This Startup is On a Mission to Become India's Leading Clean-label Beverage Brand The start-up plans to reach 2500 stores by the end of FY 18 and increase its footprint in the Middle East and South East Asia

By Vanita D'souza

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Owing to high sugar content, branded juices were a big no for Anuj Rakyan, who was on his way to recovery and was looking to adapt to a healthy lifestyle after a major accident. He experimented with his domestic juicer only to realize that in the process, a lot of nutrients from the vegetables and fruits go amiss.

This problem introduced him to the concept of cold-pressed juices that are produced by the application of hydraulic pressure to fruits and vegetables in cold temperatures (between 0°c to 4°c). The process preserves the nutrients while it continues to taste fresh. It did not take much time for Rakyan to realize the opportunity here and he launched Raw Pressery in 2013 after quitting his job as Vice President Sales at Nirav Modi Jewels.

In a conversation with Entrepreneur India, Rakyan discusses Raw's brand strategy to upcoming launches under the brand label.

Building a Raw Brand

Rakyan always believed in his brand and thought he had a great product, however, the lack of reliable cold chains and poor infrastructure created challenges for the brand to scale up to new geographies and channels.

"We are learning every day and adopting practices which have never been the norm in the industry– building our own supply chain network, direct store deliveries, delivering directly to home are some of the steps we have taken," the entrepreneur shared.

A close attention to the RAW juices' price tags and you would realize the brand is expensive as compared to other players. Justifying the price range, Rakyan claims that factors like cost of cold chain and in the management of freshness, the cost is more than tetra pack juices. One should consider the value of consuming a product rich in nutrients, vitamins and taste versus just the price point.

"Our entire range is 100% natural made with fresh farm produce and without any sugar, preservatives, chemicals or water. We're clearly a healthier alternative in a market filled with sugar-laden beverages," he pointed out.

Scaling up

Recently, RAW secured Series C funding, which the founder shares will be utilized in spaces like new product development, distribution and marketing.

"With the latest round of funding raised, we hope to focus intensively on new product development and marketing. Raw Pressery is now expanding to new categories in the beverage segment & beyond and this calls for concentrated 360-degree marketing efforts to build awareness as well as engagement," he added.

For 2018, the homegrown beverage company will focus to strengthen the brand's position as India's leading clean-label beverage brand along with building awareness about the category, product, process and delivery.

"We will be bringing a lot more flavours and sub-categories in our product line such as nut milk, soups, probiotics and water. In terms of distribution, we hope to reach 2500 stores by the end of FY 18 and increase our footprint in the Middle East and South East Asia," Rakyan said while adding that, "By 2020, we look to be Asia's largest clean label beverage company with a robust portfolio of all our subcategories."

Vanita D'souza

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

I am a Mumbai-based journalist and have worked with media companies like The Dollar Business Magazine, Business Standard, etc.While on the other side, I am an avid reader who is a travel freak and has accepted foodism as my religion.

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