Ratnadeep Retail Pvt. Ltd. embarked on its glorious retail journey in 1987 and has now become the most awarded and fastest growing supermarket chain in South India. Over the last three decades, the brand has established itself as an innovative game-changer that has become a household name.
Customer experience has always been at the very core of Ratnadeep, the foundation upon which the brand has been built. Throughout the brand’s journey, its core focus has always been to cater to the needs, wants and whims of its customers by providing a wide range of quality products and unmatchable service. Towards this, Ratnadeep has constantly evolved with its customers, their palates and their choices.
With a rich legacy to fall back on, and which is continually being polished further, a careful mix of measured risks and rapid expansion, Ratnadeep has today grown to become one of India’s largest and the most awarded supermarket chain in the state of Telangana and among the most credentialled regional supermarket chains in India.
In a tête-à-tête with Progressive Grocer Bureau a spokesperson at Ratnadeep Retail talks about the brand reaching the milestone of a 100 stores in a pandemic year,
Ratnadeep recently launched its 100th store in Hyderabad. Tell us about the journey of your brand as it reaches this milestone? How did you plan and executed this in such a short span of time?
To achieve this landmark of 100 stores, all the departments of Ratnadeep worked hand-in-hand, always in-sync. The intent was to identify each other’s concern, remove any blockages in the process while jumping back and forth and in the end, make it happen! With this perfect harmony, and thanks to the selfless, relentless and endless commitment of Team Ratnadeep, this target of 100 stores was achievable!
Tell about your market presence pan India? Which cities are you looking forward to open more stores in in 2021?
Within a short span of time, we covered so many milestones like 25 stores in 2017, 50 Stores in 2019, 75 Stores in September 2020, and 100 stores in December 2020. The vision is to make Ratnadeep Retail a pan India hyper local chain of supermarkets in the coming years.
The company has commenced the new year with aspirations to open more than 50 stores across South India (Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka) with an average size of 3,000 sq.ft. per location.
Having opened our 7th store in Bangalore last year, we have been enjoying great success and appreciation among the Bangalore citizens so far. Keeping this into consideration, we aim to reach out a larger base of audience by reaching a target of 12 stores in Bangalore.
Despite the pandemic and manpower challenges, Ratnadeep has maintained a steady growth and expects to cross a Rs 800 crore year-on-year turnover by the end of FY2020. With a well-structured expansion plan and aggressive strategy, the company plans to achieve a turnover of approx. Rs 1,200 crore by 2021.
Along with our expansion plans in South-India, we’ve been increasing our footprint through our multiple formats stores: Ratnadeep Supermarket, Ratnadeep Express and Ratnadeep Select with a focus on the core values of quality, variety and freshness, across formats.
What is the location strategy for your stores? Which locations do you prefer and what part do they play in your store sales?
All the Ratnadeep stores enjoy a premiere and convenient locational advantage. We are strategically placed at a location wherein it’s easy for a customer to conveniently visit and shop. The size of the store is also optimum, which again ensures that the customer doesn’t get tired while shopping with us. We love to go the extra mile by providing our customers with spacious parking, valet parking and clean surroundings for that perfect shopping experience.
We have transformed countless spaces across Hyderabad and Bengaluru into destinations for families and communities to congregate. With an exceptional track record of making landmarks out of location, we can always be counted upon as a dependable leasing partners when it comes to opening new stores in newer markets. Partnering with Ratnadeep Retail means your space automatically transforms into a crowd-puller for we are experts at:
- Making landmarks out of a location
- Transforming neighborhoods around the store
- Become a preferential space with our customers
- Attract a premium segment of shoppers across all age groups
- Ratnadeep has been a trusted partner to property developers and leasers for 33 year
Ratnadeep has identified multiple tried and tested ways to expand its presence across varied target audiences and markets. These are some of the best locations where our stores are present.
- Hyderabad Metro Rail
- Hyderabad Airport
- Gated Communities
- Illustrious Clubs: Bangalore Club and Secunderabad Club
|Property Acquisition: To be in the right location is a key part of the success of a retail store. The location strategy for Ratnadeep is a very carefully curated plan for obtaining the optimal location for all stores by identifying the following factors:
Keeping all these factors into consideration and multiple level of filtering, the brand was able to freeze 25 best locations out of 150 options. For every upcoming store, the idea is to always identify elements and improvise on them in order to enhance and deliver the wow factor in the form of Ratnadeep Experience.
Share your Omnichannel strategy with us.
Our brand is planning a full-fledged Omnichannel strategy in times to come. Currently, we’re serving our customers through delivery apps like Dunzo and Swiggy. Once we ensure we’re all set to give same Ratnadeep Experience through an Omnichannel platform, we’ll launch it in full throttle and reach yet another milestone in getting closer to our customers.
