Meet the Makhana Man - Start-up that Leads you to Healthy Munching
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At a time when corn puffs were the only option for snack munching, Mr Makhana was just the crunchy move to provide a wholesome alternative to unhealthy binging.
Like every other college graduate, Rishab Jain, Founder, Mr Makhana, stepped out beaming with ideas. Reluctant to join his family business, he wanted to experiment on a concept product which could carve a future industry. In 2015, Mr Makhana was born to purely cater to a market looking for healthy ready-to-eat snacks.
“The product is a combination of purpose and pleasure. Concept products do take time to establish themselves but with social media, marketing and awareness have become slighlty easier,” Jain explains.
Mr Makhana’s story begins from Central East India, Kolkata and Bihar from where 99 per cent of makhanas are sourced. Introducing popular flavours of chips into the makhanas was the trick of his trade to maximise reach.
Rishabh Jain asserts,
“Shortlisting the flavours was a challenge as I wanted to create a fusion of Indo-Western palate and expand our customer base.”
The product is packaged in different sizes of 25-grams, 100-grams and 50-grams composite vibrant-coloured jars. Like every other start-up, ‘saving capital where you can’ is the mantra. Mr Makhana was initially manufactured at the contract-manufacturing units. Sensing its growth and likeability, the company has recently set up its own state-of-the-art plant in Ahmedabad to control expenses in land, labour and export purposes. The proximity to port is an advantage in terms of logistics cost reduction. Jain shares,
“We have already started working on concept snacking and a slew of products is slated to be introduced by the end of the year.”
CRUNCHY, MUNCHY, TASTY
- TASTE BUDS: Mr Makhana’s logo has an Indian touch where the ends turn up into a moustache style in order to be symbolic of the brand name.
- DOODLE DESIGN: With an interesting doodle, the packaged product narrates a story on the origin of makhana. On close look, one can see farmers getting makhanas out of a pond, a lady sitting and breaking the shell and then roasting the makhanas.
- FLAVOURS & PRICING: The product is available in Piri-piri, Lemon & Chilli, Himalayan salt, Cream & Onion, Pudina and Butter Tomato. The pricing starts from Rs 259 (for pack of three)
- OH, BRING HER ON BOARD!: In 2018, Kareena Kapoor, who personally advocates healthy eating, was signed as the brand ambassador of Mr Makhana. She aligned herself with the brand’s thought process and shows health is beyond justification.
- PACK ME WITH CARE: The only way to control deterioration was to pack it in pillow packs and composite jars that keeps the material fresh.
Mr Makhana is available at both offline and online stores. It is already making a revenue of Rs 50-60 lakh per month (inclusive all accounts). After giving the mid-easterners a taste of Mr Makhana, the company is set to explore American markets too.
(This article was first published in the August 2019 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)