What homegrown brands can do to track their growth

On YourStory’s Daily Dispatch, Arjun Srivastava, Co-founder and Deputy MD, Wingreens Farms; Vedang Patel, Co-founder, The Souled Store; Jatin Gujrati, Business Head, Vedix; and Musthafa PC, CEO, iD Fresh Food provide key insights into the growth of homegrown businesses during the pandemic.

Recently, several homegrown brands grew rapidly with impressive numbers, surpassing their prominent competitors in the market. Their growth is linked to unique strategies and smart business tactics.

Navigating through the pandemic

Arjun Srivastava, Co-founder and Deputy MD, Wingreens Farms, says that in any business, the important thing to do is to follow where the consumer is going. Owing to the pandemic, there has been a clear shift towards the online space. Therefore, to stay relevant, the businesses had to make that shift as well.

In the last year, The Souled Store grew exponentially in the D2C sector, shares Vedang Patel, Co-founder, The Souled Store. Currently, the casual wear space in India is very fragmented and there is a lot of scope for growth in that spectrum. In FY19, casual wear accounted for 36 percent of the total apparel market in India as was expected to reach a grow at a CAGR of 16 percent from Rs 1.37 lakh crore in FY19 to Rs 2.87 lakh crore in FY24.

The most important part of the business, according to Vedang, is to have a solid and loyal customer base that has essentially helped The Souled Store to grow even through the global pandemic.

“Having those fundamentals in place with clear differentiators, that’s what’s helped a lot,” says Vedang.

Musthafa PC, CEO, iD Fresh Food, explains that people have become more health-conscious and are seeking healthier alternatives for consumption. “Fresh is the future so fresh sells,” says Musthafa. So, the brand is focused on keeping the products 100 percent natural, with no chemicals or preservatives to stay true to their promise.

The founders of Souled Store

Tapping into the present scenario

In March 2021, Wingreens Farms acquired the beverage brand, Raw Pressery. According to Arjun, the two brands would be working together to build a new platform that will be at play in the D2C space.

“The idea, going forward, is to bring cool brands together and build a more viable direct-to-consumer business,” says Arjun.

Jatin Gujrati, Business Head, Vedix mentions that the company has always has been focused on personalisation. He adds that an important element of being in the D2C space is to communicate with the customers and thus, Vedix is currently working on building a feedback loop to understand the needs of the customers – a strategy that has helped to build the business in the last couple of years. The target market, which was 150 million consumers, is going to double in 2025, shares Jatin.

Since the start of the pandemic, the entire D2C ecosystem has evolved a great deal. According to Arjun, more companies are starting to look at doing businesses with the help of third-party logistics (TPL).

“It’s a totally dynamic and changing world, and as we scale up our fresh distribution, we will be increasingly working more and more with partners,” says Arjun.

According to Musthafa, partnering is the best way to grow one’s business. When iD Fresh Food started partnering with BigBasket last year, the revenue generated went up from being Rs 30 lakh per month to Rs 3 crore per month.

Overcoming the bumps on the road

Warehousing is one of the key strengths of Vedix, says Jatin. Around 98 percent of the business happens on the Vedix platform. According to Jatin, it is important is to create a beautiful product so that the customers keep coming back to the platform.

Musthafa says that iD Fresh Food has been able to match up with the speedy delivery options provided by big companies like Amazon, despite the challenges faced by the company such as navigating a three-day shelf life as a result of being in the fresh food business.

Inventory management is the key differentiator in the apparel business, explains Vedang. Additionally, marketing is the primary challenge for any D2C company. The product must have a good story, which will give the business a clear advantage over the competition.

Anju Srivastava, Founder and Managing Director, Wingreens Farms

The future roadmap

Wingreens Farms will be launching a new ecommerce platform with Raw Pressery, and will also be getting many more brands and expand on categories.

“The only way a D2C company can really work on the scale is when it actually has a wider range of offerings,” says Arjun.

In addition, the company is currently planning offline retail and omnichannel strategy.

Vedix is presently looking towards expanding into different categories and deepening the already existing verticals. The brand also plans to expand internationally to the US and the Middle East. These strategies will help to double the revenues in the next two years, shares Jatin.

The secret to success

The panellists highlight certain key points that are essential for the growth of any business.

Arjun points out that the secret sauce to success in the industry is having passion and purpose, while Vedang believes that the approach to solving problems is what decides whether a venture is going to be successful or not.

Jatin, on the other hand, says that the brand needs to have a key differentiator to stand out in the D2C spectrum, while Musthafa concludes by saying that it is very important for businesses to think from the perspective of the consumer and provide clear solutions to their problems.

Edited by Kanishk Singh