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"We Are Keen To Expand Our Format In Delhi": Raka Chakrawarti

In an exclusive conversation with Raka Chakrawarti, Founder & CEO of Gourmetdelight.in sheds light on the growth strategy of the brand.

Tags: Gourmetdelight.in, organic, 24 Mantra, whole food

BY Shipra Srivastava  |  March 22, 2018  |  comments ( 0 )  | 

Raka Chakrawarti

How do you see the market of organic food retailing is growing in India? Kindly,  also shed light on the journey of Gourmetdelight.in?

There is sudden increase in the chemicals and fertilizers that have forced people to opt for organic food in India. Most importantly the awareness and side effects of consuming food with pesticides is well documented.  Interestingly India and China were the first to pioneer organic farming, however with time and the requirement to produce larger quantum of food, increased distances to travel have made the shift to produce which is being grown in large scale etc. The awareness of natural farming is emerging and will continue as more and more consumers make the shift and change the demand pattern. The organic market has seen aincrease with big players such as Organic India and 24 Mantra in last few years since more people are opting for healthy produce. Gourmet Delight is trying to build awareness of where the produce comes from and the shift to eating healthy. Which is not boring at all.

As an entrepreneur, I am used to the fact that things will not work out as per plan, the challenge is to build something sustainable out of nothing. A brand which resonates with people and fulfills a gap in the market. My inspiration has been Whole Foods – a one of a kind idea which changed how the consumer perceives a product in the super market shelf. The awareness to eat local and seasonal. And the desire to leave behind a light carbon footprint. 

I used to work with Taj as the Director of Public Relations  and have spent around ten years at Indian hotels. I quit that job  2013, at that time there was not much happening in the organic sector but this whole idea of having “pure” range of food excited me. This whole self realization about the good consumption of food and the need of natural products made me start Gourmet Delight!

Kindly shed light on your current distribution? Going forward, what would the strategies to scale –up the distribution? Do you also have your exclusive store?

Currently we are present in Mumbai and we serve in all locations from our warehouse in Chembur. Going forward we will be creating dark stores in pockets where we have increased demand, giving the customer the convenience of picking up his products any time he wishes. We believe that Mumbai is a great market for us. We are also in talks to expand to Delhi and Bangalore.

According to you, what are the challenges as far as organic product retailing is concerned? 

Awareness primarily, the produce is fragile and spoils easily, making it difficult to store it, we have established a supply chain back to back where we are able to send fresh produce daily.  Though we keep talking about the advantages or benefits of having and eating organic food but all the aspects in life do have some or the other consequences as well. In terms of organic farming or retailing in India there are challenges faced in this sector too. Major challenges that we face on the ground level is that farming organically on an industrial scale is little difficult, profitability is also low because in organic sector the price of the food is still are low, and the land on which  the farmers grow the vegetables is highly expensive. 

Kindly shed light on the retailed categories? Also, going forward what are the plans as far as category expansion is concerned? 

 The retailed categories are Accompaniments – which include Jams, Jellies, Curry sauces, spices, sauces, baked products, Fish and Meat, Seafood, Organic Pulses Grains and Cereals, Organic Fruits and Vegetables, Soilfree Exotic Vegetables, Eggs, Cheese, Organic Oils, Dairy Products, Superfoods, Rice, Super grains and Pasta.

Who do you see as your potential competition within the same space?

As a retailer I welcome competition because it makes us believe that there is demand for that category. Since we are only present online and do not operate in stores yet, our customers shop in a variety of formats. They compare us most to Natures Basket however we are still small and our focus is more on Indian Organic Brands while they are a Gourmet World Foods Store.

How do you ensure last mile delivery?  What are the main challenges related to home delivery?

We have our own team of bikers for last mile, who are trained by us. We use a back end system to track our orders called Loginext which is fully integrated with our platform. It enables us to plan and deliver our orders smoothly.                           

At last, kindly mention your growth plans?

Our growth plans this year is to open more dark stores in Mumbai, next year we are looking at taking our format to Delhi.

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