While D2C and online stores have truly become the norm after the lockdown in India, there’s absolute confidence that gaining traction remains a matter of being wherein the clients are. While many hundreds of thousands of Indians were buying online, submit the unlock rules for reopening the economic system, stores are slowly coming back on-line.
So brands are now looking at combining their efforts across all touchpoints to create an omnichannel method. For Mumbai-based Greek yogurt logo Epigamia, the transition meant closely counting on ecommerce, contactless retail, and its own website. But as ever distributing products that require cold garage is not smooth. So Epigamia went returned to the fundamentals and checked out how it can tackle distribution to win the D2C recreation.
Like some other FMCG manufacturers, Epigamia also confronted the wrath of the pandemic, in which the general public of its distribution channels which include kirana shops, restaurants, kiosks and more had been hampered. It doubled down on D2C selling and witnessed 25% sales coming from online channels, over 4x increase in comparison to pre-Covid times.
“Honestly, we did now not assume this to appear! We idea it would simply be a gap filler till things get returned to everyday. Surprisingly, our commercial enterprise no longer most effective stayed, however it certainly grew,” claimed Rohan Mirchandani, cofounder of Epigamia.
But Mirchandani is brief to point out this is not a pivot, however an extension to the enterprise’s omnichannel method. The logo has forayed into digital advertising and marketing and growing higher person enjoy on its D2C web page, that's totally new.
D2C Puzzle Solved By Distribution
A visit to its on line store found out that the enterprise asks for pincode information, even earlier than a user has started placing the order. This manner, the business enterprise appears to take away hassles of refunds and cancelled orders, and deliver to pin places in which its distribution networks have get admission to. “Otherwise, we have been all literally dropping our hair with orders coming from across the usa,” he brought.
As a end result, the orders on its web sites are getting larger and larger with the price being comparatively decrease than buying from retail outlets. Mirchandani claimed the Epigamia wave has now hit the Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns, where a behavioural shift has passed off closer to D2C brands.
Unfortunately, it will become difficult for corporations like Epigamia to serve these smaller cities, given the character of the goods because it requires a proper cold garage facility and a larger ‘cold chain’ distribution community. So the organisation has collaborated with Delhi-primarily based contactless retail-tech startup Gobbly in putting in place three-four kiosks. It is likewise trying to associate with extra startups to set up kiosks in societies, colleges and hospitals across the u . S ..
It is presently working to optimise shipping and thoroughly display the demand across Tier 3 towns, and will realign its distribution for that reason. The corporation additionally told us that it's miles significantly leveraging data analytics and gadget getting to know algorithms to similarly map its offline distribution network.
Serving Demand In Metros
Epigamia used determine employer Drums Food logo Hokey Pokey’s logistics and distribution infrastructure to start matters off many years ago. And within the past few months, those have end up final-mile fulfilment centres to cater to the D2C call for. This has glaringly helped in reducing transport fees in a few places.
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“With progressed margins, this has end up truly worthwhile for us. We’re following the same path that we use to service our general trade (GT) shops,” Mirchandani stated, including that the minimum order fee in step with customer is around 10/15 cups of yogurt according to order.
These distribution centres normally cater to metros and Tier 1 towns, however Epigamia is seeking to expand this to reach Tier 2/3 towns too. “Five years ago when we began Epigamia, no person desired to take our distribution,” recalled Mirchandani, given many failed attempts through different brands.
Now that it has the bottom of its personal distribution channel, the business enterprise is also experimenting with new merchandise. Founded via Mirchandani, Uday Thakker, Rahul Jain and Ganesh Krishnamoorthy in 2015, Epigamia changed into began as a Greek yogurt brand, however these days, it's far losing its dairy roots by using going with plant-primarily based meals.
Obviously, the brand new products are a end result of months of marketplace studies and studies, however numerous it has to do with how Epigamia solved its distribution problems and this allowed the business enterprise to consciousness on new product development.
The Business Of Yogurt
Growing 70% 12 months-on-12 months (Y-o-Y) due to the fact FY17, Epigamia has attracted a slew of traders, which includes Danone Manifesto Ventures, DSG Consumer Partners, Verlinvest, Mousse Partners, Julie McGinnis, Deepika Padukone and others. Till date, the business enterprise has raised a complete of $fifty six.3 Mn in funding, where it plans to feature new merchandise and expand its distribution channel throughout the u . S ..
Besides Epigamia, some of the opposite gamers in space include Adityaa Milk, Mother Dairy, Nestle A+ and Urban Platter among others. But with its focus on non-dairy merchandise, Epigamia can also be competing with other players within the plant-based snacks marketplace like Goodmylk, Myvegan, Plant Power, Urban Platter among others.
Epigamia said that in FY20, its sales grew by 20% to INR one hundred ten Cr from about INR 87.Eight Cr in FY19, however, we could not independently verify those figures for the 12 months finishing March 31, 2020. “The drivers for growth have been our new product released and growth into new distribution and channels. Our overall income margins have improved with the aid of 20%, and we were profitable in the western place (Mumbai and many others),” Mirchandani told Inc42.
According to the business enterprise’s corporate filings, its sales in FY19 grew by using 1.4X to INR 87.Eight Cr from about INR fifty two.8 Cr in FY18. Its expenses additionally ballooned from INR 103 Cr in FY18 to INR 138.2 Cr in FY19. But universal losses reduced by means of a diploma to INR 50 Cr from INR 56 Cr in FY19.
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For FY2021, the Covid-19 effect could genuinely have hit the sales overall performance, however Mirchandani is assured of the company’s new plant-based totally merchandise creating a mark within the new fact and competing with other new D2C brands. “As a whole lot as we count on the plant-primarily based community to like our merchandise, we agree with in creating a balanced technique for each person, irrespective of the food regimen that they comply with.”
Plant-Based Future For Epigamia?
As the world is slowly turning to plant-based totally merchandise, pushed by using customer issues around fitness, sustainability and wellness of animals, there has been a vast change in what people consume. Plant-based totally diets are gaining popularity, with the quantity of vegans and vegetarians on the upward push, each in India in addition to the world.
Now, Epigamia has also entered the market with a new variety of plant-primarily based alternatives made from coconut milk, which additionally consists of a model containing jaggery, along side mango and strawberry-based totally yogurts within the pipeline.