The new normals in a world where Covid-19 unfortunately is becoming a part of our life will bring about many changes in the way businesses will be conducted, and more importantly the way we live our life.
The nation-wide lockdown is slowly being lifted across orange and green zones and life is slowly crawling back to a new-normalcy. Businesses and brands are now are making their way back into the business; planning their communication plans for a new world post the covid-19 lockdown.
In this story of Medianews4u’s new brand series, Back to Business, we spoke to Rohit Mohan Pugalia, Founder & CEO, Munchilicious Granola (A SOCH Foods LLP Product)
How are you coping with the impact of Covid-19 on Munchilicious Granola? How effectively have you used the lockdown period?
For a brand like Munchilicious Granola, which comes under the list of essentials in the food and beverage category there has been no time to cope up, instead, the consumption of healthy packaged items have increased, which motivated us to work in full throttle to help consumers by providing hygienically packed and filled with immunity-boosting ingredients – Munchilicious Granola. Some challenges that we are facing are in terms of the availability of raw material and logistics partners as these are the two important factors involved in the manufacturing and delivery of the products to our customers. However, we are ensuring that these challenges do not affect our business especially in a situation where our customers want to purchase our product in bulk.
We are following the strict guidelines as shared by the World Health Organization and are also maintaining and following all safety and sanitization norms as health is our top priority. We are also trying to carry out as many product deliveries as possible through our own private vehicles. This lockdown period has been an eye-opener for every brand in the market, we have used the lockdown period to understand that and have been able to gain the trust of our customers by providing them their favorite product in an effective and efficient manner.
The quest for a solution to a particular crisis helps invent new business opportunities and sometimes leads to a revision of existing business models … What sort of innovation has or will the Covid-19 pandemic bring to your brand/industry/category?
Our brand – Munchilicious Granolais a wholesome breakfast and a healthy snack for the ever-busy target audience who are looking out for quick and healthy breakfast options and a mid-meal snack. To cater to this need, during the pandemic and post-pandemic scenario we assessed that our TG who primarily consists of corporate executives, married and unmarried living in urban setting will be returning back to their offices post-lockdown, they will encounter 4 p.m. hunger pangs and when they think about not eating out or going to a crowded bhel wale bhaiya, here we come to their rescue by launching our 40gm on-the-go, easy to carry, easy to munch packs in 4 variants – Original, Dried Fruits, Desi twist and Grain-free which is healthy yet tasty, filled with nuts & seeds with immunity-boosting properties, and rich in fibre, nutrients and vitamins. A pack for every mood throughout the day – Original and dried fruits for a quick recharging breakfast, Desi Twist and Grain-free to satiate your 4 p.m. hunger pangs.
While some parts of the country have become Covid-19 free, cities like Mumbai and Delhi are still in a lockdown situation. How are you planning to resume business across cities that are not in the Red?
Munchilicious Granola is based in Mumbai. Our factory, as well as our corporate office, is situated in Mumbai. As we come under essential goods, our factory is allowed to function under strict guidelines issued by WHO and the employees of our corporate office are given the facility to work from home. Since the relaxation has been provided by the Government of India we have mobilized our sales team across Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Jabalpur to go in the market and assess the situation with the retailers and expand the products reach among the consumers via retailers. Full-fledged resumption of business would happen once the lockdown is lifted completely and we have clarity on future operations of the business under the COVID-19 situation.
What will be your communication strategy post the opening of the lockdown? Understandably bringing customers back to you would be difficult… What will be the objective of the communication/marketing strategy?
Post lockdown our communication strategy would be to leverage on the health and hygienic snacking factor as well as to focus as an alternative for breakfast – targeting our core audience which belongs to the ever-moving and fast-paced lifestyle and we are confident that our product along with a strong communication would be able to crack the customer psyche and bring about a change in the healthy snacking and breakfast cereal category.
As a channel strategy, our focus is to create awareness through online mediums and multiple e-commerce platforms. Through our digital mediums, we shall try to reach out and speak to our potential audience. People who are looking for a healthier option, using the digital medium makes it easier to reach our audiences.
How did you keep the morale of the employees during this lockdown period? On a personal note, what kept you positive?
Be it a lockdown situation or a normal working phase we are a close-knit unit, who believes in striving forward for the betterment of the consumer and the environment. This vision gave us more strength and focus to work towards our defined goals that are set by the team. Keeping the lockdown and work from a home scenario in mind, we have offered all our employees flexible working hours which would give them the freedom to operate whilst doing household and other chores, as a protocol they would just need to notify the HR if they are planning to be away from the desk for a long period of time. On a personal note, what kept us positive is working on 2 new projects amidst the lockdown, the whole group was pumped up and ready to contribute in making our group strong and wholesome.
What are some of the post-lockdown business strategies that you will use to bring the business back on track or at least get it in the right direction and also create demand for yourself?
We have a great scope in the near future as and when the lockdown ends, as the consumers will start taking care of their health more post-COVID-19. This pandemic has become an eye-opener for every individual and going forward we are sure that we will see a change in the eating patterns and lifestyles of individuals. Maintaining high immunity levels will become part of the new normal. We will also try and come up with new and innovative products that would boost our portfolio and help in enhancing the overall wellness of our consumers. Along with adding products to the portfolio, we are also looking for expansion across India and overseas in the markets of Singapore, Africa, Gulf countries and also further expanding it to Europe and the United States.