Epigamia, start-up in the branded fresh FMCG space, has become popular across a wide consumer demographic owing to its unique and contemporary product offerings. Launched in June 2015, the brand is currently offering 30 SKUs like Greek Yogurt, Artisanal Curd, Snack Pack, Mishti Doi, Smoothies, and Spreads - made with Ghee, Plant-based Coconut Milk Yogurt, and Almond Milk.
Ever since it launched India’s first branded Greek Yogurt, Epigamia has rapidly gained traction with Indian consumers, becoming the snack of choice for India’s ‘Health Conscious Millennials’.
The brand retails across approximately 12,000 touchpoints in 25 towns, including modern trade chains like Reliance Fresh, Godrej Nature’s Basket, Future Group, Foodhall, Big Bazaar, and Hypercity; e-commerce platforms including Big Basket and Amazon; and numerous general trade retailers.
Impact of Pandemic
The consumer has always been at the heart of the brand and since a lot of them reached out to them to get the supply chain going even during the pandemic, so the brand worked overnight to set up a direct-to-consumer platform.
“Our consumers can now order online and we will have it delivered to their doorstep,” says Rohan Mirchandani, CEO & Co-founder, Epigamia.
“We realized that despite the restrictions imposed on the movement of people and goods, we had to resume our supply chain to ensure the availability of food in the retail stores. We re-engineered our operations and resource management to ensure that the workplace, be it our factories or depots, were safe spaces for our team to work in. We executed remote ordering, multi-shifts, social distancing norms, safe hygiene habits, and more such steps to ensure our teams were well taken care of while they resumed supply lines. We worked closely with the state authorities to gain the requisite permissions to run our supply infrastructure to service the stores,” he adds.
Unlike any other brand, Epigamia’s business too was severely impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown but emerged stronger by implementing certain far-reaching changes and being attuned to the needs of the customers.
“In our case, the majority of our distribution channels such as retail chains, kirana stores, HORECA, and more were hampered. But it also doubled our e-commerce sales and we witnessed 25 percent revenue coming from our online channels. This has helped us in having a direct line of communication with our consumers. This adoption has helped us track the effectiveness of our digital campaigns so much better than before. We are now able to stop quickly what’s not working and dial up the things that are and it has made it possible to sell our full range of products to consumers more effectively,” he states.
Betting Big on Technology
Pandemic has changed the way everyone does business. Epigamia’s D2C platform is at the forefront of their business strategy going forward, especially for the new product launches.
“We are communicating directly with our customers now, and that gives us real-time data to tweak our strategy. We plan to use the digital channel as a testing platform for our products in the new cities, and then push through general trade when we have an idea of the demand in these towns and cities. This will also help us in convincing the kirana store owners, who are known to be reluctant about stocking new categories, as we will have data about products that are in demand in these towns.,” Mirchandani shares.
Expanding to Tier II Cities & Beyond
The, brand that is focusing equally on online as well as offline channels, bulk of their current business is from Tier-I cities.
“We have expanded to 30 cities in the past year, but this reach is minuscule for an FMCG business. It is difficult to predict demand in these towns; besides, there could be a skew towards certain products. Therefore, we are going to test these markets and then gradually scale up. The aim is to reach at least 40-50 tier-II cities by end of this year, so we still have a very long way to go,” he explains
Expanding Product Portfolio
The pandemic has led people to include immunity-boosting foods in their diet. Consumers are always on the lookout for foods that can help to improve immunity and fight off disease.
“With health at the forefront of the conversation for the foreseeable future, foods that enhance immunity and keep us healthy rule the day. We decided to capitalize on this opportunity and recently launched Epigamia Probiotic Yogurt, packed with 100 million live and active probiotics. In addition to this, we’re working on a range of flavours in our spreads portfolio and Coconut Milk-based beverages as well,” he states
The future of the brand will be driven by newer disruptive products, some of which the entire world has not seen and some of which will be for the first time in India.
“Additionally, we intend to take the brand all throughout the country and expand distribution to over 100 cities within India. And finally, we will explore exports to adjacent markets like Southeast Asia and the Middle East,” he concludes.