has ever read the RTI act or even tried to find out as to what comes under it and what is exempted. I have emailed the asker and haven't received a reply yet. I searched the RTI website and found out this. Have a look at the iv clause in the 6th question of the FAQ. I quote it here,

information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information

Do you think that the "competent authority" is going to invoke the Act, because a lady wants to find out the ingredients so that she can make the Masala herself and start a venture?

I took this opportunity to vent my ire on the way people think and comment without giving it a thought.

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