Meat and seafood startup Licious opened its first multi-dimensional experience centre in Gurugram to recreate the ‘Licious experience’ on-ground.
“We heard from consumers in NCR the need/request for some physical manifestation as a farm-to-fork brand,” says Abhay Hanjura, Co-founder, Licious.
The team chose Delhi-NCR because it feels that the region has a deeper penetration of semi-organised and organised meat stores, which users are used to seeing in their vicinity as compared to other locations.
“That gave us the idea to experiment with the offline format, which we intend to replicate across all our operating markets,” says Abhay.
The experience centre is launched with the idea of not restricting Licious to one business channel. The team adds that it is evolving into a omnichannel format to provide customers with a real touch and feel of the brand.
“We are very early on to this venture, hence have not decided on an investment commitment for the offline business. We would like to gauge consumer response and market demand, and grow accordingly,” adds Vivek Gupta, Co-founder of Licious.
The team however is looking to open seven to eight centres in the near future in their existing markets.
What does the experience centre do?
This 300 sq ft experience centre is nothing like a traditional meat or seafood store, designed to change the typical Indian experience of buying meat and seafood. The company claims that it is compliant with global food safety and hygiene norms.
It also houses Licious’ Meat Consultants who are equipped to take customers through the entire lifecycle of the meat, elaborate on the company's responsible and sustainable sourcing processes and answer all queries on traceability and quality of the products.
The centre is also completely knife-free and has only pre-packed products brought directly from the production plant to ensure no compromise on quality and hygiene.
“The 'Endless Aisle' facility, also makes it the perfect confluence of the Licious' online and offline entity. Not only can the customers pick up the company's signature products from the centre, but can also place an order, which will be delivered at their doorstep within 90 mins,” says Vivek.
Revenue and growth
Licious was founded in 2015 by Vivek and Abhay. Today, it delivers an average of 6,000 orders in a day and has an average basket size of Rs 700. It has since raised over $65 million across four funding rounds and has also opened an automated factory in Hoskote, on the outskirts of Bengaluru, for its newly launched range of meat-based ready-to-eat foods.
In the first year of their operations, Licious clocked a revenue of Rs 1.47 crore, which has since grown to Rs 180 crore at the end of FY 2019.
Speaking of the challenges of setting up an offline store and building a meat brand, Abhay says,
“The fundamental challenge is to ensure product quality, availability and cold chain in a retail like format. For this, we have leveraged our deep understanding of consumer preferences, which we've built over the last three years.”
Vivek adds that this now is complemented by their ability to leverage technology across cold chain and inventory management across a wide assortment of customised SKU's.
“When you interact with our experience centre, you will realise that it is taking the standard of meat shopping to the next level by having a completely spotless operation devoid of knives, boards and open meat displays. The experience is delivered by onsite meat consultants who've gone through rigorous training across all aspects of meat science and customer delight by letting consumers know how Licious is a cut above the rest,” says Abhay.