Top stories this week: two F&B brands that are redefining success
Change is the only constant when it comes to the average Indian consumer of food and beverage (F&B) products. Businesses in the F&B sector are working hard to keep up with these changes and capture more market share.
But many entrepreneurs running businesses solely focus on the operations, and not on other issues such as compliance.
Here are the stories of two successful F&B brands we covered this week, with a bonus: the story of a Mumbai-based investment banking, consulting, and compliance advisory firm which is helping SMEs in their growth journey.
Vishal Shah, Founder and MD, Storia
The global food & beverage industry is growing at around five percent a year and global expenditure on food products by consumers is expected to reach $20 trillion by 2030.
Consumers now seek healthier alternatives to what they eat and drink, thus spurring the emergence of a lucrative pocket of organic, sustainable, and healthy food and beverages companies.
And Indian brands are not too far from capitalising on this health trend too. Storia Foods & Beverages’ Vishal Shah launched the brand in 2016 to offer convenience, sustainability, and inspire a healthier lifestyle through nutrition-charged products.
Storia deals in four SKUs, including coconut water, fresh fruit juices, shakes, and beverage whitener (milk powder).
The brand sources raw materials from across the world. For example, it imports coffee and chocolate from Singapore, strawberry from Spain, and sources Alphonso mango, almonds, and saffron from within India.
In a span of 24 months, the company claims it was able to enter 52 cities in India, hitting 50,000 outlets in retail. It also says it recorded a turnover of Rs 23 crore in FY 2018-19.
Parimal Shah, President, MK Jokai Agri Plantations
It is said that a steaming cup of chai can soothe the most anxious mind. In our tea-loving nation, the beverage also has a historic and nostalgic aura that a Kolkata-based tea company has brandished with care for decades.
With a huge market potential that many players are disrupting, MK Jokai’s legacy stands tall with its premium quality teas that were exported to Russia, Poland, and other countries as early as the 1950s.
The brand became an instant hit and in the 1990s, the company set up a subsidiary at St Petersburg in Russia. And since then, Indian tea leaves have been spreading their aromatic tenets across Russian households.
Today, MK Jokai Agri Plantations Pvt Ltd owns about 12,000 acres of land producing 6,500 metric tonnes of tea annually developing around 147 variants of teas for different geographical regions.
At the age of 19, Parimal joined his father with an aim to diversify the brand’s reach. He first worked with J Thomas, one of the largest tea broking companies in the world to gain experience. Today, he helms the Russian operations.
Seemant Shrivastav, Founder, Attentio Corporate Services
A boutique investment banking, consulting, and compliance advisory firm, Attentio Corporate Services LLP is helping small and medium businesses in their growth journey. Started by Seemant Shrivastav in 2015, Attentio Corporate Services LLP is a firm of professionals, and is present in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad.
Its investment banking vertical helps businesses with target fundraising, both debt as well as equity. The ticket sizes can range from as low as Rs 1 crore to a maximum of Rs 30-40 crore.
Under its management vertical, the range of services is quite wide, including ERP installation or cleaning up systems and processes, or bringing a sensitivity analysis of what-if scenarios about the cash flows, building models, reporting systems, reducing the cost of finance, and negotiating with bankers.
The third vertical is the legal compliance, which Seemant’s wife Shalini and her team take care of.
Interestingly, Seemant’s experience with helping companies IPO-ready has helped him gain many insights into small and medium businesses. Startups and SMEs also come up with issues around corporate governance and reporting structures.
“There are plenty of instances where because promoters think they run a proprietorship business, they can mix personal expenses with corporate expenses. So you see, we need to build all that sensitisation and ensure checks and balances in their system,” he says.