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Mad Over Donuts to Roll Out Outlets in Tier II/III Markets in 2023

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Sandeep Kumar
Sandeep Kumar
A multimedia journalist with over eleven years of experience in print and digital media, Sandeep Kumar is assistant editor with Images Group. Books, retail, sports and cinema are an inextricable part of his life.

“Mad Over Donuts to Roll Out Outlets in Baroda, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Tier II/III Markets in 2023”, says Tarak Bhattacharya, ED, Mad Over Donuts (MOD)

Starting out as an organised retail chain in 2008 to serve gourmet style, freshly made donuts in India, MOD has grown from a single outlet in Noida to over 100 stores pan India. It has cloud kitchens and offline presence across Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai, along with a thriving online presence.

Looking back, if you had to pen down your top 3 learnings from 2022, what would they be?

The F&B industry has always been characterised by transformations and innovations. Although trends come and go, the key for Mad Over Donuts has always been about staying ȱ rm as a core principle, which allows the brand to innovate mindfully, adapt and optimum utilization of resources.

Innovate Mindfully: Embracing and driving change with innovation is arguably the best solution for the most rapidly growing challenges in the food and beverage industry, while thin proȱ t margins and competition are the major growing issues. Change is all about integration with innovation. It is important to integrate the latest technology, digitalization, trends and sustainability with evolving consumer (market) needs with a favour of innovation. Driving innovation with integration in the food and beverage industry is important for creating value and product differentiation.

Adapt: Adapting to market changes implies keeping the end users you serve at the top of mind. Doing so will help you to create more meaningful products and services. So get familiar with your target audience beyond the numbers.

Optimum Utilization of Resources: When resources are effectively used in a company, it helps keep the cost under control. Practical usage of skills, knowledge, and talent of employees helps in reducing wastage, and results are achieved smoothly. When there is optimum utilization of resources, there is uninterrupted functioning and coordination can be witnessed. There is a division of work and proper responsibility and accountability of work.

Here are biggest learnings both from the personal and professional fronts that we as a brand are being responsive in order to course correct as per the demand of the situation:

Consider picking up an additional skill to thrive in the ever-changing business landscape: The biggest takeaway for working individuals to stay aȷ oat is to keep upskilling and multi-skilling. Our company has been making eȮ orts to upskill our employees to make them competent enough to handle diverse tasks and portfolios at the same time. By following a people-first approach, the company has been brushing employee skills alongside helping them pick up a different one too. We have always recognised our talent and constantly appreciate our team, in a bid to keep their morale high.

Digitalization: The rise and penetration of the Internet, the advent of the new-age smartphones and other digital devices, and different technological advancements have digitally transformed almost all the major industries across the world. Many food manufacturing businesses are yet to adopt a digital strategy. Majority of these businesses lack the right digital transformation tools. For example, they either don’t have an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, or have got one but it is antiquated. They also struggle at the cybersecurity front, haven’t added technologies like AI, Big Data, & IoT to their repertoire, lack advanced analytics & Business Intelligence (BI) tools, traceability functionality, and don’t have a presence on diȮ erent social media channels. All these tools collectively form the basis of a strong digital strategy. My advice for all those who are still pondering over making the digital transformation eȮ orts is that they should get their digital transformation strategy in place now, as it’s never too late. Keep pace with the current market trends, employ digital initiative and digitalize their processes so that they not only meet their customers’ expectations, but also exceed them.

Personal health is at the centre stage: One of the chief personal reflections born out of the grimness of the pandemic is the significance to keep one’s well-being in check. Be it mental or physical health, it is signiȱ cant to engage in some activity that continuously stimulates your mind and body positively. Uncertain times always act as reminders to keep our wellness and well-being in line.

What is the vision 2023 for your brand?

I foresee the forthcoming year to present rampant growth opportunities for MOD as a brand. These include expansion of the brand to newer territories, innovation on the product offerings, eȲ cient usage of technology and lastly training our workforce for a greater adaptability. It will be exciting to witness how we use technology as an enabler to innovatively fulȱ l consumers’ tastes alongside being able to chart out a road map to achieve the aggressive growth goals and large visions we have set for the brand.

Across industries, enterprises are embracing digital transformation. They are adopting new technologies to keep pace with market changes, respond to customer demands, and stay competitive. This movement extends to the food and beverage (F&B) sector, where leaders are actively looking for ways to improve their back-end operations while staying responsive to partner, customer, and stakeholder needs. These technological trends include Robotics to enable efficient food production, automation to simplify in-house tasks, better AI forecasting, enhanced IT functioning, Big Data Analytics, The rise of Super Apps, virtual culinary experiences, sustainability, Consumer data driven marketing and Blockchain in the Food and Beverage industry to name a few. Additionally, in the forthcoming months, we plan to roll out more outlets in cities like Baroda, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Kolkata and in Tier II and Tier III markets.

Tell us about the brand growth in the last cycle? Highlight on the key elements which helped you achieve this number?

Some of the key elements that have aided us achieve this positive growth include, expanding into cloud kitchens, reaching out to customers on an increased level and cost-effectiveness.

Technology has played a vital role in expanding our footprint using cloud kitchen format. Following this format and thereby scaling up in a cost-eȲ cient manner and enlarging our oȸ ine and online presence has worked positively for us. This model has helped us strengthen our hold and reach out to our target audience in multiple markets, thus contributing to the company’s overall sales.

