iGrow Interviews: GCL to enter consumer homes through kids

We had shared with our readers earlier that Gopal Group has forayed into the sunshine FMCG industry. Now as we interact with Shri Gopal Gupta, Chairman, GCL & Apoorv Gupta, Director, GCL, we gain insight into what they plan ahead.

iGrow: From tobaccoo to FMCG. A tricky choice indeed. How did you plan enter the territory?

Apoorv: When I joined the business I wanted to do something more than tobacco. I  studied a two year specialised course in Italy, post  which I came back and started working towards innovative products in the food industry.

Interestingly, though the market is full of international brands, we aimed at bringing in chip based products which were very Indian and driven by market research for their acceptance.

iGrow: So if we ask you to share the USP of your brand Tat-O and Crispettes?

Apoorv: With these two brands, we aim to reach both the kids segment and also the youth or adult segment. While Tat-O which is placed well with kids both through taste and also the licensing of Chhota Bheem, Crispettes are completely aimed at more health conscious and aware adult audience.

The key for us was to develop flavours that were very Indian and well accepted through research before we launched them. Moreover, while most of the chip brands enter market through youth, we aim to reach homes through kids. They surely are the influencers now.

iGrow: How are you promoting the brand among consumers?

Apoorv: Like I mentioned, for us, our key is kids, so we have been doing and will associate ourselves with various school programmes and competition. We have been giving away the products to participants which has helped us grow the repeat purchases and word of mouth. Moreover, we are marketing through our dealers with cutouts, shelves, baskets and others.

On a larger level, we are running Chhota Bheem advertisement at kids centric channels.

iGrow: So do you plan to expand the product category?

Apoorv: We will, going forward, move to namkeens, confectionery including chewing gums and hardboiled candies. We are still working on the packaging of the same and developments will happen by end of this year. But currently our focus lies on promoting our first range of products.

iGrow: Share your retail journey so far and plans ahead?

Apoorv: We have covered nearly 6,50,000 retail outlets presently. While a large number is based in UP, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, the rest is present across India. Right now, our concentration lies on North as we have our plant in Himachal Pradesh. But going further as well plan to expand our reach to South and West, we will be coming up with capacities in the said regions as well. Talking about capacity, we are doing about 1,800 kg/hour and plan to come up with a capacity in UP and in Maharashtra. The two plants will be operational by end of 2014, helping us reach pan-India.

Moreover, we will be moving to modern trade as well, which will include Godrej Nature’s Basket, in talks with Auchan, 24×7 and Hypercity. The tie up will be depending completely on the product placement.

iGrow: What investments have been made in the business and what numbers are you looking at?

Apoorv: We aim to capture atleast two per cent of the market in next three years and this will be done with capacity expansion and retail expansion. We have invested Rs 50 crore in plants and by 2014-end will be reaching Rs 150 crore.

We plan to break even in next five years, as investments are still happening and growth is on going.

Mr. Apoorv Gupta, Director, GCL 3Mr. Shri Gopal Gupta, Chairman, GCL with the products

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