What is the major customer value proposition of Ratnadeep?
While it is almost always important to keep the value proposition in line with trends in the marketplace, Ratnadeep has always been making substantial upgrades to its business model, because the value proposition and the operating model together are responsible for the success of our entire business model.
We are not just a next-door neighbourhood store that is there to satisfy your daily needs items request. We are something more than that. Were there to provide quality product and delighted customer experience and all our strategies revolve around our loyal customer base.
Ratnadeep Retail’s value proposition includes the following elements:
- Strategically Located & Uniquely Designed: Our locations are strategically located and uniquely designed for a seamless and easy shopping experience.
- Quality Assurance: All our products go through strict quality check before they make it to stores for selling.
- Extended Working Hours: As customers juggle time between office and work, Ratnadeep aims to provide a stress-free and enjoyable shopping experience. The supermarket functions from 7 AM to 11 PM, catering to the needs of early birds, as well as those who prefer to do their shopping after returning from work.
- Delivering Quality: Ratnadeep offers home delivery, providing consumers with the convenience of having products delivered to the comfort of their homes. Their tie ups with Dunzo and Swiggy attract online shoppers, paving the way for our vision to become an Omnichannel retail offering.
- Value To Valued: Coupled with exciting loyalty programmes for customers, weekly special rates, and festive offers, Ratnadeep Supermarket has become the destination for grocery shoppers.
What are the top 3 technologies that you have adopted? Have you adopted new technologies since the lockdown to extend your reach?
- ERP: Manage Business efficiently under single platform including real time inventory, warehousing, logistic, finance will be under single platform.
- Billing Software: Ease the billing process to provide better customer experience with multiple options like better campaigns, quick checkouts, maintaining customer loyalty, and real time access to sales data.
- HHT Device: Automate business processes and perform real time and handsfree mobile transactions. This helps in using less manpower.
What is the range of products that you offer?
The assortment is the biggest USP of Ratnadeep. Each of our stores offer the best quality of groceries and FMCG products from leading national and international brands at affordable prices with a wide range of options in pricing and sizes. From daily essentials like sugar and flour to high-quality products such as fruits and vegetables, our shelves are freshly stocked every day. At Ratnadeep, there is something for everyone in every form!
We serve consumers products from various categories including but not limited to Beverages, Dairy Products, Frozen Foods, Fruits & Vegetables, Groceries, Health & Beauty, Imported Food, Instant Food, Ready to Eat Food, Cleaning & Sanitation.
Keeping COVID in mind, how do you see the last year on parameters of consumer buying (Ops) categories in demand (BnM), supply chain and employee management (HR)?
When the pandemic struck, it became quite imperative for us to first keep our shelves stocked at all times for loyal customers along with adhering to all safety norms set by the government. In terms of stock availability, we faced a couple of challenges like non-availability of skilled workforce, disrupted logistics, depleted stocks level in supply chain, non-operation of manufacturing units and uncertainty around keeping which stores operational, etc,.
Logistics: With logistics totally disrupted, we had to directly pick-up branded material from the supplier end. We preferred to directly pick-up fresh fruits and vegetables to ensure only lush, green and best vegetables make it to our stores in such difficult times. The production cycle of our private label products (mainly staples) had to be increased multi-fold times and production time was extended to the night shift to ensure a continuous supply. In order to ensure consistent availability, our back end facility of grocery packing unit had sharply increased time extended to the night shift as well.
Ops: At the same time, all Ratnadeep stores took extra care in maintaining regular sanitisation of all touchpoints like floors, racks, shelves, shopping baskets and trolleys. We followed all government norms scrupulously and without compromise. To ensure that people maintain social distancing, the stores allowed only a specific number of people to shop at any given point in time, and all customers stood on spots positioned six feet apart. We built safe waiting areas for other consumers.
While dealing with this, we had to ensure our customers were served in the safest way and when an entire eco-system of safely delivering our products was built, we resumed our expansion plans in June 2020. Over the next 6 months, we started working on multiple launch plans in full throttle.
HR: The foremost thing we did is to bring awareness in employees about COVID and various safety measures implemented for their safety. Our team worked with passion and dedication through the pandemic to serve customers. We provided them with masks, gloves and sanitisers and in some cases even food and room to stay. We also recognised their tireless support and rewarded them properly.
BnM: We have seen the customer behaviour pattern undergoing a major change due to the pandemic. And being part of the ‘essentials’ business, it was mandatory for us to respond and adapt to the crisis at the earliest. From witnessing a surge in panic buying and increased basket size at the beginning of the pandemic to observing the purchase of mostly shelf-stable products that help to restrict frequent shopping trips, it was quite evident how people were prepping up to make their quarantined lives safe and comfortable behind closed doors.
