Managing Director
Gokul Fresh Pvt Ltd
Privilege Clubs (India Retail Forum) (India Food Forum)
Bhavin Shah holds a Masters of Business Administration Degree in Marketing from Victoria University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. He has been especially trained in management in the United States and Australia and has over 14 years experience in managing and implementing various projects in India and abroad.
Prior to his current role as Managing Director at Gokul Fresh Pvt. Ltd, based in Kolkata, Shah was the Operations Director at All Star Metals, a ship dismantling corporation based in Brownsville, Texas, United States. This firm specialises in remediation and dismantling of US Navy and Maritime Administration Vessels.
Before joining All Star Metals, eleven years ago, Shah was working at Victoria Club, in Melbourne, Australia, one of the most premium function Centers in Australia.
Describing himself as a professional who achieves results through focusing on service more than the product, Shah counts among his specialities the ability to build trusting and lasting relationships with all colleagues, customers and vendors. “At Gokul Fresh we believe in taking action and quickly adapting to the dynamic environment. Our strength lies in the understanding of the consumer preferences and keeping up with their changing tastes,” he says.
[“Better products require better handling. Considering the type of premium products we deal in, modern trade is clearly the best channel.]
Gokul Fresh Pvt Ltd is primarily an importer of Premium Fresh Produce, sourced from different corners of the world. The company caters to the growing needs of the market by working closely with hypermarkets, major stand alone retailers, 5-star hotels and premium restaurants. Gokul Fresh is also an exclusive distributor of two exclusive brands in East India: HaagenDazs, one of the world’s most premium luxury Ice cream brands, and Parsi Dairy Farm, the 100-year-old iconic brand from Mumbai renowned for its dairy products.
Speaking about distributing niche food products to modern trade, Shah says, “Better products require better handling. Considering the type of premium products we deal in, modern trade is clearly the best channel. However, we distribute products to traditional formats too, provided they are competent enough to handle and display our products in the required manner,” he adds.
Commenting on the sporadic growth of F&B segment on the online space, Shah feels that e-commerce is great but not yet feasible for perishables. “Even Amazon in the US is trying to crack the perishables delivery model.”
In terms of back-end infrastructure, Gokul Fresh works out of two facilities — a cold storage, and a warehouse (with cold storage systems) cum-office.
In the retail space, Gokul Fresh operates as a concessionaire in Spencer’s hypermarkets at South City Mall and Quest Mall in Kolkata in the imported fresh produce category. Though at a nascent stage, the company envisions to expand its retail network and associate with national retail chains and hypermarkets in the fresh produce category. “We will be in formats such as Godrej Nature’s Basket and Foodhall as soon as they enter east India,” Shah informs.
“I enjoy being in retail because it gives me an opportunity to fulfil the growing needs of Indian consumers,” Shah states, while also admitting that one of the biggest challenges he faces is growing future leaders.
“To achieve full potential, Indian retailers must keep innovating and cultivate patience,” he advises.
By Mehak Sharma