In 2016, Narendra Kumar Pasuparthy launched Nandus with the vision to make it India’s fastest growing and largest omnichannel meat brand. Over the past five years, it has worked hard to that make that vision a reality. Today, Nandus is India’s largest hyperlocal and omnichannel meat brand. “Not only do we have a presence online, but we also have retail stores, customer care centers through which orders can be placed, and a presence in online marketplaces such as Swiggy and Dunzo,” said Narendra Kumar Pasuparthy, Chief Farmer, CEO & Co-Founder, Nandus.
At Nandus, almost 45 percent of its sales come from the online segment and 55 percent comes from its walk-in retail outlets. To break this up further, roughly 35 percent comes from marketplaces like Swiggy, Dunzo, Zepto, Blinkit, etc., and about 10-15 percent from its e-commerce platform.
The brand has fully integrated farm-to-fork operations, wherein it owns and operates the entire supply chain – right from the feed mill, breeding farm, hatcheries, and broiler farms to hygienic processing centers, food factory, and retail.
“In terms of sales, we have witnessed more than two-fold growth in retail. We saw a significant surge in customers opting to shop for meat from trusted brands who could guarantee them fresh, safe, and healthy meat,” he further added.
Cost-Efficient Business Model
In this category, Nandus’ advantage is its unique business model that it has mastered to be a cost-efficient one compared to typical retail. It requires less space and less manpower to run a retail outlet. Over the last 5 years, the brand has experimented with many models and understood the cost structure to be profitable. Online or offline, irrespective of the nature of the channel to the end consumer, to be able to reach and service a vast audience it needs to be in every neighborhood in the cities that it is currently present.
Having complete control over the product and retail supply chain, the brand has an upper hand starting from rearing the chicken to delivering it to consumers’ homes. Unlike a lot of players in this segment, it doesn’t blindly want to foray into every city and thereby causing a cash crunch.
“As per data, 62 percent of the meat-eating population is based in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra, Kerala, and Maharashtra. Hence, we aim to cater to these few states and increase our footprint rationally rather than burning our cash and trying to survive in a market that may not have much potential,” explained Pasuparthy.
At present, the brand has around 6 categories under which there are close to 65 SKUs. So chicken, mutton, seafood/fish, RTE/RTC, eggs, and pet food are its major categories.
Nandus is looking at expanding its value-added product category which is ready-to-cook, ready-to-eat, cold cuts, and marinates. “Additionally, eggs are another category we are focusing on. Currently, it is only available through our channels but going forward given the demand for our eggs, we are planning to expand our egg sales through modern and general trade,” stated Pasuparthy.
He further added, “We deliver close to 10-13k orders in a day, and the average ticket size is around Rs 500.”
The only way to cater to changing customer preferences and shifting market dynamics is to embrace technology disruption. Nandus looks at technology as the catalyst that has helped it, as poultry farmers, to take its produce directly to the end consumer. Technology adoption has been its biggest facilitator in transforming from a B2B business to a B2C and ultimately a D2C business. “It gave us the confidence to operate retail stores across Bengaluru as well as venture into e-commerce. Today, everything we do is seamlessly integrated into an organized system because of our robust IT ecosystem,” asserted Pasuparthy.
Nandus' state-of-the-art technology stack comprises two main elements - an operational Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) across the enterprise to ensure 100 percent traceability and transparency and its point of sale system, developed in-house, to capture retail operations data at the stores and on the e-commerce platform.
It is also the first-ever meat retail brand in India to invest in a Mystery Audit System (MAS), which is a tech-based evaluation system to assess and monitor the quality of services provided from the point of view of the customer.
“We also have customer relationship management (CRM) tools to help customize our offerings to enhance customer experience. In fact, with AI and machine learning, we are now able to predict the exact demand from each operating city and individuals stores so that there is no excess supply leading to wastage,” he further explained.
Focus on Content Marketing
Nandus has invested a lot in content marketing and in customer lifecycle management to ensure that it promotes the consumption of healthy and safe meat. It positioned itself as a true farm-to-fork meat brand and it has been very keen on creating more dialogues and stories around the benefits of healthy eating. “To further highlight this, we partnered with Bengaluru Bulls, a Pro-Kabbadi team which is one of the leading teams in the Pro Kabbadi League, and Mangalore Sharks, in the Pro-badminton league to promote sports activities and encourage healthy eating,” he explained.
Nandus' marketing strategy has been clear and simple from day one. Rather than merely promoting its products or facilitating business transactions, its marketing efforts strive to build trust and empathic communication with its consumers.
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Meat is one category that is expected to grow 8-10 percent per annum and this gives the brand a huge scope when foraying into newer markets and no one player can suffice the demands. In fact, with the presence of more players, Pasuparthy said that we can bring about a structure in this unorganized industry. “Also, we are a self-funded organization, but now we are open for external funding and conversations are underway,” he said.
At present, the brand aims to cater to all the major meat-eating markets in India, which is primarily in Southern India and Maharashtra. Given that it already has access to these markets, it will make sure that the expansion planned is in line with its funds.
“We are closing FY22-23 at around Rs 120 crore with operational profitability, and in the coming fiscal we’re looking at growing by 50 percent while achieving profitability,” he concluded.