In 2014, Tanvi, Arshad and Shahzad started working together as strategic business consultants specialising in their core area of ‘Go to market strategies’ for start-ups and home-grown businesses. However, it did not take them long to realise that the companies were not only on the lookout for strategies and ideas but also for someone who could implement them and make some real on-ground progress ! And this realisation transformed their startup . The founders continued with the core philosophy that ‘A good product isn’t a great product unless distributed and positioned at the right outlet and right place.’ It wasn’t a one-day task but they together made Creando a successful distribution aggregator in the FMCG world! Let’s revisit the journey of struggles and never give up attitude and see how the trio created success from scratch.
India’s FMCG unit is a culmination of tiny outlets spread across the country in every nook and corner. The industry might look small from the outside but is home to more than 12 million stores doing multitudes of transactions every minute. One of the critical success factors in FMCG, is distribution, where everyone needs help.
“The distribution space in FMCG is highly unorganised and an ever-evolving process and every company is trying various distribution models. Realising this gap area – Creando came into existence as a professional and agile distribution company with national presence- narrates Arshad Suhail Siddiqui Founder & CEO. A management graduate with rich experience in Marketing, sales & distribution and strategic planning in FMCG, Retail and Healthcare sector.
“Every company is looking for solutions in distribution. Start-ups are looking for creating distribution networks and established companies are looking for complementing or supplementing their reach. We at Creando identify those pain areas and work on distribution strategies as per the mandate”, Says Tanvi Chopra, Co founder & Director Alternative channels.
“Creando is designed as a distribution aggregator platform that acts as a one-stop solution for General Traders /Kirana’s. It not only provides the entire basket of products but also enables the clients through sales training and technology “. explains Shahzad Siddiqui, Co Founder. A seasoned professional with rich experience in Sales and Distribution.
Initial Thoughts AlignmentWhen a team of professionals with diversified experiences came together, something great was bound to happen! The threesome did their best to understand the dynamics of the FMCG ecosystem.
“Critical success factors in distribution are – quality manpower, quality of channel partner and consistent service. Most of the start-ups have a single brand with no credibility, these kinds of companies look for real go to market strategies and this is where we come into picture. On the other hand, big brands have few areas where their distribution is not as strong. We study their pain areas and help them with distribution solutions”. Arshad describes.
“When we started this company there were hardly any players in this space and thus selling of the concept was difficult. We told brands to outsource their sales division wherein the team reports to us and we are responsible for their numbers. Many of the giants were not convinced with the concept and the start-ups did not have the patience to wait for the results. Hence, we had our share of teething problems”. Explains Tanvi.
“Most of the brands we were getting were looking for territorial expansion and not pan India launch. Another aspect to this was that these companies were either start-ups or small regional brands which had no / low brand equity and brand pull.
To scale up our business we were looking for an anchor brand who could take us up to another level. Also, the brands that we worked, were not willing to invest. We got reach, but offtake became an issue, consequently maintaining the reach became an issue. To address this, we launched Creando’ s own trademark in confectionery. This resolved the problem of cost of reach. Then we started adding brands which complemented this channel. Next challenge was to convince the brand owners that we can create a distribution network and can be outsourced.
In the year 2020 signing Hamdard Laboratories was a eureka moment for us; we took up their Pan India operations, it was a milestone achieved”. Narrates Shahzad, the ordeals of business growth.
Creando : Growth Prospects and Vision
Distribution is a very dynamic business; every day is a new challenge- meeting targets- is always a challenging process- Every new brand brings changing aspects of the distribution process.
“One of the critical growth factors is, adding complementing products, so we are focusing on food & beverage as a segment to have synergy with the current network.
Today apart from offering services in General trade we have also started with Modern trade and e-commerce. The team is working with a lot of brands giving them e-commerce solutions right from warehousing their products to listing them at various platforms and handling end to end solutions.” Says Tanvi.
“We are coming up with a Retailer App which will be launched shortly. It is an AI based replenishment App, based on sales trends it auto generates the order for a retailer which helps them to have better inventory control. This will save salesmen interaction time with a retailer. By this we can capture the real time demand of a brand rather than pushing the inventory at the retail level.” Says Shahzad.
Creando’ s vision is to become India’s largest aggregator in the distribution space. To achieve this dream, Creando has two investors as strong support.
1. Silk Bridge Partners (SBP) an investment holding company based out of Singapore, focused on strategic advisory and direct investments.
2. RB Investments, a Singapore based Venture Capital firm, that invests in people with visionary ideas.
“As an entrepreneur one needs to be mentally strong and self-motivated individual. Initial years- are full of surprises and challenges. One should be a person with strong determination and perseverance to just keep going. The thought that why you started all this in the first place, will always keep you going and motivated”, suggests Arshad.
If you are a start-up or a well-established company looking for a distribution partner, the team Creando can be reached at:-
Website : https://www.creando.in
Contact : 9873238116 / 7042596303