Kanhai Foods: Aspiring To Bring In Revolutionary Changes In The Market Through Constant Innovation | CEOInsights Vendor
Kanhai Foods: Aspiring To Bring In Revolutionary Changes In The Market Through Constant Innovation

Kanhai Foods: Aspiring To Bring In Revolutionary Changes In The Market Through Constant Innovation

Shashank Chokhani,   Co-Founder

Shashank Chokhani


The very birth of the company ‘Kanhai Foods’, the manufacturers and marketers of ‘Kabhi B' bread, is an innovation itself. Driven by the desire to bring the best quality bakery products to the predominant Jain and vegetarian population of Ahmedabad, two young Marwari businessmen, Shashank Chokhani and Ajay Kariwala, launched ‘Kabhi B' bread- a fully vegetarian bread, made without any eggs and Vaidehi Chokhani later joined this venture while the company was launching 'Kabhi B'. Till date all the product range of 'Kabhi B' is fully vegetarian. Shashank’s commitment to never compromise on the quality of their products has been one the primary catalyst behind Kabhi B Foods sustained success in the market. This coupled with the company’s passion for consistent improvement has helped them to develop into one of the preferred names in this segment.

In an exclusive interview with CEO Insights, Shashank talks more about his professional journey and the unique
operations of Kabhi B Foods.

Can you talkmore about your educational and professional background?
I took a Bachelor ’s degree in commerce and wanted to go abroad for further studies. For that, I shifted to Mumbai from Ahmedabad to my uncle’s house and prepared for examinations such as TOEFEL and GMAT. Though, I got admission call from the University of Texas for the MBA programme, my father was hesitant to let me go.

While I was staying in Mumbai at marine drive, I used to visit and admire famous Bakeries located at hurchgate and always wondered why such a bakery could not be opened in Ahmedabad. So, when I came back to Ahmedabad, I decided to try my luck in the market and started a bakery business with just three varieties of bread and three auto rickshaws. And, at the beginning, I would sometimes deliver the bread on my scooter itself. I am from a Marwari family where it is strictly forbidden to consume eggs and non-vegetarian foods. So, when I started my business, I introduced 100 percent
eggless bakery products including breads.

Tell us more about 'Kabhi B' and what makes it unique?
The birth of 'Kabhi B' bakery and patisserie outlets in the year 2003 and its exponential growth to 96 outlets spread over 31 cities of Gujarat, is testimony to the deep understanding of the consumer needs, and an innovative marketing approach we took. The hub and spoke model adopted by us has ensured that, strategically placed kitchens supply fresh cakes and pastries to these outlets twice daily. Developing the supply chain and production forecasting in such a perishable product with an unpredictable demand pattern is the trade secret behind the enduring growth story of 'Kabhi B'. Here too, we adopted the human resource development model by creating entrepreneurs from the company’s employees themselves which has created a unique bonding and ownership for each of these outlets.

Do not consider anyone as your competitor, always think about bettering your bench mark, whether it is in the quality y of the product or the service to the customer

Needless to state that continuous product innovations and launch of new products is woven into the DNA of the company itself, but our aggressive marketing techniques have become trendsetters for the industry. Kabhi B has mastered the art of customer retention not only through its wide range of products, but also through loyalty point schemes and other innovative campaigns. We have always been innovative with our retail model. For example, we have a loyalty membership program that rewards our customers. I really love the loyalty points. Once they enroll as a loyalty customer, the retention and repeat business is always there. Kabhi B’s loyalty incentives are complemented by other methods of customer retention, such as the company’s active digital marketing presence, which ensures engagement on a continuous basis, and providing products that represent value for money.

Throw some light on Kabhi B and its success in the market?
The innovation in the recipes itself to provide delicious quality, fluffiness and decent shelf life to a wide variety of bakery products is the innovative cornerstone on which we were founded and grown.
Packaging innovations like the twist wire packing instead of staplers, was not only a novelty but a great step forward in terms of removing the inherent safety hazards to human consumers. The runaway success of 'Kabhi B' was also on account of developing the human resources by making the erstwhile bread hawkers into entrepreneurs in their own right. The company provided the means in terms of an auto rickshaw and professional training. The company even today is well served by over 50 such entrepreneurs who consider the company as their own. We were also the first to launch path breaking variants like the 'Brown Bread', 'Atta Pizza Base' and the 'Sliced Buns' & Sliced Pav, which are today generically associated with 'Kabhi B'.

What are some of your major future plans that you are looking forward to?
For Kabhi B, we plan to have launched a frozen bakery division, with niche high-end bakeries set to follow in 2022, in select target markets. Our frozen bakery project is now 80 percent complete, and we have already started identifying places & locations for our highend bakeries.

The company’s quest for excellence in all processes took shape in it being the first company to get an ISO and International Food Safety certification. And going forward, we want to continue improving the quality of our products while being innovative at the same time.

What would be your advice to the upcoming entrepreneurs?
Do not consider anyone as your competitor, always think about bettering your benchmark, whether it is in the quality of the product or the service to the customer. Your own quest will be visible to the customers who will become loyal to your brand. Moreover, embrace technology, innovate fully, and seek disruptive change. Most startups that find success initially fade away quickly because they get into to the complacency mode and start believing that they have the right formula for success. Also, understand that success is a journey and not a milestone. It should be based on the age-old principles of hard work, respect, and humility.

Shashank Chokhani, Co-Founder, Kanhai Foods
The pioneering business leader, Shashank believes that 'Success is all about bettering one’s own benchmarks on a continuous basis through innovation, commitment and teamwork'. He has stayed true to this belief and attributes this to the success he has had in the industry.

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