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The Baker’s Dozen set to become a Rs 500 crore entity in 5 years: Co-founder Aditi Handa

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Shiv Joshi
Shiv Joshi
An editor with over 20 years of experience across industry verticals and content formats from tabloids to magazines, he is the Deputy Group Managing Editor at Images Group.

An expansion into the Middle East market is also on the menu for the artisan bakery chain

Mumbai: Artisan bakery chain The Baker’s Dozen (TBD) has set its sights on becoming a Rs500-crore entity in five years, according to a top executive at the company.

The Mumbai-based chain also plans to “make headway into the Middle East market,” shared co-founder Aditi Handa.

“Last fiscal year, we closed a revenue of Rs 45 crore, and for this fiscal year, we aim to reach Rs 80 crore in revenue. All this whilst being profitable,” she added.  

Founded by Handa along with co-founder Sneh Jain, an IIM-A graduate and former McKinsey consultant, TBD crafts bread, cakes, cookies, crackers and premixes using natural ingredients.

It is present in 50 cities through 1,000 modern retail outlets like Nature’s Basket and e-commerce and quick commerce platforms such as Swiggy, Zomato, and others.

“Approximately 75% of sales come from online channels, with the top three cities—Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru—contributing to about 75% of our revenue,” explained Handa who is also the company’s head chef.

In January 2024, TBD secured Rs 33 crore in a pre-series A funding round and expects to grow in alignment with the Indian bakery market, which is expected to reach a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 11% between 2023 and 2028. The brand reported a growth of 2 times in annual recurring revenue (ARR) since its latest funding round.

“Our vision is to go much deeper into the Indian market across tier 1,2,3 cities and build a significant offline presence,” Handa said, adding that the brand hopes to achieve this through online as well as offline partnerships like its recent collaboration with the hypermarket chain D-Mart.

From Conversation to Commerce

The brand started with a 1,000 sq. ft. kitchen and a store in 2013 at Prabhadevi in Mumbai producing 25 loaves a day. It is a perfect example of conversation to commerce.

The business was born out of a dialogue Handa had with her friend, where the latter commented on the limited availability of good bread in India. Inspired by this observation, Handa decided to turn her passion for sourdough bread into her profession and started an artisan bakery in 2013—when Indians were still unfamiliar with the concept of such bakeries, which produce baked goods in limited quantities using natural ingredients and traditional methods.

“In just two years, we expanded to seven stores across the city,” shared Handa.

The Growth Story

The year 2016 marked a significant milestone as TBD moved to a larger 5,000 sq. ft. kitchen in Navi Mumbai and ventured into modern retail in Mumbai and Pune through Nature’s Basket. By 2017-2018, TBD went to Bengaluru and Ahmedabad through modern trade partnerships.

“In 2019, we commissioned a new 25,000 sq. ft. factory near Ahmedabad, becoming the first Indian bakery to implement innovative German technology, significantly enhancing the shelf life of products,” shared Handa. This move led to a substantial increase in production capacity, with monthly output growing from 60 tons in October 2021 to around 150 tons in December 2021 alone.

By 2020, TBD had sold a million sourdough loaves across India and established pandemic-ready baking facilities. With plans to open 50 outlets across 15 cities by the end of 2021, TBD continued to solidify its position in the bakery category.

In 2021, the brand expanded its presence with three walk-in stores and 18 delivery-only outlets across the country. In 2022, it raised $5 million with Fireside Ventures and a marquee consumer venture capital (VC) fund that she declined to name.

With sales soaring to Rs30 crore in 2021-22 and a commitment to capital efficiency reflected in consecutive years of positive EBITDA—Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization, TBD emerged as a national bakery brand, servicing over 3 lakh orders month-on-month across e-commerce and Q-commerce platforms.

Ingredients of Success

While Aditi Handa takes care of the recipes and baking, Sneh Jain takes care of the operational aspects of the business

Handa credits her business and life partner Jain for the financial success.

“He’s led the brand with remarkable capital efficiency, bootstrapping our way to around Rs300 million in revenue last fiscal year while maintaining positive EBITDA,” she said adding that his expertise in logistics, sales, and omnichannel strategy has helped emerge as one of the strongest brands in the business.

Although the brand is gaining popularity, awareness remains a challenge as it was during its initial years. “One of our main challenges was educating customers about the unique qualities of sourdough bread and its health benefits,” recounted Handa, who adopted a strategy of sharing tasting samples with every order to introduce the unique nutty-acidic flavour of authentic sourdough.

She continues to focus her energies on customer education in addition to product development.

“By empowering consumers with knowledge, we intend to further strengthen our foothold in the dynamic industry. We have also announced “The Truth We Knead” campaign that will empower customers with comprehensive knowledge about bakery products, ingredients and the industry via informative videos, social media content and interactive sessions,” she said adding that TBD aims to encourage Indian households to embrace bread as a staple.

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