We are building a brand that is loved by Indians: Founders, Licious

Abhay Hanjura and Vivek Gupta, Founders of Licious, the meat and seafood brand, spoke about their marketing strategies and the changes the brand has brought to the industry

by Neethu Mohan
Published - Mar 15, 2019 8:53 AM Updated: Mar 15, 2019 8:53 AM
Licious Abhay Hanjura and Vivek Gupta

Based in Bangalore, Licious is redefining and setting a benchmark in the highly unorganised meat and seafood industry in the country. The company operates on a farm-to-fork model owning the entire back-end supply chain and cold chain.

In a conversation with exchange4media, Abhay Hanjura and Vivek Gupta, Founders-Licious spoke about changes the brand brought into the meat and seafood industry in the country, their marketing strategies etc.

Edited excerpts:

It has been 3 years since the launch of the company, what are the changes Licious has brought into the meat and seafood industry in India?

The definition for meat and seafood industry was missing in the country. A consumer, seller, buyer-nobody understands what the good qualities of meat and seafood are, we believe that the chicken which is cut in front of us is fresh and that is a challenge. There were no defined standards and Licious is defining a new wave of meat. One of the biggest changes we brought in is getting the consumer to experience what it means to have high quality and consistency. Meat continues to be a highly stigmatised category in India, and it is continued to be packed in black polythene bags, we are proud that we were able to bring meat out of the closet in some format.

Tell us more about your supply chain team and your state-of-the-art central processing unit?

Our supply chain has to be very localised because we operate in the fresh meat segment. We have a model called 24 hours farm to fork. Every city is divided into a 200 km radius of the supply chain. We have a processing centre which is owned, controlled, and managed by us. The products after processing moves to the delivery centre, these are units across the city, and that movement happens in a cold chain powered vehicle which also has an IoT intervention. Last mile delivery centres are also cold chain powered and the delivery happens in a temperature-controlled bag which is designed by our R&D team.

Every butcher who works in the processing unit is vaccinated every month, they go through detailed medical check-ups every month. We have our own state-of-the-art microbiological lab, every sample undergoes microbiological tests to ensure that the product is preservative-free and anti-biotic free, etc. This is an interesting business which requires deep expertise of understanding of microbiology, the anatomy of animals etc.

Can you throw some light on the R&D process of Licious?

We believe our core strength is innovation. Our R&D is spread across everything from 'farm to fork'. We are ready to innovate with technology across the supply chain, a cold chain where we use technology such as IoT, AI etc. We use intelligent demand forecasting tools to create a certainty of available products. We have integrated technology into research and development of our back end. Licious as a brand doesn’t compromise on the quality.

What are the initiatives taken by Licious to remove the uncertainties and misconceptions surrounding the meat industry in the country?

We will give an honest answer to this question, education is a very costly affair and start-ups getting into educating the consumers is a tough task. As a brand, we have always striven on positivity towards a better future rather than picking up the negatives of this category. Our marketing always talks about a better future and goodness of the meat industry. We are building a brand that is loved by Indians and love comes from trust.

Please elaborate on your marketing budgets and advertising strategies

The most important metric in the market is ‘repeat’. If you have bought one product once, have you come back and bought it again? That is the metric we follow. 90% of our business comes from our repeat customers. On the marketing side, rather than talking about challenges, we speak about the way we visualize the market. We do comprehensive marketing which has offline, BTL activation, tasting sampling and some bit of digital. It also depends upon the stage we are in a respective city. We have gone live last week in Mumbai and Pune, so at these cities, marketing will be slightly different because we make these cities aware of Licious. In Bangalore, 70% of new traffic comes from word of mouth and in Delhi its in mid-stage.

It also depends on the stage we are in that city. This is our marketing strategy.

We have recently launched a relationship module for frequent buyers called 'priority desk'. The premium customers will get a relationship manager, and any issues starting from placing an order to delivery of the products will be handled by this relationship manager. It has given brilliant results in the last 2 months. We have launched it for 5000 super users in the first stage and our plan is to take it to at least 50,000 users in the next 12 months

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