Thursday, February 2, 2023
HomeAnimalAssociates’ ‘Spice Story’ on Shark Tank

Associates’ ‘Spice Story’ on Shark Tank

Usually sitting together with our thalis, this meals merchandise may usually really feel decorative to the primary course however strive excluding it, and the platter loses its appeal. Are you able to think about consuming piping scorching samosa with out the inexperienced chutney, or North India’s papdi chaat with out the tangy, candy and spicy saunth?

As numerous as India is in its tradition, heritage, and panorama, one factor that binds all of us collectively is our meals. And for each 100 km that you just journey in any route, you might be more likely to encounter a brand new style of chutney, modified to go well with the area’s local weather and other people’s style palate.

Capitalising on an Indian’s love for meals and their timeless loyalty to chutney, 40-year-old  Soumyadeep Mukherjee has managed to construct a chutney empire. His startup ‘Spice Story’ lately raised Rs 70 Lakh for five p.c fairness on Shark Tank Season 2, and right here is his story.

Deep dive into an entrepreneurial journey

In 2018, on an everyday journey to the grocery retailer, Soumyadeep noticed individuals shopping for inexperienced chutney from the shop. So, he determined to strive it too and acquired some.

“When my spouse noticed it, she stated, ‘Oh let’s make pani puri to go together with this chutney. It appears contemporary’. That’s when it hit me that there isn’t any model in India that sells chutney,” Mukherjee remembers to The Higher India.

Hailing from Indore, Mukherjee had moved to totally different cities due to his job. Earlier than beginning Spice Story, he had a 20-year-long profession in distribution and advertising and marketing, the place he labored with corporations like Coca-Cola, ADF Meals, and so on.

Whereas the thought of constructing a chutney model appeared good in Mukherjee’s head, saying it out loud didn’t get the form of reception he hoped for.

Spice Story is an Indian brand that sells different flavours of chutney.
Mukherjee left his 20-year-long profession to start out Spice Story. Image credit score: Soumyadeep Mukherjee

“Once I talked to my mates about this concept, they merely stated ‘chutney could be made at dwelling simply, why would anybody purchase it from you?’. This was an excellent argument, however I had a easy reply to that. Indians love comfort. Each family has ginger and garlic at their dwelling, however nonetheless, ginger garlic paste sells like hotcakes at grocery shops. So, I had a powerful feeling that it will work,” he says.

Belonging to a middle-class household with two children to take care of, leaving a 20-year profession to comply with his dream didn’t come simple.

“I offered my dwelling to get began on the enterprise. I informed my spouse that I’m going to depart my job and begin a enterprise. Fortunately she didn’t depart me saying that I had misplaced my thoughts!” he shares, including, “I informed her ‘I’m 40 years previous, and if I don’t do that now, then I’d not be capable of do it once more. If I fail, somebody will rent me at 45 however not at 50. So that is my window’.”

‘Aspect of the plate is as vital’

“The primary sauce the model launched was a sriracha sauce, however it didn’t take off very nicely. I realised that Indians love their desi meals. Amongst all the favored tremendous eating eating places within the nation, most of them serve Indian delicacies. An individual from Gujarat will eat Gujarati meals every single day at dwelling, however nonetheless exit to eat at Govardhan Thal [which serves Gujarati cuisine]!” he says.

He continues, “I realised that there isn’t any organised marketplace for chutneys. If we would like pickles, we are saying Mom’s Recipe; if we would like papad, we are saying Lijjat. If we need to purchase packaged water, we are saying Bisleri. If we need to cook dinner Chinese language at dwelling, we ask for Ching’s. However there isn’t any such go-to model for chutney. I needed to faucet into this chance.”

He provides, “The facet of the plate is as vital because the centre for Indians, so I believed ‘why not give them a chutney model?’”.

Soumyadeep Mukherjee started Spice Story.
With a staff of 11 individuals, the model now has 14 variants of chutneys from all around the nation. Image credit score: Soumyadeep Mukherjee

A spicy slope to success

With hope in his coronary heart, Mukherjee began by manufacturing solely three chutneys initially.

“We made three primary merchandise — imli chutney from Gujarat, Bombay sandwich chutney, and mint chutney from Delhi. In mint chutney, we had a variant with out onion and garlic. These merchandise had been successful, and we realised that persons are shopping for what they already learn about. So, I made a decision to go totally desi after that and have become certain to not enterprise into sauces from different international locations,” he says.

Because the chutney model’s reputation elevated, so did individuals’s religion in his concept.

In 2020, he was joined by two of his mates with comparable ambitions — Gayatri Gogate, who was a advertising and marketing lead at Nykaa and is now the CMO of Spice Story, and Vibhor Rastogi, who was a chef and now handles high quality management for the chutney startup.

Explaining the method of bringing new recipes into the menu, Mukherjee says, “All three of us are foodies; we like to journey and experiment with meals. At any time when I discover a chutney I like, I gather samples and provides them to Vibhor, who then does his magic. The chutney then goes to a meals testing lab known as Equinox, the place the shelf life and dietary values of the product are decided.”

With a staff of 11 individuals, the model now has 14 variants of chutneys — together with Dilliwali Spicy Mint Chutney, Kolkata Mango Mustard Journey, Mumbai Schezwan Mayhem, Agra ki Saunth, Indori Lemon Chutney, and The Authentic Kolhapuri Jhatka.

The shelf lifetime of all of the merchandise is as much as 12 months, and they’re obtainable to buy on the model’s web site and on Amazon, Flipkart, Flipkart Grocery, Swiggy Instamart, Bigbasket, Reliance Mart, and Extra retail.

“The title actually justifies the style. It’s completely mindblowing, and anybody who loves spice goes to like them,” says Antara Roy. One more reviewer stated, “The packing is so good and simple to hold wherever we would like, at any time. Liked the chutneys too.”

After profitable the hearts of individuals across the nation along with his chutneys, Mukherjee was in a position to seize the eye of the sharks within the second season of Shark Tank India.

Spice Story at Shark Tank India Season 2
The startup gained Rs 70 lakh on Shark Tank. Image credit score: Soumyadeep Mukherjee

“It’s like clearing a CAT examination. Some 30,000 individuals pitch their concepts and to be chosen amongst them is encouraging and humbling. However pitching is not only to the sharks however to the a whole bunch of individuals watching the present on TV. It doesn’t matter if I raised cash or not, however assembly these iconic individuals and telling them about my enterprise is wonderful,” he says narrating his expertise on the fact present.

Mukherjee’s zeal for bringing comfort to individuals’s doorstep doesn’t finish with making chutneys. He desires to enterprise into different untouched areas of the Indian meals trade.

“We’re able to launch a spread of Indian gravies available in the market. One other space we need to discover is hand-pounded spices. We need to transcend the Indian market and change into a world model. We want to be a family title so far as chutneys are involved,” he informs.

Edited by Pranita Bhat



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments