Outlook 2022: Challenges in the Indian Organic Market
Organic food is a dilemma for most consumers because of its sheer complexity. How do consumers know this is truly organic? What is organic?
These are the questions that are thrown at us from every corner. Today, consumers are curious to know about the source and benefits of organic products. And a successful company is one that invariably addresses these doubts effectively.
The Indian organic market is real and is here to stay.
The startup world itself is a challenge every moment; and, if you've chosen an organic startup, then you definitely must be brave. Startups and brave entrepreneurs have played a huge role in bringing about the change in the age-old farming industry.
But if you plan on joining the organic warriors of the startup world, these challenges should be on your checklist:
Proof of your claims
Today, consumers are inquisitive about the benefits of organic products and need valid reasons to switch from their regular groceries to organic groceries. They prefer proof beyond certifications and logos.
Then it brings us to the great Indian paradox of PRICE! That is an inherent challenge for any organic food startup. Why should the consumers spend more on our products? The price point question is crucial for companies to address to gain the trust of the consumer.
Changing global parameters
Every country has its own set of rules about pesticide levels and testing procedures. There is no common globally recognised standard yet that makes it further difficult to scale up the business.
Even in India, the certification procedures and standards are constantly changing, keeping the organic entrepreneurs on their toes.
We believe agility and perseverance are essential while acquiring certifications. To further exacerbate, these certifications are not known to consumers. So educating them is our responsibility, which in itself is a mammoth task!
Today, "brand building" is used casually by most entrepreneurs without really understanding the gravitas of building one. The ones who know the magnanimity indeed understand the consistent effort involved in building a brand.
While the digital world is bursting with new brands every second, how do we expect consumers to remember us? What are we doing differently? How are we communicating at every level with our consumers?
There is just so much pressure on organic produce to deliver. Sometimes miracles. To manage these expectations so as not to damage the brand is another challenge altogether.
Finding answers to these questions will help you overcome most of the challenges you may face in the organic startup world.
Just as easy the word sounds, supply chain functions are more complex. You will understand the complexity of supply chains when you have to consolidate at the farm level and correspondingly deliver to thousands of consumers across the nation.
Also, the supply chain is a costlier affair after the recent inflations post-COVID. Additionally, the shelf life of organic groceries is much lesser. That brings us to the crucial question of how to ace the supply chain challenges while building a just-in-time model for organic perishable products?
Money, Money, Money
Managing monetary resources is a significant challenge for every entrepreneur. Upfront payments, credits extended beyond date, working capital management, and ratios are just a few things we have to juggle with as entrepreneurs! Everyone in the leadership team needs to wear the CFO hat. We need to have numbers at our fingertips to make it successful.
While the above challenges may sound grim, they're indeed exciting challenges, which keeps us entrepreneurs captivated. After all, what is our role, if not of fire-fighters?
The most enlivening part of the journey is that the organic startup world is just setting foot and the glorious phase of the organic world is yet to come. The more people who join this brigade, the more it will work in our (people, planet, and profit) favour.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)