Winning the customer’s trust during pandemic, delivering consistent Ratnadeep Experience of Quality, Variety and Freshness across all levels is what enabled Ratnadeep Retail to set a strong foothold in the modern FMCG and Grocery Market.
Through the ongoing COVID-19 challenges, we have learnt a lot and we have been introduced to new ways of thinking and fresh thoughts with some of them being really eye openers. For instance, we have also introduced many new brands during this difficult time. We have received enormous cushioning from new local vendors and vendors from other states. This fact alone has been able to boost our team’s ability and confidence in themselves.
What is your marketing strategy and what steps are you taking to promote the brand?
Our strategy is to come closer to our customers and fulfill their daily requirements with ease. Currently, we have a retail footprint spanning over 4,00,000 square feet across 100 stores operating in Hyderabad, Secunderabad, and Bangalore. We are not just a next-door neighbourhood store, but a store to satisfy all daily needs of customers.
As a food and grocery retailer, all its strategies revolve around its loyal customer base. Customer experience has been the foundation upon which we were built and hence our solutions have constantly evolved with our customers, their palates and their choices. We always ensure that only the finest and freshest products find their way on our shelves, so our customers never have to check what they pick up. We believe that being spoilt for choice is a great thing and that’s why no matter what a customer’s looking to buy, they always have a variety of brands to choose from.
Any noticeable consumption trends over the years?
Grocery retailing in India has been predominantly an unorganized business across the country. Traditionally, Indian consumers purchased food and groceries from nearby kirana / mom-and-pop stores which retained customer loyalty through benefits such as home delivery services, the convenience of being next door, availability of small quantities of goods, interest-free credit, and personalized services.
However, what enabled us to set a strong foothold in the modern FMCG and Grocery Market were influential factors like growing awareness and acceptability, accessible luxury and convenience seeking customers and aspiring lifestyles along with other changes in strong macroeconomic fundamentals and the changing socioeconomic factors.
What are your plans and targets for the future? Going ahead, will you concentrate on growing online or taking your store count up? Any plans to explore any new market?
The chain plans to reach out to a larger base of audience through multiple format stores: Ratnadeep Supermarket, Ratnadeep Express and Ratnadeep Select which will help curate an unmatched customer experience across every touchpoint.
We have started 2021 with the target of opening 50 stores across South India (Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka) with an average size of 3,000 sq. ft. per location. We also recently signed up for a warehouse facility in Vijayawada and look forward to beginning operations in Andhra Pradesh soon. For Bengaluru, we’re are now on track for the second phase of our expansion strategy. The vision is to make Ratnadeep Retail a pan India hyper local chain of supermarkets in the coming years.
- YoY Turnover Growth: Rs.650 Cr. (Financial Year: 2018 – 19)
- YoY Turnover Growth: Rs. 800 Cr. (Financial Year: 2019 – 20)
- Projected YoY Turnover Growth: Rs. 1100-1200 Cr. (Financial Year: 2020 – 21)
What is the next big change that you see in grocery retail in the wake of the pandemic?
With such a noisy, vast and competitive post- COVID world, it was important for every retailer to define how they want to be known as. Without any value-based system, it is not possible for any brand to survive in the toughest and challenging situations. Even though we have tie-up possibilities to make a better reach in the market, in the end, it is the right kind of customer value-mapping which ensures whether a brand becomes a go-to brand for any customer.
The three pillars of Quality, Variety and Savings on which the values of Ratnadeep are based upon, defined, and shaped us in a way, which helped us earn a loyal clientele. But like every other great brand, we also needed investment in planning and strategy to maintain our relevance and vitality in COVID times. It was imperative for us to quickly adapt and evolve with challenging times keeping our customer’s safety and need as the centre of the universe. Right from directly arranging products through our advanced logistics strategy to skilfully handpicking what goes in our shelves by hiring additional manpower during pandemic, we sailed through the COVID times with a newer level of trust and confidence in our customers. Likewise, every other retail brand (irrespective of whether they are essential or non-essential formats) will have to ascertain the new demand and supply pattern and refurbish business or category strategies around it, revamp store operations by adding in extra layers of hygiene for customers and employees, redefine logistics and supply chain strategy by maintaining cost effectiveness at all the levels, create marketing content that instils confidence of safer shopping experience along with upholding the government measure to contain virus. We cannot expect the curve to flatten or COVID to fade away in the near future. However, we can surely agree to reshape our business strategy and operational approach to ensure a safer shopping experience.