This Indian FMCG Brand Has Eyes On the Globe
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Crisis brings opportunities. This could not have been truer for the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry in 2020 even as the world grappled with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The sector is learning, innovating, and rising from disruptions to put the worst behind and looking forward to the new year with optimism and new-found confidence.
With food, personal care items, especially hand sanitizers and disinfectants—the hero products of the pandemic—managing to push the industry to post positive growth amid the crisis, in 2021, the FMCG industry is looking forward to carry on with the momentum and sustained revival across categories in rural and urban markets of India.
With lessons learnt on how to navigate through the hurdles and uncertainties thrown up by the once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, the sector is more confident going into 2021, having fast-tracked adoption of digital medium for the distribution and realigned product portfolio, such as Epigamia products, according to its chief executive officer and co-founder Rohan Mirchandani, are tailored for the new normal.
While discussing the creation of Epigamia with Entrepreneur India, Mirchandani shared, “While at business school, I took a class held in Mumbai on ‘Marketing to the Indian Consumer’. One of the guest speakers, formerly the head of marketing at a large FMCG company, spoke on the notion of brand building in India and how the FMCG sector only had a handful of mainly multinational brands that dominated. He mentioned that the next 15-20 years in India would see local brands get created, thanks to the changing consumption patterns and social media means to reach consumers. That was a Eureka moment for me. I knew what I wanted to do: to build a brand that would stand the test of time.”
The thirty-eight-year-old entrepreneur believes that with innovation as fuel, Epigamia has been constantly pushing boundaries by crafting contemporary versions of traditional foods, to make their concept stand out.
The FMCG brand has retailed across approximately 12,000 touchpoints in 35 towns, including modern trade chains such as Reliance Fresh, Godrej Nature’s Basket, Future Group, Foodhall, Big Bazaar, and Hypercity; e-commerce platforms including Big Basket and Amazon; and numerous general trade retailers, and an estimate on the number of customers served is two million.
The company maintains that it has raised INR 44.5 crore in Series A round co-led by Verlinvest and DSG Consumer Partners (DSGCP), INR 90 crore in Series B as the round was again co-led by existing investors Verlinvest and DSGCP, INR 182 crore in Series C round for the third-time led by Verlinvest with the new investor Danone Manifesto Ventures and the extension of Series C, included an investment from Deepika Padukone, and a multi-crore strategic partnership with Padukone.
The Epigamia co-founder is of the view that the company is fully aligned with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of AtmaNirbhar Bharat and ‘Vocal for Local’ as all their products are manufactured in India and from the very beginning, they have a ‘Glocal’ vision: locally made for the globe.
Launched in 2015, the company claims that as a commitment to the resuming supply lines, it has worked closely with some NGOs and helped them with our supply infrastructure to contribute over 7.5 lakh cups and bottles of yogurts to the homeless and migrant workers who have been impacted the most during the pandemic-imposed lockdown. They said to have energized the ecosystem through their outreach program called Epigamia Step-Up that has the mission to provide food and water to communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The next trigger of growth for the company is to use the digital channel to lead expansion across the country and follow by expanding traditional trade as an omnichannel approach will continue to fuel their growth.
The pandemic has changed the way everyone does business. The D2C platform plans to use the digital channel as a testing platform for its products in the new cities, and then push through general trade when they have an idea of the demand in those towns and cities as that will also help the company convince the kirana store owners, about stocking new categories.
Mirchandani further shared that he intends to take the brand all throughout the country and expand distribution to over 100 cities within India. And finally, the company will explore exports to adjacent markets like Southeast Asia and the Middle East.