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We Aim To Spread Our Flavours Pan India In The Next 2 Years: Akshita Budhiraja, Director, Orika

We have a range of premium spices that come from the best sources across India, seasoning and marinades that promote easy, experimental and delicious cooking as everyone is either working from home, or spending more time at their residence.

How has the competitive landscape of the f&b industry changed during Covid-19 and how have these changes affected prominent stakeholders?

Due to Covid-19, consumption today is led by health & nutrition with indoor games/sports, hygiene and sanitation clearly witnessing an upturn. People are still conscious about moving around too much and that is a significant demographic variable here. Consumers are also concerned about their health, which means that established brands with higher trust factor and strong supply chain linkages will have a clear edge. Also a shift of retailers with strong digital capabilities are experiencing a growth while the retailers with weaker e-commerce offerings are losing consumer interest.

What is the growth rate of the spice industry in India? What is the future outlook of the industry?

The global food industry, specifically the spice industry, is evolving faster than the pace known to conventional wisdom. This evolution is led by higher than ever consumer awareness, expectations and technological advancements. With our proactive approach we have been able to thrive in this highly competitive market not only based on product knowledge, infrastructure and technology, but also because of our vision. This vision is to meet and exceed expectations of all the stakeholders, ranging from our own employees, vendors, society to our clients and users.

Consumer Preferences in the past 1.5 years- What steps have been taken to match those with changing expectations?

Post the pandemic the consumers have become quality and health conscious. With health being a priority, we launched our range of immunity drinks. We have a range of premium spices that come from the best sources across India, seasoning and marinades that promote easy, experimental and delicious cooking as everyone is either working from home, or spending more time at their residence. To add another element to our range during Covid, we launched exciting lemonades to beat the heat and cut the boredom during these trying times.

At Orika we stand by our tag line- ‘Trusted for a Perfect Recipe’ and try to deliver on that promise everyday.

Tell us about Orika’s promise for sustainability and what are your plans for the growth and expansion of the brand?

Sustainable sourcing is on the top of the priority list at PARAS. Our sustainable sourcing model focuses on minimizing our ecological footprint while trying to improve farm practices & farm income at large. With sustainability also comes compliance. We must adhere to the stringent norms right from the farm in tune with IPM, ICM, and Global GAP.

We are also a part of SAN ( Sustainable Agriculture Network), further reiterating our commitment to the conservation of biodiversity and rural development.

Post covid, people have started cooking at home. Hence our products (seasoning and marinades) have seen a growth in demand since they promote modern and easy gourmet cooking. Our range of lemonades was rather popular amongst our customers. Our ongoing sprinkler launch is also gathering a strong positive response. We are working on the launch of our Grinders range, and the Whole spices range will be expanded further as well. There will also be additions to our wellness drinks range, while our R&D is working towards healthy soup mixes.

We are always open to collaborations and distributions within the country and abroad. Infact, we aim to spread the spice magic, via Orika, across the globe and we work harder every day to make this come true.

What is your product portfolio and the type of research that goes into the development of these products?

Orika is a premium spices and seasonings, B2C wing of Paras Spices Pvt. Ltd, a brand dedicated to the enrichment of everyday meals with extraordinary flavours.

The spices at Orika are handpicked from the finest lands across the globe. Some of the premium offerings by Orika include marinades, seasonings, spice mixes, wellness drinks, flavoured lemonades and special immunity boosting products.

Type and way of research for the development of products which are created:-

1. We brief our marketing team to create a unique product.

2. They brainstorm together with our R&D experts.

3. OurR&D experts use their experience, wisdom and creativity to develop a new, delicious blend.

4. Their solution is scrutinized by our sensory evaluation and quality assurance department to weed out any shortcomings.

5. Once we are on board with their creation, it is carried all the way from the lab to the consumer.

6. The new recipe gets transferred from the R&D Dept. to the plant.

7. The Best Quality ingredients are used and processed in our state of the art facility.

8. To maintain quality & consistency, high-quality raw materials or ingredients are procured from approved vendors. Our procurement is also supported by backward integration of over 20,000 hectares of major crops.

9. As a result, we have the perfect recipe for success. Right from the drawing board to the shelf.

What Challenges have you faced as a woman entrepreneur while building your brand?

As an entrepreneur, my greatest challenge is to make our customers believe in the taste and build trust for our product. People across the globe demand greater standards and so the overall quality of food has increased. Keeping this in mind, we strive to continuously provide the best quality products to our customers. Whether it is our spices that are sourced and picked from the best lands, or our seasoning marinades that are curated keeping modern and experimental cooking in mind, we have been delivering premium quality products to our consumers and expect to spread our flavours pan India in the next two years.

Which factors are driving the growth of the B2C sector in India? What are the growth trends and Future?

Over the past decade, e-commerce in India has witnessed tremendous growth globally due to several factors including the evolution of the internet, the changing socio-economic environment, the growing IT landscape, people’s awareness as well as acceptance of the idea of shopping online and social media.

Trends that are driving and will drive the growth in India:

●Gaining momentum of government initiatives.

●Increase in internet penetration.

●Social media interactions.

●Growth in smartphone adoption.

●Evolution of new payment solutions.

●Partnerships of logistics space with hyper-local companies and India Post.

●GST to enhance the growth of e-commerce.

What strategies are you following for brand awareness and expansion?

In today’s day, the prime focus remains our vision to promote solutions that help one create a heavenly meal, with ease and love, without slogging in the kitchen for hours. After all, a good meal that doesn’t just satisfy the taste-buds but soothes the soul, demands a perfect balance and melange of quality spices for a quintessential experience. There is no life without spice. Be it an expert or an amateur, everyone wants to create delicacies to be remembered, simple or sophisticated.

For brand awareness:– We focus on BTL activities such as campaigns, trade shows, catalogs, brand promotion activities, free sampling, exhibitions, targeted search engine marketing, etc.

The packaging is also easy to use, attractive and ergonomically designed. It got a feature on ‘packagingoftheworld.com’ as well.

For Expansion:- Adding locations, most businesses can sell more if they’re selling in more places. Expanding service tiers, diversifying our products, asking customers about their needs, laser-focus on retention and building a trusted team.

What products are in the pipeline of Orika?

We are currently working on the launch of our new Grinders range. Our Whole spices range will also be expanded. We shall be further adding to our wellness drinks range and our R&D is working towards healthy soup mixes.

Influencer Marketing is a buzzword these days, are you also planning to collaborate with influencers to promote your sales? What is your take on Influencer Marketing as a concept?

We work with a lot of influencers, to promote our products. We love their responses and the creativity around using our products in interesting recipes they come up with. It motivates us to make more innovative products.

Influencer marketing is a good concept, provided you find the right set of influencers and good reach of their audience for your product promotion and brand awareness. It’s often a trial and error method.

How was the feedback of customers during the festive season?

We received a great response on our Festive range, which we launched during Diwali. Since we created boxes based on different concepts and usages, they received a lot of appraisal and positive feedback. As the tagline of our festive range suggested:- This season gift your loved ones, a package of health, fun and celebration.

The customers loved the idea of giving something different from the run of the mil gifts.

We are very thrilled with the response and hope that Orika is always able to serve its customers in the best way.

Source: Business World

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