Running a business in the F&B industry can be more successful when there’s a good understanding of consumer behaviour. Making the customers feel special and giving some real beneȱ ts does go a long way to them coming back to you. To increase our reach, we have been engaging in customer loyalty programs oȮ ering special facilities and advantages for the customers like earning a certain percentage of discounts on your bill value that can be redeemed on your next bill. This gives an incentive for the customer to come back to us. Giving a customer some actual prestige and beneȱ t when he dines with you, goes a long way in influencing his buying pattern.

Being cost-effective has helped the brand to become adaptable to change as optimum utilization helps in looking for alternative ways to improve the given condition. The brand has also become aware of changing consumer demands and the supply in the market and quickly changes and thrives.

Tell us about your expansion plans? Tier I or tier ii/iii cities, your preferred choice for expansion? Reasons.

Currently with a presence in only ȱ ve cities, we plan to continue to grow in the existing cities. Over the years, Mad Over Donuts has followed a gradual yet steady approach to establish a name for itself. Although the outbreak has had an impact on the sales of the business, the brand is determined to expand and scale in the coming years. Revenge eating being a dominant market trend, the demand for outside food has again perceived an uptick. Hence going forward instead of planning to launch in newer markets, the brand has been working towards adding more stores to its existing geographies. Starting out as an organised retail chain in 2008 to serve gourmet-style, freshly made donuts in India, MOD has grown from a single outlet in Noida to over 100 stores pan-India. It has cloud kitchens and offline presence across Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai, along with a thriving online presence through its website and an active social media engagement. In the forthcoming months, through our marketing initiatives, we plan to roll out more outlets in cities like Baroda, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Kolkata and in Tier II and Tier III markets, with a target to reach the pre-pandemic levels. 

What are the innovative in-store experiences that your brand has introduced to enhance customer experience?

To enhance consumer experience, we have an in-store radio that interacts with customers by ȷ ashing timely announcements and an in-store cloud music/timebased application- which runs our advertisements. In order to make every conversation count with an exceptional blend of automated chatbots and live agents, across each stage of the customers’ journey, we have come up with a separate tool powered by Google, that oȮ ers an all-in-one conversational solution. Forming an omnichannel experience for our customers is an initiative that the brand feels strongly about. We are extremely delighted to associate with a Phygital connect tool that is enhancing the business and consumer connect.

Tell us about the tech innovations implemented and the impact of it?

We encourage digital coupons, E codes and digital billing to be one of the most feasible and valuable prospects in our digital marketing mix that have been helping us to achieve not only more orders, but more customers and a better return on investment. We have associated with one of the industry leaders, an all-in-one delivery order aggregation solution that captures the end-to-end user journey – right from placing the order to ensuring the timely delivery with tracking till the last mile. The mechanism has been a one-stop destination for all our order management requirements and the feature I appreciate the most is its ability to track all website placed orders. Order tracking is a complete satisfactory module for a customer and a hassle-free tracking has always been appreciated by the end-users. To oȮ er consumers an eȮ ortless experience and to drive consumer loyalty, we have come up with dashboard tracking, a feature that allows us to plan a business strategy and prioritize customer preferences better.

Going forward, which technologies and initiatives are you looking forward to?

Investment in technology has and will continue to be of prime significance for the acceleration and growth in sales for our brand. It is vital to achieve all the top goals of the business – guest experience and satisfaction, brand recognition and loyalty programs. Aspects like mobile solutions, production, inventory and procurement, analytics, loyalty program and inventory management system, creating user friendly ordering platform and oȮ -line stores, reporting and arming the brand for the digital world, dealing with supply chain improvements are some of the initiatives that we plan to strengthen in the upcoming quarters.

Are the new categories in the pipeline? If yes, please elaborate.

Innovations have presently proved to be a game-changer for any business to thrive. I believe that staying competitive in the restaurant landscape requires near continuous innovation. The new categories by MOD that are in the pipeline are sweet indulgences like brownies, waȸ es and a range of hot and cold beverages.

How are you laying the bricks for growth and success in the New Year? Is it going to be an omni-channel journey or putting action to digital transformation or accelerating processes with technology or something else? Tell us your thoughts.

Technology is constantly evolving and digital advancements have reshaped consumer behaviour at large. Hence to stay aȷ oat, it is signiȱ cant for F&B players to leverage the digital transformation opportunities by employing innovative ways of reaching the new-age customers.

At MOD we aim to achieve this through a seamless convergence of online and oȸ ine models. Our brand has always been funding out innovative ways to emerge a winner in this competitive market. We have realized that while we take the digital route, a steady adoption in sync with the need of the hour technological advancement is a wise way ahead. With our digitallyforward marketing strategies, we aim to stay connected with customers through an Omni-channel approach.

Elaborate on the initiatives (marketing and digital) which were a success in this period? 

Digital marketing has been a key focus area for us in the ongoing quarter to create brand awareness and let our customers know what we are doing as a brand through the medium of social media platforms. In the last two quarters the brands online and oȸ ine sales have greatly accelerated. Additionally, occasions like Mother’s day, Raksha Bandan, Father’s day and Daughter’s day have been major catalysts spurring the brand engagement activity. This added more fuel to the company’s growth apart from adding stores with Cloud Kitchen operators. Current inȷ ux has also shifted towards malls, restaurants and eateries, thus this shift has positively impacted our company sales. Through fasttracked digital sales and brand engagement activities, MOD is conȱ dent of a restored growth even in the upcoming years.

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