In Conversation: Anuj Rakyan, Owner, Raw Pressery
Summers are beating down upon us. Indians – especially up north – are facing the wrath of the harsh sun. We’re dehydrated, fatigued and feel lazy.
To keep ourselves active and going, staying hydrated and eating healthy is very important. But with our busy schedules, eating clean is far from reality. So how to keep these harmful toxins at bay? Drinking juices, some say, could be the answer to your woes. But how healthy are these juices? Fresh juice stalls are buzzing with flies whereas tetra pack juices are stocked with sugar and preservatives.
The correct answer – cold pressed juices.
Managing Director, RAW Pressery, Anuj Rakyan, a health connoisseur, experienced a similar problem. But a brief stint in US introduced him to cold pressed juices – packed with nutrients. And he decided to bring this technology to India.
In an exclusive interview with Indiaretailing.com, Rakyan shares how he conceived the idea, the potential market for cold pressed juices, future plans and a lot more.
Tell us about the idea behind RAW Pressery.
RAW Pressery is India’s first and largest clean label company that aims to make being healthy easier. It a part of Rakyan Beverages which began its journey in June 2013, in Mumbai. Fresher than any other brand in the packaged beverage category, RAW Pressery’s juice blends are the safest cold-pressed beverages in the market, packed with high pressure processing.
The driving force behind RAW Pressery is encapsulated in the company’s guiding philosophy “All Good. No Bad.” RAW Pressery is the current market leader in the space in terms of both sales and logistics.
Our juices are available across seven cities – Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Bangalore, Gurugram, Hyderabad and Chennai. RAW Pressery will soon be available in Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Chandigarh. We also retail at premium retailers like Foodhall, Godrej Nature’s Basket, Reliance Retail, Aditya Birla Retail, hotels like Marriot and Hyatt, to online stores like Bigbasket, Grofers, ZopNow, Zomato and Holachef. The juices are now also available at leading international coffee chains and at the Mumbai International Airport.
Health has grown from being a mere concern to a necessity. RAW Pressery stemmed out of a personal need of consuming a healthy beverage on-the-go. The idea, on gaining momentum, aimed to bridge the need for a juice that balances nutrition and flavour. On a wider perspective, the goal was to address the lack of clean-label ‘good-for-you’ options in the beverage category. We strive each day to create awareness around the underlying belief that healthy can be tasty and the brands can be honest about their product.
What is your estimate on potential market of cold-pressed juices?
Unpasteurized, natural, packed with nutrients, enzymes and flavour, the cold press juice segment is poised to grow to a Rs 100 crore market in the next five years. Basis similar facts, it’s safe to say that the cold pressed juices would dominate the juice category segment over any concentrate juice in the next three to five years. Healthy, tasty and fresh, the cold pressed beverage market promises definitive opportunities of growth.
What is the range of juices that you provide?
RAW Pressery currently retails its blends across two product categories:
Benefits: 10 variants in the market, the Benefits range comprises of cold-pressed fruit and vegetable mixes, bottled in 250 ml and 410 ml sizes, to cater to retail and direct-to-home consumers respectively. The 250 ml bottles are available at premium retailers for Rs 150 per bottle. The 410 ml bottles are available as part of the cleanse package which can be purchased directly from RAW Pressery’s website.
Basics: Flavour that triumphs taste buds; the Basics range is constituted by single fruit variants. With Watermelon (Rs.50), Pineapple (Rs 65), Mango (Rs 80), Guava (Rs 80) and Pomegranate (Rs 150) retailing in 250ml bottles, the company soon plans to launch the same in multi-serve 1 liter packs as well.
You have recently introduced a smoothie. What other innovative products does RAW Pressery plans to introduce in the future?
At RAW Pressery, we believe that innovation is the key business driver for growth. In the coming months, we will be launching juices which are familiar to the Indian palette without any preservatives, added sugar or water.
What are your arrangements with the supplier?
The future of our product rests in juicing the freshest locally sourced produce. Farmers therefore play an integral role in shaping the future for RAW Pressery. We see ourselves working in contractual relationships with cooperatives and organized farming, leveraging their strengths to core activities like demand forecasting and harvest planning.
What is your target audience?
Our Benefits range target women between the ages of 18-40 years old. The functional benefits of the juice blends have seen wide acceptance among the audience.
