Si­taram, Co-founder & CEO, Keven­ters

VMRD - - Contents - Satarupa Chakraborty

Re­bound­ing af­ter a long hia­tus of 55 years, milk shake Quick Ser­vice Restau­rant (QSR) ma­jor is shak­ing up its ex­pan­sion game ag­gres­sively with 270 out­lets in In­dia along with Nepal and the UAE. Look­ing at the con­tem­po­rary im­age of this QSR, it’s hard to be­lieve that the brand was orig­i­nally founded way back in 1895! VM&RD, in an ex­clu­sive chat with Sohrab Si­taram, Co-founder and CEO, Keven­ters, finds out more about the brand’s ex­pan­sion plans. Ex­cepts.

It would be interesting to know the his­tory of the brand, which was es­tab­lished in 1895.

Ed­ward Keven­ters, a Bri­tish cit­i­zen, founded the brand in In­dia with the idea of bring­ing dairy tech­nol­ogy to In­dia by set­ting up the first plant in Ali­garh. Much later, in 1940s, the af­flu­ent Dalmia fam­ily brought the brand and went on to ac­quire the largest con­sumer chain as well as a broad net­work of about 130 dis­trib­u­tors for the next 20 years. In 1960, their ma­jor plant shut down, giv­ing way to the clo­sure of the brand. How­ever, for the next 55 years, the fran­chisees clung on to the brand name and many of them con­tin­ued to do busi­ness, while in re­al­ity, none of them was part of the brand. The trade­mark re­mained with the Dalmia fam­ily and I went on­board to start Keven­ters once again only re­cently, in 2015.

How did you per­ceive your re­tail ex­pan­sion then and how has it evolved over the years?

We started with a sin­gle out­let in Delhi’s pop­u­lar mall Select Ci­ty­walk and we achieved ex­po­nen­tial growth in terms of popularity and busi­ness. Since val­u­a­tion was the key to wealth cre­ation, ag­gres­sive ex­pan­sion was our prin­ci­pal mis­sion. In the next year, we de­cided to grow our store net­work through a com­bi­na­tion of Com­pany-owned (CoCo), fran­chisee and Joint Ven­ture (JV) modes. Amongst all these chan­nels, fran­chisee doesn’t re­ally give us high turnover and we use JV mainly for big mar­kets out­side Delhi. To­day, we have about 270 out­lets across 40 cities in In­dia along with the UAE and Nepal.

What are your growth plans? Which mar­kets are you tar­get­ing?

We are look­ing at 1000 out­lets within next 3 years. As for chan­nels, the vi­sion is to have 35% CoCo out­lets, 10% JV and rest fran­chisee roll­out. We are soon en­ter­ing over­seas trop­i­cal mar­kets such as Kenya. We will be on the look­out for other trop­i­cal lo­ca­tions across South­east Asia be­fore we eye a mar­ket like the USA. It re­quires pro­found un­der­stand­ing and re­search and hence is part of our longterm goal.

Are you look­ing at in­no­vat­ing your store for­mats?

Cur­rently, most of our out­lets are lo­cated in malls. We will soon be look­ing at out­lets in SIS for­mats or set­ting up POS in places like in­sti­tutes, cor­po­rate parks and oth­ers. We are also work­ing on even smaller out­let spa­ces on carts.

Do you have plans to em­bark on FMCG or other cat­e­gories?

We have al­ready started our app-based milk de­liv­ery busi­ness. We are cur­rently work­ing on ice-cream seg­ment with a dif­fer­ent brand name, which will hit both FMCG and QSR spa­ces.

Si­taram, Co-founder & CEO, Keven­ters

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