Gits Foods banks on new products and business strategies to drive growth
Instant mix and convenience food maker Gits Food is eyeing a double-digit revenue growth in the next financial year (FY20) largely driven by new product launches and business strategies implemented in FY19, said Sahil Gilani, Director, Sales and Marketing, Gits Food in an interview to Moneycontrol.
Refraining from revealing the current revenue numbers, Gilani said, "There are a lot of exciting new products as well as business strategies being implemented this year. Hence we are certain that our growth rates will only get better each year on."
Gilani started his career as a sales intern who walked the streets with the company’s salesmen before taking a seat at the company’s head office.
The first project he took on when he joined the company in 2007 was to launch a completely new product line for the Indian market. For nearly four decades the company operated in just the Ready-to-Cook (RTC) category, he spearheaded Gits into the Ready-to-Eat (RTE) category.
Currently, the RTE and RTC market in India is worth Rs 1,000 – 1,200 crore growing at 10-15 percent year-on-year. Pioneer in the RTC-RTE space in the country, Gits Food enjoys a market share of 25 percent in these segments currently.
The well-established players in the RTC market are MTR Foods, Gits, Kohinoor, McCain Foods (India), Nestle (Maggi), and ITC India. Gilani believes they are barely scratching the surface yet with rapid urbanisation, busier lifestyles, and diminishing culinary skills, however, the demand for convenience foods have a bright future.
"The industry needs to come together and increase consumer awareness about the category, and break the myths associated to catapult this growth," he said.
Gits Food has a pan-India presence with over 1,000 distributors across the country with a diverse product portfolio, divided into categories such as instant mixes (breakfast, snacks and dessert mixes), ready meals, dairy. All these are available for sale in India as well as abroad. However, the west is their strongest market.
"Our consumers are not just Indians and NRIs but also foreigners. Since we export to over 40 countries, we are selling our ready meals such as dal makhani, biryani and pav bhaji in international chain stores like Walmart, Costcos, Woolworths, and some more," Gilani said.
When asked about the revenues from both online and offline retail Gilani said, "Online retail is still a new concept. Three years back, we started our own e-store, while we are also available on Flipkart, Amazon and Big Basket."
Amazon and Big Basket are the two major online drivers for the company and the revenue from online is less than 5 percent at present. He expects online sales to touch double-digit in the coming years.HEALTHY PRODUCT PORTFOLIO
With the consumers’ growing needs and requirements for healthy products, the company extended to breakfast mix portfolio to include superfood mixes like brown rice and flax seeds idli mix, oats idli mix, ragi dosai mix, brown rice and flax seeds dhokla mix and brown rice dosai mix.
Further, he said that with the growing trend of the organic and vegan products, Gits Food launched an organic and vegan version of ready meals abroad.
Given the increasing demand for super-healthy products, Gilani said that ragi, oats and brown rice range were well received by the consumers.
"These are niche products are not launched with a motive to gain very high volumes as they primarily sell in A-class outlets, modern trade, and e-commerce. It helps us cater to new-age customers and introduce them to the brand and category," he said.DAIRY BUSINESS
The company that forayed into dairy business last year has two segments in the dairy category – fresh and long shelf life dairy products. Products like ghee, dairy whiteners are sold nationally as they have a longer shelf life.
Fresh products such as milk, curd, and buttermilk are sold regionally in the west mainly in Mumbai and Pune markets. For the fresh category, the company plans to remain regional and expand deeper in the west.
"There is no plan to go national with fresh dairy products due to their low shelf life. For products such as ghee and dairy whitener we have launched bulk 10 and 15 kg packs to boost volumes in institutional sales, this has enabled us to grow better over the past year with these products," he said.NEW PRODUCTS
Gits Foods has launched a lot of new products and even entered new categories over the past year or two.
According to Gilani, over the coming years, the lines between the RTC and RTE category will become more blur in their offerings.
He said, "We will focus on the millennials who are looking more convenient options. Hence our new launches will be focused on requiring a lot less time and effort. Albeit, keeping the quality, taste, and safety intact. We continue to stand for natural products."PROMOTION, MARKETINGSpeaking of promoting their products or marketing strategy, the company has deployed a diverse media mix including traditional and modern tools.
TV continues to dominate the company's budget as they advertise on TV channels in India as well as abroad. However, in recent times one of the key strategies for the company is enhancing its digital presence.Gits Food has also started an e-store on their website around three years ago, wherein customers can have products delivered directly from the factory to their homes.