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Keventers’ comeback story: From dairy to mega milkshake empire

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– a legacy brand known for its milkshakes – dates back to 1924 when Swedish dairy technologist, Edward , took over the Aligarh dairy, converted it into an eponymous dairy factory in India and turned it into a profitable business.

Keventers' comeback story: From a dairy to a mega milkshake empire
To expand the brand further, Keventers will be spending Rs 10 crore in 2017 and scoping out international markets including Mauritius and Singapore

He eventually went on to establish several units in different parts of the country, including Calcutta, Darjeeling, and Delhi. In 1925, he established a dairy in Delhi’s Chanakyapuri area. When Eward Keventers passed away in 1946, the dairy went to his nephew, Werner Keventers. In 1960, after the death of Werner, the dairy plant was acquired by the Dalmia Group.

In 2015, (Dalmia’s grandson) and his partners and hospitality consultant , decided to revamp and reintroduce the brand, giving it a new look and feel. They opened their first outlet in South Delhi and that marked the emergence of the new Keventers era.

According to CEO & Director, Keventers, Sohrab Sitaram, “We saw the brand had tremendous potential in the sense that there was no competition when it came to milkshakes. The business model itself was extremely scalable and could reach 1,000 outlets in all easily and this really excited us. We did an initial test run and saw that it was loved by everyone. A major reason behind the revamp was that Keventers held an extremely iconic and nostalgic value.”

Keventers, up till then, was a brand known and remembered by Gen-X. The challenge was to establish a brand presence and recall value among the Gen-Y. Due to a lot of Western influences, whether Gen-Y would appreciate the iconic value of Keventers or not was a concern.

The other challenge was getting a hold of the traditional recipe Keventers had. It was a challenge as a lot of the original recipe created had passed away and tracking it down was a task in itself. However, the brand managed to find them ultimately.

Today the brand clocks in an average sale of Rs 1,20,000 per day and targeting to launch 8 to 10 franchises per month.

Business Model

Keventers has 77 outlets in total out of which 6 are company-owned and rest are franchisees. The brand had adopted franchise model as the mode to expand the brand presence across the country and simultaneously create a niche category vis-à- vis milkshakes.

Keventers to open total 300 outlets by February 2018“The brand has also worked to create differentiations on branding, bottling and packaging in keeping with international standards, while keeping attractive pricing offering consumers a great milkshake in their iconic glass bottles,” said Sitaram.

All new outlets by Keventers will be under a master franchise model wherein they have outsourced selling rights to one major market player and given them permission to open up outlets across that specific city.

“We have also sold master franchisees pan India and countries such as Kenya, United States and Nepal. In the coming few months Keventers will see more countries signing up,” revealed Sitaram.

He further added, “We operate a premium Keventers model which costs between Rs 16-30 lakh depending on the size. With a slew of marketing and retail strategies, we are set to establish itself as the favourite milkshake brand of India. Our vision being if anyone thinks of a milkshake in any corner of the world, it has to be Keventers.”

Unique Selling Proposition

The brand has a high nostalgic value and recall value. The hero of the brand is old school classic Keventers bottles. It evolved into being used by the people to do fun things and became a collector’s item in itself. However, the core focus of the brand – milkshake – remained intact.

Keventers to open total 300 outlets by February 2018Sitaram said, “The milk bottle underwent a radical change. The old DMS bottle was made sleeker with cursive flourish and font of the logo along with the term “Since 1925″ printed on it and the tagline ‘The Original Milkshake’ appears at the bottom. Nostalgia, old-school and heritage were the values the brand focused on to build a high recall value in the market, and thus the product design was an important aspect of the marketing strategy.”

On Competition

The company that had the revenue of Rs 4 crore last fiscal year and is expecting to clock Rs 28 crore this fiscal is keeping a vigilant eye on the competition like Amul, Verka and Coca-Cola and taking counter measures.

“We’re a strong Indian brand that has been the best in the business since the very beginning. Also, Keventers positioning is slightly more premium than these brand,” revealed Sitaram.

Keventers has a wide target audience that includes all generations and it targets all parts of the country whether it is Tier I, II or III.

As Keventers has a wide target audience, the pricing ranges from Rs 99 – Rs 200.

Future Plans

Keventers to open total 300 outlets by February 2018Keventers had opened 77 outlets last fiscal year and expects to open a total of 300 outlets by February 2018.

“We are growing exponentially as a brand and we will be opening new outlets across India and several other countries. Majority of the outstation operations will follow the route of franchising. This is mainly to facilitate and take advantage of the local knowledge, business trends, marketing and efficiency in consultation with our local partner who has taken the master franchisee,” revealed Sitaram.

He further added, “The next step in retail segment is to establish our foothold in the international market. We have already opened an outlet in Nepal and finalized a few stores in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania in the African market. Furthermore, we want to get into the distributor ship market via our milk – cow’s milk to be specific followed by the flavoured milkshake business where the milkshakes will also be sold off retail outlets and will have a shelf life of 3 months.”

The brand is also exploring each and every nook and corner of India on national front and internationally Kenya – Nairobi, California state USA, Kathmandu – Nepal, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It is also in talks to open outlets in Maldives, Sri Lanka, Sweden and Scandinavian region along with Singapore.

To expand the brand further, Keventers will be spending Rs 10 crore this year which the company will be securing all through internal accruals.