iRahul Gandhi, his CMO, talks about his recent food innovations, his deep-pocketed competitors and his glitches in offline distribution. Also, a primer on the origins of dosa.
Countless moons ago, a war broke out between the five kingdoms of southern India that threatened to tear the cosmos apart. Like all solutions to deadly calamities, the gods have decided to set up a committee.
Vishnu, the chairman of the committee, told the multitude of gods present that the war must be resolved in two days, otherwise it will interrupt Mahadev’s meditation. This is a situation that must be avoided at all costs. Why? Well, because an upset Mahadev would then perform the dance of destruction that could kill the gods. No one except Krishna saw Vishnu’s smile after this terrifying statement.
Ganesh was thinking about having a peace summit, when he felt his stomach growl. This is not good, because if his hunger is not satisfied, Ganesh would take a Ugra roop (fierce avatar) and wreak havoc. Krishna knew that Vishnu had a role to play in Ganesh’s hunger. So he decided to play his part in this leela.
Krishna decided to cook divine round golden pancakes using rice dough from Vishnu’s endless pool of milk (it conveniently became a pool of rice) and the urad dal from his own kitchen. loved Radha. Ganesh uttered a cry of joy after the first bite and declared that whoever eats this dish will give up his dosha and reach a state of nidra. So the pancake was called dosha, Where dose, as it is called now.
Krishna visited the southern kingdoms and gave the pancakes to the citizens, who decided to end the war after the first bite. They begged him for the recipe. Krishna, out of compassion, revealed it, but left out a key point – how to take a ride dose. It’s been thousands of years since he gave the dish to us mere mortals, but even now the art of making a round dose stays and feels like a divine art.
I think iD Fresh Food (or iD as people call it), the food company based in Bengaluru, must have found itself in a similar situation when it introduced a dose maker. Turns out the reasons were more real than the fictional tale I made up out of love for dosas.
“Eight year old couldn’t take a ride dose. It was therefore necessary to teach him… Inspired by this, Abdul Nasser recovered spare metal parts from a nearby store and made a prototype ”, reveals Rahul Gandhi, marketing director of iD.
Nasser and PC Musthafa are the co-founders of iD. Nasser is also the man who made the prototype of the brand medu vada maker.
the dose manufacturer, I am told, includes a tawa, spoon and cover, as seen in the ad.
iD has innovated a lot in recent years. there is the dose and medu vada coffee maker, filter coffee decoction and even the smart sipping coconut. Credit for all of this goes to “the innovation checklist that PC has put together,” Gandhi remarks. “What is different from a product that does not exist on the market? Without USP, we are not moving forward.
Innovation is difficult, especially in India. Is iD Fresh Food doing it alone or does it have partners? “It varies from project to project. Sometimes it’s all in-house. Sometimes we take outside help, ”Gandhi reveals.
He explains that the business is willing to take such risks because the cost of failure is low to the business. “… The failure of a new product for a traditional business would mean blocked inventory at distributors, warehouses, factories, and then it would have to be withdrawn… We are on a zero inventory model. There is nothing in the factory.
Almost all of the company’s offerings are South Indian in nature with the exception of one or two products. It must be a challenge to win the markets of North India then. “It’s important for a brand to stay true to its roots,” notes Gandhi. “Right now they (the North Indians) are consuming it (idli dosa) in restaurants or using powdered batter. Our production is much more superior and economical than these options.
These innovations from iD have prompted bigger and more established brands to enter the market as well. Nescafé introduced a “decoction of liquid coffee at sunrise,” while MTR Foods took pictures of iD in a newspaper ad, claiming idli and dose should have a different paste, not one, that iD sells.
Said Gandhi, “The quality of our products is good. Our supply chain is unique. Consumers have adopted us. So far, our competitors have struggled to register.
If you thought iD has boosted its e-commerce and offline sales due to the competition, think again. We have noticed that iD Fresh Food products are difficult to obtain in stores. Gandhi tells us that they have not developed aggressively, in terms of distribution, during the current fiscal year due to “the tumultuous period in the sales and distribution space”.
“ID is going to grow by 50% this year, with no expansion or distribution, and this is mainly done through better generation of demand,” says Gandhi, adding that whether it is Ahmedabad, Kanpur, Coimbatore or Lucknow, iD has an expansion of store planned for 2022.
“You need a manufacturing site close to the place of consumption, otherwise the whole” fresh “proposition will not hold up. This is why our scale-up was modest, but we found a way, starting with the establishment of a factory in Delhi… ”, concludes Gandhi.