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INTERVIEW

"We are present in 210 towns with 37 SKUs in retail"
Monday, 05 February, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Founded in 2013, Veeba Food Services is a condiments and sauces company, manufacturing widest range of authentic, international flavours of sauces, dips and dressings. It is one of the largest players in the B2B sauce & condiment space catering to Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, KFC, Pizza Hut and Domino’s. The company has recently ventured into the B2C space. The products are made available through pan-India distribution network reaching both general trade and modern trade shops. The company focusses to procure the finest and most authentic ingredients from across the globe and then manufactured in a world class ISO 22000 certified manufacturing facility. It offers consumers the freshest and the most authentic flavours. Viraj Bahl, founder and managing director, Veeba, in an email interaction talks about the company’s transition from business to consumer retail segment, its vast distribution channel, and coping with fluctuating raw material prices, with Harcha Bhaskar. Excerpts:

In B2B segment, which are the companies you supply your products to?
B2B is a significant contributor to the business. We are the leading supplier of sauces to Domino’s, Pizza Hut, KFC, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Cafe Coffee Day.
 
Tell us about your transition from business to consumer-oriented market.
We decided to enter the B2C segment in 2016 as the volume of sale in B2B has spun good turnover in the past years. We have a customer base including global brands in quick service restaurants (QSR) and coffee chains such as KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Taco Bell and Starbucks. Veeba is growing its footprint in B2C segment and is present in 210 towns pan-India with 37 SKUs in retail and 100 plus in B2B.

What are your plans at retail level? What is your marketing strategy? Are you tapping new markets for distribution?
Veeba plans to strengthen the company’s position in the institutional segment and build out distribution and product portfolio for retail and HoReCa (Hotel, Restaurant and Catering) segment. Innovation has been key to Veeba’s success in this very short journey and we try to give our consumers something new every season.

We constantly innovate with products and ensure to deliver ‘healthier’ and ‘better for you’ products to consumers and to keep in sync with their changing lifestyles and needs. As such, Veeba’s wide range of sauces, dips and dressings have all been conceptualised so as to offer products that are highly appealing for the new-age Indian consumer.  

What are the trends noticed by you in sauces and condiments industry?
Consumers in India are seeking variety, innovative products, similar to global trend. There is preference for healthier products.
We have also been cognisant of the fact that the modern consumer is well-travelled and much more aware of international trends and tastes, so we have introduced products such as Chipotle style dressing, Harissa dressing and Sriracha sauce bringing authentic flavours from across the world into our homes.

Tomato sauce vs other sauces, which one is more in demand and why?
The Indian consumers have evolved and become more discerning. Modern consumers are exposed to international trends and they are willing to experiment and move beyond tomato sauces. Our philosophy has always been to listen very closely to the customer and to keep in sync with their changing lifestyles and needs. As such, Veeba’s wide range of sauces, dips and dressings have all been conceptualised to offer products that are highly appealing for the new-age Indian consumer.   

Do you have any plans in co-branding? What are your plans for the company in regards to expansion, merger/ acquisitions?
Currently we have no plans of co-branding. We have recently raised funds which will be used for more distribution push, across the country, for our retail business. Within two years of starting our retail business we have been able to establish a national footprint and today we are present not just in the metro cities, but also in tier II cities across regions.

The brand has been associated with various international global giants. How has this helped the business and positioning?
From early on Veeba has been associated with various global giants like Burger King, KFC, Taco Bell etc. that has given the brand a leadership position in the specialty food ingredients sector. Our association with some of the top international players has helped us get an edge in the HoReCa market. Over the last three years, we have worked in partnership with our key clients to build and operate an innovation-centric product development process that ensures we meet all our clients’ needs.
 
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