“Propagating vocal for local, street food Vada Pav became Indian burger”
GN Bureau | January 8, 2021
Dheeraj Gupta, founder of the home-grown vada pav brand Jumboking, says it is important to believe in your core business, remain focused and become business specialists rather than generalists.
“From day one we were sure of the recipe we wanted. People responded really well and started loving Vada Pav. We call it Indian burger. We wanted to deal with a single product and become so good at it that people would want to eat vada pav only at Jumboking,” Gupta said. He was speaking with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now, in a webinar during the Visionary Talk series held by the public policy and governance analysis platform.
Gupta said that even though consumers wanted options like samosa and not merely a vada pav, they are smart enough to know where they are spending their money.
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Emphasising that it is important to remain focused on core business for it to succeed, Jumboking owner said that there are many case studies in the country where specialist businesses have done well. “People love specialists but they are worried about failure so they remain generalists and take too much time in making a decision.”
He also said that once the business starts doing well people lose focus and this adds flab to the business. “The pandemic forced all non-aligned businesses to shut down and focus on their core business. It has been a good opportunity to shed flab,” he observed.
Gupta further said that once the pandemic is over, Jumboking will be one if the first companies to be up and running because it has continued to remain focused and now plans to expand to other cities. “We will continue to focus and strive to become world-class player.”
While adding that there is enough room for brands to grow in the market and important for businesses to stick to a product for growth, Gupta said that Jumboking plans to set up 2,000 stores in the time span of five-seven years, i.e., ten times the number of current stores.
Responding to a question on what should be the focus of food business franchise owners during Covid and post-Covid times, he explained that franchising is a mindset. It is an ecosystem where franchisees come and run stores.
“It is because of its franchise model that Jumboking was able to operate at very low costs. Covid has highlighted the strength of franchising where costs are kept low and businesses can tide over rough times with minimum impact. If you believe in your business franchise model, if it is genuinely adding value to your business, it must be opted for,” he said.
Answering a question on how businesses can ensure that quality standards are maintained by franchisees, Gupta said that having a correct audit mechanism will ensure quality standards by franchises. “Those who do not follow the norms, we mentor them out or tell them to start complying immediately.”
On Jumboking’s tie up with e-commerce food delivery platforms, Gupta said platforms like Swiggy and Zomato having a royalty-based programme have been a win-win situation for the company. “As of now, Swiggy and Zomato contribute to 15% of Jumboking’s total sales. We plan to cap it at 20%,” said Gupta as he added that Jumboking was planning to have its own delivery platform in future.
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