When you decide to invest, what are the three reasons that drive the choice of a brand?
Space, specialty and ideas that keep changing ith the growing market become extremely important when we decide to invest in a brand. For instance, in terms of space, we try to understand if the roduct is exciting from a consumer perspective, as millennials form the largest force in the market. If it’s truly interesting and if we think it will see rapid growth as compared to other brands, we pick it up. Also, we look for difference in terms of the idea, product, packaging, and the go-to-market philosophy. It is also helpful when a brand understands the market needs and that becomes the secret sauce.
Presently, four of the 10 brands you have invested in are food and beverage products. What makes the category a preferred choice for investment?
The food and beverage industry is the most exciting industry and it is a very interesting category in terms of variety, choices, fresh produces and healthier choices. Also, opportunities are phenomenally high and innovation is the growth driver in this industry. And the biggest trend in this industry will be that of Indian brands taking on international markets and going global. For example, tea brand Vadham is a good example. With exports to 83 countries, they are going strong.
What is your advice to budding entrepreneurs looking for investments?
First, an overall vision becomes very important. If there is an exciting product, there is no need to rush and chase money and make it a popular product overnight. It takes time to build sustainability and focus on building the longevity of the product. Second, be careful with the money. It can come from anywhere; so make sure you choose the right source and the right amount. Just because there is money, don’t take more than you need and be in over debt. And finally, there will always be challenges when you want to achieve something. Tackle these challenges.
You have spoken about taking Indian brands global. Will you bring international brands to India?
For now, the plan is to focus on taking Indian brands to the global market. Having said that, nobody knows what the future holds and what our investments maybe like. However, since we are early-stage investors, we work closely with the brands from their initial stages and global opportunities for these brands look exciting. We hope to take them forward.
You have announced a plan to invest in 25 brands in the next 15 years. Will you continue to invest in the FMCG?
Our primary choice has always been FMCG and being early-stage investors, our focus will always be on consumer durable brands.
In conversation with Kanwaljit Singh, Managing Partner, Fireside Ventures, who elaborates about his vision of investing in 25 brands in the next 15 years.