Ice-cream is typically regarded as a seasonal product, with demand peaking during the summer months. Winter witnesses a sharp decline in consumption and resultant dip in sales and profits. However, with the marketplace teeming with a host of innovative frozen variants, which consumers are enjoying even in the cold months, there is a surge in winter sales.
Increasing urbanisation, rising incomes, consumer awareness, improved cold supply chain, growing deep freezer penetration, and growth of modern format retail facilities are giving a fillip to the country’s frozen desserts business, which is highly capital intensive.
Making the most of the prevalent market situations, Papacream entered the ice-cream market in 2015.
The brand was operationally profitable from day one and all further expansion has been funded through internal accruals. Starting with revenue of Rs 1.2 crore in first year, the revenue has almost quadrupled to Rs 4.5 crore in second year.
In an interview with Indiaretailing, Owner, Papacream, Tanvi Chowdhri revealed the future expansion strategy of the brand and a lot more.
Elaborate on your retail journey.
Starting with one store in Mumbai in 2015, we have grown to five in number. Our stores are located pan India. Catering to a mixed age group, we offer a unique menu of mouth watering desserts that are ice cream centric.
Elaborate on your retail presence.
We have three stores in Mumbai, one in Jaipur and one in Surat. Vizag and Bangalore in the pipeline.
What are your future/ expansion plans? Which are the cities where you are eyeing expansion?
We are aggressively eyeing Tier II cities. We want to have a footprint in every city in the country.
How much are you planning to spend to aid the expansion plans?
We are constantly spending to invest in research and development. We are hiring professionals and building a team researching on product, machinery and operational advancements. We are also investing in building systems and moving from manual to automated ways of control and building through advanced ERP softwares.
Any plans to raise funds?
As far as raising funds is concerned, we don’t have an immediate plan on the same. So far we have grown through the franchising route and investments at the backend have been done through internal accruals.
Any plans to touch international waters?
We are in process to enter international market. Currently, we are looking at exploring the potential in the Middle East.
Elaborate on your product range.
We have a range of products on our menu to cater to all taste buds. Our menu includes sorbets, ice creams- Classic, Premium, Signature; waffles – Savory and Sweet; and milkshakes. Additionally, we also offer a wide variety of beverages such as iced teas, hot chocolate and hot and cold coffees.
Any plans to foray into any new category?
We are always inventing and in fact innovation is our USP. We just launched savory waffles – a category quite different from our earlier innovations.
What are your revenue and sales targets for the current fiscal?
We are aiming for Rs 5 crore turnover this year which will be supported by our aggressive pan India expansion.
How do you see competition in the ice-cream industry in India?
Gourmet ice-cream is a very niche sector in India. Ice-cream in the eyes of the masses has been a very affordable delicacy with players like Amul having advantage of economies of scale and selling cups starting at a price of Rs 10.
In the recent times, innovation with ice-cream is starting to be accepted by the upper strata of the pyramid and it’s a great time to catch the wave as it moves upward. A lot more education is still necessary in terms of imported ingredients and pricing differences due to higher quality ingredients and an overall dessert experience.
The larger giants due to their pricing advantage still continue to pose tough competition due to the mindset of the masses and still hold a majority of the market share. However this has started to change with more gourmet players joining the bandwagon and the next 10 years look very bullish for us.