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Sunday, November 1, 2020

Vishnucharan M, Head – Gourmet Foods (Private Label), bigbasket talks about his experience in the world of private label

How did you come into the World of Private Label?
Having over a decade’s experience, started my career in manufacturing and operations within the UK and India cutting across the domains of food processing/manufacturing that laid a foundation towards product development, Food Innovation and now within the Retail private labels in the e-commerce format.
With a master’s degree from Leeds Metropolitan University and a Solid foundation coupled with creative thinking and logical reasoning has led me to strive for excellence in every aspect of my life, I currently lead the Private label business for gourmet foods category in Bigbasket striving for customer delight, Product Innovation, sustainability and responsible sourcing.”

Where do you see the Private Label Industry in 2020?
The growth of private labels is directly linked to the growth of retail sector. Retailers will gain customer confidence in its offerings so as to successfully introduce well penetrated private labels categories. The PL Industry will try to understand unfulfilled demands existing in Indian market through need-gap analysis. The PL Industry will start incorporating demographic and psychographic indicators into their need-gap assessments also learning from the lessons of experimentation; whether the quality of their private labels is being improved, product extensions are being created, etc. sharp promotions, competitive pricing, freebies, are some ways in which retailers will start to incentivize consumers to try private label products.


What do you like most about the Industry?
we like the people aspect of the business. The Industry always keeps you on your toes to continuously Learn & Innovate .Shopping makes people happy when they find what they like and we would like to be a part of that contribution by continuously innovating what the consumers desires.

What one great thing does the Industry have going for it?
Private labeling allows retailers to offer something distinct to their customers. It is an excellent way to separate yourself from your competitors. With private brand, you can create your image and have your own marketing identity. Such thing can promote stronger customer recognition and loyalty. There is no doubt that consumer perceptions of private labels have shifted dramatically over the course of the last few years. While it was not long ago that many associated store brands with low quality, today the situation is quite different. Globally, 65% of people agree with the statement that “private labels are a good alternative to National brands,” and a clear majority of consumers believe choosing a store brand represents a smart purchase.

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What is the biggest obstacle facing the Industry?
Ever changing shifts in consumer demands and preferences is one of the Major challenge for private labels. With rapidly changing profile of consumer in term of their demands and preferences, it has become challenging for any retailer to keep up with shifting consumer demand. Competing in this tough market means being able to strengthen the proposition of your brand. Despite private label growth, the idea that “you get what you pay for” remains relevant around the world. While the strength of this belief may vary between regions, if consumers believe that Private label brands provide higher quality or an improved experience compared to National brands, they will be willing to pay a premium price.


Tell us more about your Private Label or Own-brand portfolio?
We have wide range of Private label portfolio starting from Fresho & Fresho organic for Fnv, dairy, Bakery & Meat, BB popular and BB royal for the commodities and other staples, Happy chef for culinary & processed foods, Lindberg for Luxury/premium confectionery and chocolates, Gooddiet – for a healthy living, Fresho signature for gourmet & international foods, Tasties for Ethnic snacking & BB Home for a Complete homecare solution.


Your take on how can a Private Label compete with a Brand?
There are a few reasons driving private label growth: an increased concentration among retailers, an improved quality perception among consumers, and a rising social acceptance of private labels consumption. In addition, the variations in economic downturn has further boosted the appeal of private labels because of their price utility. Competition between private labels and national brands on current markets is very high. On the other hand, private labels and national brands strategies are, up to some point, different. Private labels know that maintaining a price differential with national brands is very important along with Unique offerings, but also recognize that being perceived close to them in quality is essential for their success.


Any new segments you plan to launch in 2020?
The Key area of focus for 2020 is towards healthier multicultural foods in snacking, confectionery, Cross border Private label and organic packed foods and beverages. In the non-food segments the focus is towards Hande made natural soaps, Luxury Ayurvedic personal care.


Your management mantra
we have a Maniacal Focus on customer. Customer centricity being an important aspect, we demonstrate a sense of urgency and speed. We take ownership for everything we do.

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