5 entrepreneurs who scaled their small and medium retail businesses into multi-crore enterprises
Besides the big names in retail such as Future Group and Reliance Group, the Indian retail industry boasts a robust network of several smaller businesses who have benefitted by venturing into the growing segment. Here's a look at some of them.
The retail industry in India is fast-growing, and consumer spending is expected to double from 2017 to 2020. The total consumption expenditure is projected to to reach $3,600 billion by 2020, from $1,824 billion in 2017, according to government trust and resource centre IBEF. The retail market alone is set to double and grow from $672 billion in 2017 to $1,200 billion in 2021.
As online shopping platforms Amazon India, Flipkart and others rise in popularity, the face of the Indian ecommerce industry is fast changing. While traditional retail will still remain king, the outlook for retail in India remains bright.
The sector is attracting large volumes of investments, and in 2018, it doubled to reach Rs 1,300 crore (US$ 180.18 million), according to IBEF data.
"[Investment] factors that make India so attractive include the second largest population in the world, a middle class of 600 million people, increasing urbanisation, rising household incomes, connected rural consumers and increasing consumer spending," writes sector expert Shruti Chandra for national investment and promotion and facilitation agency Invest India.
Besides the big names, such as Future Group and Reliance Group, the Indian retail industry boasts a robust network of several smaller businesses who have benefitted by venturing into the growing segment.
Here's a look at five Indian small and medium businesses that have employed diverse methods to find success in retail:
As an aspiring businessman in the 90s, Kunaal Kumar had two options ahead of him. Follow up his engineering course with an MBA or delve into his father’s bakery business to learn the ropes. He chose the latter and is now running one of India's successful retail chains in Delhi.
After learning the tricks of the trade from his father, Kunaal Kumar in 2005 relaunched Modern Bazaar - his father’s venture, but this time not as a bakery but as a chain of retail outlets in the Delhi-NCR region.
Today, the Rs 200 crore turnover Modern Bazaar offers more than 25,000 products ranging from regular groceries to health and organic food. Kunaal Kumar, MD and CEO, Modern Nazaar, says the store houses a bakery and meat kitchen, a cafe, swathes of gourmet specialties and an international food items section.
But what attracts the customer is the dedicated seafood section, much to the delight of sea food lovers residing in landlocked Delhi and NCR. The retail chain sees a daily footfall of nearly 6,000 to 7,000 customers, and the store has something to offer everyone, says Kunaal.
The Desi Atta Company, a brand under Future Consumer Limited, started selling various atta products and instant mixes in 2015. Ritika Bajaj, a founding member of Desi Atta Company, had set up the company’s first atta production unit with a focus on a diverse set of ingredients for making the atta.
Looking at the opportunity to simplify vegetable paratha making, she came up with the idea to create two unique vegetable wheat atta mixes- beetroot and spinach. With this wheat atta, one could make a beetroot or spinach paratha in the same way a plain paratha is made. After frying, the beetroot paratha takes a red colour, and the spinach one turns green.
After the reins were handed over to brand head Shridhar Taparia in 2016, he led Desi Atta Company to scale up from 25 products to over 55 products.
Under Shridhar’s leadership, Desi Atta Company has now positioned these beetroot and spinach attas as one of its USPs. It sells more than one lakh products a week and clocks a turnover of over Rs 24 crore a year. Apart from the healthy vegetable-based attas, it also makes special products that are protein-rich, gluten-free, high fibre, and more.
Founded by Ankit Rungta in 2012 in Vadodara, Gujarat, home decor brand, Story@Home was self-funded and was incorporated as a family-owned business. With the ecommerce boom, the business grew, and 34-year-old Rungta brought in his father Sohan Rungta to grow different verticals.
"When I studied the home furnishing market, I found a big gap in quality products at reasonable prices, and a lack of proper supply chain management across India. This inspired me to get into entrepreneurship and start a venture in the home furnishing segment by forming a supply chain and marketing team across twelve states in India," Ankit says.
Story@Home claims it was among the first few brands that partnered with Flipkart, Amazon, SnapDeal and many more. "We upgraded and switched from physical stores to online channels for sales," Ankit says.
The brand claims it adds over 10 lakh customers every year, and recorded a turnover of close to Rs 65 crore last year. "This year, we are targeting revenues of Rs 100 crore," Ankit says.
India has a huge retail market, and retailers need to ensure that their POS (point of sale) solutions have all the necessary features. With this retail ecosystem in mind, entrepreneur Prashant Lohia set up Ginesys in 2006. He wanted to develop a complete retail Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution for Indian retailers and brands.
“POS software in India generates a lot of interest but few companies are able to provide a complete solution. Ginesys is an ERP software that covers the entire retail value chain, from manufacturing and distribution, to retail,” says Prashant, who is CEO and CFO of Ginesys.
2006 seemed to be the right time since organised retail in India was starting to adopt custom solutions. “By working closely with out customers, we developed a generic retail ERP solution. This philosophy has allowed us to incorporate the best practices of retail industry into the solution we have,” he adds.
With this model, Gurugram-based Ginesys currently enables Rs 25,000 crore worth of transactions annually across over 500 businesses. It grew from a customer base of a single retailer, four people, and one small office in 2006, to more than 500 big retailers, 125 people and five offices. Ginesys records a turnover of more than Rs 28 crore.
Sharad Venkta and Ankur Agarwal founded Toonz Retail in the year 2010 in Bengaluru to help parents find everything they need for their children under one roof.
Toonz Retail operates multi-brand kids’ outlets for all needs and occasions for children aged 0-12 years. The stores today carry anywhere between 1,000 and 3,000 SKUs, including infant fashion, kids fashion, baby essentials, toys, accessories, baby care, and hard goods.
Sharad says that they started out with licensed merchandising with Disney, Dora, and Ben 10 characters in a 1,000 sqft store. However, as they wanted to create a one-stop shop for children’s needs, they had to expand further when it came to their product range.
Currently, Toonz brand exports its clothing lines to countries like Fiji, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, and Papua New Guinea besides having stores across 60 cities including Kanpur, Lucknow, Patiala, Chennai, Jodhpur, and Solapur. The company was founded with an initial investment of Rs 10 crore and now records an annual turnover of Rs 100 crore.