The Indian FMCG market is worth more than $30 billion. In this market, every other day a new product is launched; some fail some succeed. Cornitos is in neither of the categories yet it does make for a curious case study. Cornitos is run by GreenDot Health Foods Ltd. which is a part of the huge ‘Globe Capacitors’ Group of Companies. GreenDot is like a startup that is backed by a bigger group and was started in 2009 to make an entry into the FMCG sector.
YourStory got in touch with Vikram Agarwal, the Founder and Director of GreenDot Health to learn more.
YS: Tell us about yourself and the inception of GreenDot.
VA: GreenDot is a part of the GC Group of Companies which is a family-run business. My father S.P. Agarwal founded GC group of Companies (a leading manufacturer and exporter of MPP Film & Run Capacitors in India since 1978), which has a turnover of over INR 100 crores. I have been with the business for 20 years now and it was in the year 2006 that I thought of diversifying the business into FMCG.
After extensive market research across the globe, we launched Cornitos in 2009. There were a few hiccups along the way but we’ve now hit a sweet spot and are growing rapidly.
YS: What is the product range and how has the brand grown?
VA: Nachos is our primary product which is manufactured and packaged in-house. We started out with four flavours and have now grown to nine. There are other products like salsa n cheese dips, gherkins, jalapeno, and relish for toppings but their manufacturing has been outsourced.
Within a span of 5 years, Cornitos has established itself as one of the leading brands in the Indian snack market with a turnover of INR 24 crores last year. Cornitos is a well-known brand in countries like Dubai, China, USA, Sri Lanka and Nepal too.
YS: Tell us about the manufacturing process.
VA: We have a fully automated state-of-the-art food processing unit in a hygienic manufacturing environment. The manufacturing facility is spread over an area of 6000 sqm at Roorkee, Haridwar Dist., Uttrakhand, with a capacity to manufacture 250 kg per hour of corn tortilla chips with a packing capacity of 500 kg per hour. Our manufacturing unit also boasts of an R & D Lab exclusively for its products.
YS: What is the positioning for Cornitos?
VA: Nachos is by no means a common snack in India but our research showed the need for such a product in the premium segment. We started out with targeting this segment and we’re now penetrating further down as well. Our new variation is priced at INR 15 rupees.
YS: How is your distribution network planned?
VA: Our Flagship Brand Cornitos has a pan-Indian presence, with our products hitting the stores in all major cities. A few major stores where our products are available across the country include Spencer’s, More, Hypercity, Auchaan, Big Bazaar, Nilgiris, Namdharis etc. Our range of products is also available across major airlines, including SpiceJet, Jet Airways and Indigo. We are also present in the major multiplexes, airports and in Café Coffee Day and Aubon Pain cafe outlets.
Our products are also exported to various countries across the globe, including USA, China, Nepal, Singapore, Nigeria, Ghana and Sri Lanka. We will soon be launching our products in Thailand, Korea and Bangladesh. The company can also boast of being one of the few companies in India to export FMCG product to China.
YS: What were the challenges you faced in this growth story?
VA: Well, we had launched after quite a lot of market study but the response from the audience wasn’t very encouraging. We were confident about the quality of the product and need for such a thing but were having thoughts about where we needed to improve. Packaging and presentation seemed like a possible reason and hence we underwent a rebranding exercise in 2011. We came out with a new packaging and a new logo which has certainly helped us in communicating better and taking the product ahead.
YS: What’s on the roadmap from here?
VA: We’re highly focused on quality and listening to our consumers which will ensure that we stay up to date with their needs. We are focused on increasing the capacity and opening more distribution channels. We are also looking at aggressively targeting Tier-2 and 3 cities now that we have a reasonable hold over the metros and other top cities.
Website : Cornitos
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- Café Coffee Day
- Jet Airways
- GreenDot Health Foods Ltd.
- corn tortilla chips
- S.P. Agarwal
- Vikram Agarwal