In conversation with Restaurant India, the US-returned techie shares the uniqueness of Nandu’s chicken.
When the thought, “Where is my food coming from? What am I feeding my children?” continuously bothered Narendra Kumar Pasuparthy at restaurants and he exactly knew what had to be done next. Hailing from a family that bred and sold chicken, it only helped him reach his goals much sooner. With eight veterinarians and three nutritionists to look after the poultry, Nandu’s Chicken is probably the only brand in the country to breed and sell fresh chicken through its own retail chain.
Take us through the journey of Nandu's Chicken.
Nandu’s chicken is a part of 55-year-old company Nanda Group and we mostly sell our live birds to traders. In 2006, when I returned home from the USA, every time I had a meal with my kids, I wondered where the chicken came from and how safe was it to consume. The butchery stores are most often very low in hygiene. Since we had our own feed, hatchery and farm, I decided we should reach the consumers directly. As the last mile of processing and retailing was missing, we decided to launch that as well. In 2016, the retail chain was open for sales. We now have 10 stores in Bengaluru and plan to expand in a phased manner.
The meat consumption industry has largely been an unorganised sector. What are the challenges?
Well, to begin with how to reach the consumer is always a challenge for the industry. Also, the quality of meat is compromised because sometimes infected birds are mixed up with other birds.
There is still a gap in the online delivery of meat products. How does Nandu's plan to contribute in bridging this gap?
We are largely a physical retail chain. Although, we have our own website, app and a call centre to take orders. We are not a pure online player. However, the market for online delivery of meat products is small and much of our customer base prefers to walk into the store, take a look and buy the meat. We charge a convenience fee of Rs 35 for delivering within 5 km distance and will continue to work that way.
What are your fiscal targets?
The Nanda Group is a 400-crore company and Nandu’s Chicken is self-funded. We are significantly present in all Southern states, but will focus on the market in Bengaluru. Our target is to achieve Rs 1 crore revenue per store in a year’s time.
What business model do you follow and are you looking at franchising model?
We are putting technology in place to operate seamlessly, but for now we are company-owned, company-operated. Franchising is not on the radar for us at the moment.
What are expansion plans? (Both offline and online)
We have 10 stores in Bengaluru already and the target for 2018 is to launch at least 10 more . Eventually, we plan to take our brand to prominent cities in a phased manner. Soon, we will also be expanding on a store-in-store model.