India MSME Summit 2022: COVID-19 accelerates new-age sectors

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront opportunities across sectors, especially helping new-age companies find customers.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has opened up new opportunities for sunrise or new age-sectors. These industries not only support sustainable development on a wider scale but also ensure modernisation of businesses and are leading India on a growth trajectory.

To discuss this and more, an esteemed lineup of panellists including Sohil Wazir, COO of Blue Tribe Foods; Uday Narang, Chairman and Founder of Omega Seiki Mobility; Pranay Jain, Founder of BodyFirst; and Pallav Bihani, Founder of BoldFit; came together at the Grand Finale of the India MSME Summit 2022. 

Trends in the FMCG space

Demand for vegan meat or plant-based meat alternatives has picked up pace in India in the last few years. While alternative meat always existed in India in the form of soy chaap, soya nuggets, jackfruit, and more, there seems to be a new-found interest in products that fall under this category.

Sohil, the COO of a mock meat startup, said the demand for these products has always come from vegetarians. However, in recent years, it has been coming from individuals who are looking to turn vegan or cut down on meat consumption. 

Another trend that has come to the forefront, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is the increase in demand for nutraceutical products and supplements.

Pallav said that contrary to the view that “only bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts consume supplements, COVID-19 has made people realise that some of the deficiencies can only be removed by these tablets. 

Uday, who is building the electric vehicles' arm of the Anglian Omega Group, said that the demand for electric vehicles has picked up. He says he expects EV adoption to cross more than 80 percent by 2030.

D2C push in the sunrise sectors 

Panellists at the event also highlighted the role of the direct-to-consumer (D2C) business model in giving their industries a push. Sohil said that D2C has helped them understand what kind of products work in the market, who is consuming their products and where the demand is majorly coming from, and at what price point the consumers can consume the products with ease.

Pranay added that the consumers are extremely aware and knowledgeable. 

“They want value for money,” he said.

Highlighting the role of policy, the panellists added that much needs to be done by the entrepreneurs as well as the government. 

Pallav said that while there is a huge opportunity in the health and fitness industries, the government should reduce taxes on fitness products. Sohil said that policy-wise, India is on the right track but more needs to be done to bring plant-based meat to the forefront. “It’s not right to tax us 12 percent more than meat,” he said. 

Uday concluded the discussion by saying that India has a huge basket of opportunities that are not possible to tap in the developed countries. 

India MSME Summit 2022 took place from 21 to 22 June, 2022. 

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti