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Basmati rice maker India Gate shifts gears to take on loose rice, double consumer pack biz, ET Retail

<p>Ayush Gupta, business head - domestic, KRBL </p>
Ayush Gupta, business head – domestic, KRBL

New Delhi: KRBL, the parent company of basmati rice brand India Gate is targeting to double its consumer pack basmati rice business in the domestic market over the next 5 years on the back of its strategy to shift loose rice consumers to packaged rice.

Currently, the in-home consumption for basmati rice is pegged at 1.85 million MT. While 30 per cent of this is packed, the remaining is dominated by loose rice.

“We have an annualised market share of 35%. The major competition for us is the unbranded/loose basmati rice which is 70% of the industry,” said a top official of the company.

Speaking to ETRetail, Ayush Gupta, business head – domestic, KRBL shared that the brand is expecting to generate Rs 3,000 crore in value by FY28 in the consumer packaged basmati rice segment, as compared to 1,450 crore in FY23.

At an industry level, the packaged rice segment is projected to grow to Rs 7,500 crore in the next 5 years from Rs 4,200 currently.

Gupta shared that to compete with loose rice players, the company is focusing on strengthening its distribution network. The basmati rice maker has set a target to double its retail availability to 7 lakh outlets from 3.3 lakh outlets currently.

“Our brand is already very strong, however, availability seems to be the biggest barrier today. With only 45% availability across retail outlets, as compared to loose rice being available across all outlets.”

To compete with loose rice players heads on, the packaged rice major upgrading its RTM strategy.

“…To be able to do this on the ground in a sustainable way, our route-to-market strategy needs to be very robust. This involves evaluating various distribution channels, sales strategies, and capabilities, handling the trade, and developments. We have invested a lot in manpower on the field.”

As its new GTM strategy, the brand has shifted its focus from selling to the wholesaler to active retailing. “It’s not just selling to the distributor, but how the distributor is selling further to the retailer,” opined Gupta.

He added that the company is building super stockist models and plans to have direct distribution in towns with 50,000 population.

Last year, KRBL claims to have grown its network by 40 per cent to 750 dealers and distributors. The majority of this expansion happened in tier 1 and 2 cities.

In addition to capturing loose rice market share, the company is focusing on launching regional and premium rice varieties. The move is expected to help KRBL expand its total addressable market (TAM) from 9,500 crore currently.

“Our entry into regional rice significantly expands our Total Addressable Market size. The regional rice varieties that we are focussing on currently are Sona Masoori, Kollam, and Gobindobhog. These varieties in terms of size are almost 10 times the size of the Basmati Market,” Gupta stated.

He further shared that the company expects to achieve a 20 per cent market share in this segment in the next 4-5 years.

Similarly, from its innovation and premiumisation portfolio, the rice brand is projecting a 15 per cent contribution in the next 5 years.

In line with its portfolio and distribution expansion plans, the company has planned to open 3 new manufacturing plants in Gujarat, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh with a combined investment of Rs 250 crore. The Gujarat plant became operational in June this year.

  • Published On Aug 22, 2023 at 04:50 PM IST

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