Why I choose to start a #FMCG company after working in advertising

One of the most common questions i get these days when people are introduced to Pling, is why food ? To be honest,it was really never the plan.

After spending most of my career in service industry, i sort of did see myself exiting from the services scene. It’s not like i spent 20 years but even with just 7 years I realised that it’s not scalable, requires your physical and mental well being and is a rat race.

For me business is about making money while sleeping

Now don’t mistake that means easy money. It simply means focussing your effort in creating systems or organisations which could go on with or without your mental/physical presence , scalable in terms of geography and create intangible assets which are unique and even if part of a certain competition is not a rat race.

I have built companies from scratch and the most important part i have realised is if the businesses core or main asset is tangible or physical assets or HR talent or a manufacturing setup, it's not really a good business model. Because if one fine day you remove either from the equation, what do you really have ?

So after exiting saltmangotree, I wanted to leave my consulting hat for good and was looking out for opportunities. Technology products was the fever during the period, so i naturally inclined to do something in the tech product space. This was also the time I started the Kitchen initiative which gave me an immense hands on grasp of the reality of things. After having tried few ideas and business model, really lost the light at the end of the tunnel.

If i am to highlight few reasons of why I finally choose a #food or #FMCG idea over a #tech product, that would be :

Huge Market

Probably should be showing a huge figure to show you the economics of it, of how organised snacks market is still just under 40% and yadayadayada but come on guys, people need food to eat and that’s a space which keeps growing.No much arguments there!

Huge Learning Opportunity

My biggest asset is that I know nothing or very little about the industry, sorta blank slate when it comes to this sector which gives me immense area to learn a lot.

The biggest management university or learning institution is an entrepreneurial journey

My eventual goal is to get into academics , be a teacher or may be start a school. And when i get there, i’d like to give back what i learned beyond just teaching from textbooks.

Intangible Assets

In Business it's all about the value you create

The brand, value chain , distribution network, customer experience are pillars of the domain and that’s an area I hope to have a doctorate on.I have always been a believer of intangible assets and the value creation behind it. My previous exit in fact is a true testimony for it. The foreign investor that came in was hugely impressed by the brand saltmangotree that we had created.

Beyond business value, it’s all about what your legacy is. Are you the person who sat down doing the same thing everyday confined to a certain domain or did you create something that will carry on even after your lifetime ?

There is thus also a personalit driven instinct attached to the whole thing.

Sustainable Living

Not to jargonize but I live in a state where 80% of the food consumption is from the produce outside the state. In near future, I see agriculture to become the most lucrative or required business there is. The government push for the sector needs to be supported by value addition industries so that farming becomes a organised or a white collared job in coming days.I see what I am doing as a first step in my own journey to get there.

More businesses in FMCG is good news for food processing industry which is good news for agri sector.

Being unsettled

In business, you win some and you lose some

As someone who has tasted a reasonable level of success in a particular domain, unlearning something or adapting becomes very difficult. Not to forget the huge amounts of accumulated ego over the period.

I’d to be in a constant state of being unsettled, at least as long as i can afford that. Doing the same thing everyday , growing in a predictable manner , usually work chaos , usual work challenges have not grown on me yet.


So what’s your calling ? I’d like to know if you have similar thoughts.