A couple’s kitchen experiment leads to Munchilicious, a snack brand available across 200 stores
For some, the journey of entrepreneurship may be serendipitous, for others like Rohit Mohan Pugalia, it is the result of trying to address one’s own needs.
Rohit Pugalia and Purvi Pugalia, Cofounders, Munchilicious
After completing his MBA in Finance, Rohit was working at a stockbroking firm in Kolkata. Between meals, he craved for a snack, and often resorted to the more unhealthy options.
Rohit’s wife, Purvi, then started sending extra stuff along with the usual office dabba, but this only increased the boxes of food Rohit had to lug to his workplace every day.
But Rohit noticed that he wasn’t the only one. Speaking to SMBStory, Rohit, one half of the brain behind healthy snack brand Munchilicious, says,
“It was not only me but my colleagues too who used to get midday cravings.and were not prominent then and we were short of options. Whatever was available was either stale or unhealthy.”
The first bite
After a while, the couple moved to Mumbai. This also prompted them to take a stab at addressing their midday cravings with healthy snacks.
First, Rohit and Purvi started out in 2015 by supplying fresh fruit salads and juices to people located around the Malad area. Back then, delivery platforms were few and far in between, so the duo tied up with platforms like Tiny Owl and Holachef to get the deliveries done. Though it was a small start and they did not expect much, they were surprised by the demand.
The couple then launched Soch Foods LLP in May 2016, as they knew they needed to go after something bigger than salads and juices. Rohit says,
“Fresh fruit salad and juices were a start but we knew we cannot grow with this. We all crave for our crunchy evening snacks or something yummy during the course of the day because our taste buds refuse to compromise for health.”
Purvi then decided to find a way to marry flavour with health. Experimenting with a variety of guilt-free options, she whipped up a healthy and crunchy snack without the addition of any preservatives. Her first experiment was granola, packed with oats, nuts, and dried fruits.
Fresh from the oven, it tasted delicious without compromising on nutrition. Rohit and Purvi realised they had stumbled upon something great.
The couple soon started making and selling their granola using ingredients sourced locally. They put up small stalls in flee markets and exhibitions, which helped them gain customer traction. Soon, word got out.
Going after a larger slice
In the process of expansion to retail spaces, the duo had to adhere to food safety standards. Therefore, in May 2016, they launched the brand Munchilicious, built an in-house packaging and R&D team in April 2017, and geared up to take the brand officially in the market.
The brand hit online marketplaces like Amazon, Paytm Mall to sell their granola. In November 2018, the couple hit the first retail shelf in Santa Cruz, Mumbai., and
At present, the company has products placed in around 200 stores spread across Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, and Delhi. It also paved its way to Singapore in July 2019, through Lazada, one of the leading ecommerce marketplaces in the country. The company rakes Rs 25 crore turnover.
The brand was also a part of the Gulfood exhibition last year and received recognition for its quality and packaging, Rohit says.
The future is bright…and crunchy
With the increased thrust on health, many companies have cropped up to serve customers in the same space. But, despite the heavy competition, Rohit claims that Munchilicious has grabbed prominent shelf space in the retail sector.
Now, the brand is eyeing exports to Europe.
“We need to build a bigger space and do bulk buying. We are bootstrapped from the beginning but need funds to expand,” the Co-founder explains.
Soch Foods plans to launch a few more SKUs to their current range. The company is also planning to introduce granola bars soon.
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)