Tech startups are more inclined to take on more brands, which is ideal for a food startup: Rahul Kakkad

Rahul Kakkad, Owner, Poshn in an interaction with Nuffoods Spectrum talks about the food start-up ecosystem in India

Please share a brief write up of your startup highlighting the latest achievements and future plans

Poshn is a brand of functional juices, wherein we add fruits with herbs to give either energy or relaxation. These juice are all natural, have no added sugar and are very low on calories. Currently we are available in most premium retail outlets across Mumbai and we have an online presence PAN India. Recently we were awarded the prestigious Coca Cola Golden Spoon award for the Most Admired Startup of the Year at the India Foods Forum. Going forward, we are planning to maintain our focus on our current channels which is online and retail.

In retail we are entering airports and hotels. While with Online we are really working hard and developing our online subscription model.

What are your thoughts on how technology is disrupting the F&B ecosystem in India?

I think technology is really disrupting the F&B ecosystem. Currently our major sales are coming from our online channels as well as our own e-commerce platform. We also offer a subscription service (per week and per month) and that for us is where we would like to focus. This for us has two very major advantages. The first being the margins. We can make more money selling directly to our customers, which allows us to do more personalization as well as better discounts for our customers.

Secondly, we can also track our customers directly, and try to lure them back by offering them unique offers. This also allows us to study our target audience. This in general is much better than retail since we have no idea about our target audience and have to deal with the worst terms & conditions especially offered to start-ups.

Do you foresee a trend where startups and companies in the food sector will collaborate with each other?

Yes absolutely! Currently it costs a lot of money to enter any premium modern trade store. And it costs even more money to get the right kind of visibility in a crowded market space. Whereas for us to list anything online, it costs nothing. Tech startups are more inclined to take on more brands, which is ideal for a food startup. We in fact love to work with startups!

What are the key challenges being faced by food-tech startups in India?

There are presently various challenges that any food startups have to face. Firstly, with expiry of different products, and secondly with the logistical feasibility. Apart from that, competing with the giants in the ecommerce game again always results in cash burn start to get customers. I personally believe that over time, food-tech will have to work hand in hand with the on ground retail outlets, to ensure a smooth and clean success rate!