Finding garden fresh fruits and vegetables for a healthy living is testing for any city dweller. But for the numerous loyal customers of Namdhari’s Fresh, it’s as easy as going to any of its 20 outlets in Bangalore and picking up domestic as well as exotic organic food from neatly arranged racks. Point Of Purchase gives you the success story behind this unique retail chain in Bangalore.
Fresh is the offshoot of Namdhari Seeds, one of the largest distributors of vegetable seeds in India. It is also a leading exporter of vegetable and flower seeds to Europe, Japan, U.S.A, Western Asia and South East Asia. After experiencing success in seed distribution they diversified their service to production, distribution and export of fresh vegetables & fruits under the name ‘Namdhari’s Fresh’. Uday Singh, Chairman and Managing Director of Namdhari Group had contributed humongous amount of hard work and patience for the group’s success. Tracing the history of the group he says, “The Namdhari group has a history of 30 years. We had started with seeds production and selling them in the domestic market, our production and packing centre is located in Bidadi Ramnagar Bangalore. Our R&D facility in Bidadi is our back bone as we believe in continuous innovation. We do export seeds and our own vegetables to other countries. We follow the European standards of Good Agriculture practices (GAP) at the production level in every zone.” The idea of Namdhari’s Fresh outlet was first conceived in the year 2002. The first store in Domlur, Indira Nagar has an area 1,500 sq ft. Customers welcomed it with wholeheartedness as the USP of this store was indeed unique, compared to other conventional stores. With the aim of providing international quality and ambience, the group opened more stores in prominent locations of Bangalore such as Koramangala, Sadashivnagar and Whitefield. “Majority of the vegetables and fruits are produced in-house, which ensures optimum freshness and quality. In fact, retailing has enabled us to have direct interaction with both the farmers and our customers,” opines Mr. Singh.
Along with Singh, there is a group of other workaholic and dedicated managers who are taking care of minute details essential for success of the store chain. Riyaz Marol, GM of Namdhari Group is one among them. Asked about the success mantra he shares, “In Bidadi, we have our own farms. Most of the vegetables and fruits are produced by natural farming. Due to the gift of suitable climate, sufficient infrastructure, technology and man power we produce more than thousand tons of fresh vegetables and fruits. Transportation to various outlets of Namdhari’s Fresh has eased due to
the upgradation of Bangalore Airport to International status ensuring the product reaches the destination well in time. Our back-end is very strong and our supply chain very well defined.” Now let’s take a look at some important aspects of the store that have given it its edge:
Store Design Concepts:
Inspired from retail design concepts seen in places like Bangkok, Singapore and Dubai, the Namdhari team has designed the stores using wood as they feel the usage of metal racks and plastic displays is an outdated concept. Usage of wood goes hand in hand with their offerings of natural products, and is considered to be an intelligent concept. This, also gives the store an international ambience and feel that is comparable to a high-end store. The size of Namdhari’s Fresh varies between 2000 sq ft and 3000 sq ft but for the new stores, the team is considering larger formats.
Namdhari’s offers pesticide-free, organic products ensuring maximum freshness. Though initially the store offered only fruits and vegetables, it now offers imported items, exotic vegetables and imported fruits. Nonfood items such as natural personal care items are some recent add-ons to the racks. The store also stocks a good dairy range which includes imported cheese and butter. The Namdhari farm vegetables and fruits are grown under controlled environment using only harmless biopesticides. To the store also goes the credit of using chillers to store sensitive items long before it became a norm.
An USP of Namdhari’s is the salad bar started in the year 2005. This bar offers fresh and healthy salads at reasonable prices. Live preparation counters are now opened in the Indiranagar and Sadashiv Nagar outlets. Here the customers themselves can choose the ingredients that go in to their salad bowls. The organic grocery is also their specialit y. These i nclude wheat, jaggery, rice, tamarind etc which are Namdhari’s own produces.
Any big group faces multiple challenges. According to the Namdhari Group, the greatest challenge for them is to find exact solutions to minor challenges. Adds Uday Singh, “Training and managing manpower is testing as we are particular about our best quality service.”
Any retail chain needs promotions to reinstate its positioning and branding. Namdhari’s promotes itself through fliers, mobile hoardings, SMS blasts etc. Says Riyaz Marol, “We do this usually during the month of May and June when the schools are closed and when people find more time for outdoor shopping. But our best advertisers are our loyal customers. The word of mouth publicity is the best of all.”
Having established its brand in Bangalore, the retail chain now plans to expand the services to other cities and also open more outlets in Bangalore. Meanwhile, for city dwellers longing for a taste of country freshness, Namdhari’s seems to be the perfect destination
Uday Singh Chairman & Managing Director Namdhari Group