We target early adopters for the Basics, who are health and fitness enthusiasts and those who want to get healthy but feel that it is difficult to find time. They are always looking for something convenient that can fit into their daily life.
Our customers include everyone from athletes to Bollywood stars, industrialists, models, expats, young mothers and businessmen.
Tell us about your business model.
We believe that our juices, in addition to functional benefits, also cater to other multiple demands. Although, these occasions are primarily in-home, there is definitely a potential to go beyond and cater to relevant out of home avenues. Accordingly, our efforts to build distribution focusses on modern retail, e-commerce and direct to home channels. It caters to in-home customer base and we are looking forward to also expand our foot print across institutions – QSRs, airports and airlines, hotels, schools and offices.
As for the distribution strategy, we follow a hybrid model amalgamating both direct and distributor models on the basis of the scale of the business and its requirements.
How many cities are you catering to? What is your expansion strategy?
Since its inception, RAW Pressery has grown from strength to strength, expanding business to achieve its goal to be India’s largest clean label F&B company. We are currently available in 9 cities, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Gurugram, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Chandigarh and Kolkatta. We will be soon available in Ahmedabad. We are also receiving a lot of inquiries from the Middle East.
The Indian F&B market is blossoming with opportunities. We plan to tap into this expansion and invest in healthy snacks and nutrients. We are the only company in Asia employing advanced cold pressurization with high pressure processing to maintain shelf life, producing about 8,000 units of juice a day.
With the introduction of new state of the art production facility in Panvel, we expect to enhance production capacity by a factor of 2.5. This would enable us to scale up distribution, increasing the foot-print to 12 cities, reaching the consumer at 1,500 points of sale by the end of FY16, covering modern trade, institutions, HoReCa and direct-to-home channels.
What steps have you put in place to streamline your delivery and what are your plans to expand the delivery network?
RAW Pressery is backed by its superior delivery network and is the only cold pressed juice company to be present across the seven leading cities in India. We deliver juices to households across Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and Gurugram, every morning, every day. We are charting our path to newer territories, and soon plan to expand to Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chandigarh and Goa. We are currently available at over 500 points-of -sale across modern trade, general trade and institutions.
Please share your points of sale at present.
We are currently available at over 600 points of sale panning across retail, online and institutions.
Recently, Raw Pressery raised Rs 30 crore in the Series B funding from Sequoia India and others. How are you planning to utilise these funds?
It has been quite a journey – we always believed that we had a great product. However, scaling up to new geographies and channels was challenging. Lack of a reliable cold chain and poor infrastructure at retail checked the growth of the brand. We are learning every day and adopting practices which have never been the norm in the industry – air freighting across the country to ensure freshness and customer experience, commitment to replace stocks ahead of the expiry date and delivering direct-to-home orders with the Dabbawala network, to mention a few.
We have also realized that in order to grow into a large brand, we need to launch juices that are more familiar to the market. Hence we recently launched the BASIC range – Pineapple, Pomegranate, Watermelon, Mango and Guava. This is the first summer for RAW Pressery after we expanded our foot-print beyond Mumbai and it will definitely throw up challenges. We are happy to learn and innovate as we grow.
Where do you see the company one year from now?
In the coming year, we see ourselves expanding to 15 cities in India covering over 2,000 points of sale and also pave our way into the Middle East. Making eating healthy easier for the Indian audiences we plan to foray into the fresh food and packaged nutriments. We wish to further establish micro cold presseries across our laid out geographies, each equipped with the best of produce and technology to give the discerning customer a truly Omnichannel experience, integrating online and offline. These establishments will allow a consumer to place an order digitally and see their beverage of choice getting made, in real time.
What Omnichannel initiatives are you employing, if any?
We are available across multiple channels. There is a significant direct to home business in addition to the retail and institutional business. We also believe e-commerce is critical for an innovation like cold-pressed juices. E-commerce shoppers are generally considered to be early adopters of innovations.
Elaborate on your marketing and promotions strategy for boosting consumer awareness and scalability.
RAW Pressery in terms of positioning is placed as a healthy and fresh beverage of choice. In our approach to marketing and advertising, we will be a digital first brand leveraging our social media assets such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to create interest and drive trials via our website.
Alternatively, our promotional strategies will look at driving trial and penetration via extensive sampling and bill boosters at retail. We also participate at events that our relevant to our target group.
Note: The article first appeared on indiaretailing.com