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Learn How To Rebrand And Innovate In A Family Business Despite facing severe challenges, how Vishal Chordia rebranded his family business

By Anindita Ganguly Edited by Punita Sabharwal

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Born and brought up in a staunch business family, Vishal drew his inspiration from his grandfather. He remembers, "My grandfather used to narrate the tales of how this business was a way of survival for the family. Then my father gradually turned it to a commercial one." This drove him to join his family business in 1999 at the age of 22, post his MBA.

Initially, there was an acceptance issue. However, after the company was re-branded from Pravin Masalewale to Suhana Spices in 2001, things started falling in place and he rose to a leadership role! Vishal explains "It was kind of a logistical nightmare. I had to ensure all the old packages of 140 products were sold out before the launch of Suhana Spices. I invested all most 24 hours regularly before the re-launch. My employees along with my father were sceptical about it, but its successful execution earned me their confidence."

Gradually, the family business saw changes in terms of strategies in acquiring new customers. For him, the route to people's heart was through their spice preference in terms of quantity and variations. "Change in customer requirement is the biggest hurdle we observed and evolved accordingly. Previously, people bought spices with simple packaging or no packaging at all. Now, with the availability of multiple food choices, we had to change our strategy," shares the Chairman of Maharashtra State Khadi and Village Industries.

On that note, the spice variations are created depending on the regional taste preferences of the cities. Chordia did not restrict himslef only in spice manufacturing, he innovated several ready-to-cook cupfull delights for the mass; something ahead of his competitors. "We are customer centric and not a competitor centric organisation. While the northern belt prefers garam masala, the coastal belt likes mustard, on the other hand, the central part indulges in garlic flavour. We could only reach out to the mass by adopting to their requirement. That thought drove me to innovate several ready-to-eat variations like Cuppa Khichdi, Cuppa Poha, instant omlette mix etc.," concludes the 41 year old.

(This article was first published in the June issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)

Anindita Ganguly

Former Trainee Writer, Entrepreneur India

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