Prasoon Gupta, co-founder Saatviko, leads two businesses – one a chain of restaurants and another a packaged foods business – under the theme of Ayurveda; His strategy is to go slow on the former and explore rapid growth in the latter.
Sattviko, which started in 2014 with its restaurants providing satvik food based on Ayurvedic principles, has also introduced packaged foods to revive some of the Indian snacks that are healthy but forgotten. The company, which grew by 90 per cent last year, distributes these packaged products through institutional sales as well retail outlets in 1000 touch points along the Delhi and NCR region.
It has also become part of the Amazon Launchpad initiative, aimed at giving interesting startups a level playing field to reach their products to a larger audience. With this, the company is also planning to expand its reach to UK and Middle East markets where Indian food is already popular. It is also speaking to local distributors there to be able to sell through traditional channels.
While restaurants business is a slow business, packaged foods is a fast growing business. The company expects to balance the two and has recruited former entrepreneurs to manage its different lines independently, with centralized management in the hands of six core team members.
The IIT Route
Meanwhile, Sattviko runs three restaurants – one in Gandhinagar Gujarat, a fine dining restaurant in Jaipur and an Idea Café in IIT Roorkee. Working with the IIT Council, the Idea Cafes will come up in other IITs too, the next one being New Delhi, providing the students with space to innovate and ideate. “Restaurant business is a slow business, with each one needing complete focus to make it a success,” explains Prasoon Gupta, Founder and Director of Sattviko. Packaged foods, on the contrary, is a fast growing business. And so, the company expects to balance the two and has recruited former entrepreneurs to manage its different lines independently, with centralized management in the hands of six core team members. The company has an employee strength of 100.
Some of the products in the packaged food category include the traditional makhana, a lotus seed based product rich in calcium, in multiple flavours; paan raisins, khakra chips to replace the not very healthy potato chips; and gurchana, an iron-rich snack.
The company has received pre-Series A funding (undisclosed amount) in a round led by founder of Qatrro, Raman Roy, and included G Ravishankar (Ex CEO, Jet Airways), Rajat Jain (Director, Bennet Coleman), Yogesh Andlay (Co-Founder, Nucleus Software Exports Ltd. ) and Sumit Jain (CoFounder, CommonFloor). The company will look for more funds soon to fuel its aggressive growth plans, to achieve its goal of being counted amongst the top three food brands in the country.
Product Development: A focus on traditional foods in the restaurant as well as packaged snacks with modern flavours to appeal to the young.
Marketing Approach: Go slow with the restaurant business, opening one outlet at a time; go fast with the packaged snacks, reaching out to new markets to expand reach.
Corporate Approach: To remain an aggressive brand and be considered among the top 3 in food brands shortly