Bengaluru-based Nandu's started in 2016 with the vision to become India's fastest-growing and largest omnichannel meat brand. The company hygienically cleans, cuts, and packs fresh, healthy, high-quality meat and meat products in certified food-safe processing centers, untouched by bare human hands.
Narendra Pasuparthy, chief farmer, chief executive officer and co-founder of Nandu's, recalls his journey and says, "My family runs the Nanda Group, one of the pioneers of the poultry farming industry in India, I thought, what if we could create a missing link between us and the India consumers to make sure our chicken reaches their table. When I moved from the US to India, I saw a huge demand-supply gap in the meat retail space."
He mentioned that the open markets, where meats were processed, were filthy and unhygienic. India's largely unorganized meat sector was primarily responsible for the below-average quality standards. Nandu's was conceptualized as the missing link in the supply chain to capitalize on the market opportunity.
Farm to fork meat brand
Unlike other new-age meat retailers in the market, aggregators procuring their meats from 3rd party vendors, Nandu's controls the entire supply chain, from production to retail – right from rearing the chicken to the last leg of delivering it to the end consumers. "Our value proposition to consumers is that they should know what they're eating; how the meat is produced; how it is processed; and how it is finally brought to the customers' homes. And that's possible with Nandu's only because our entire supply chain is tech-enabled."
As far as safety measures at Nandu's are concerned, the company adopts high-end biosecurity measures at its farms. He claims, "We offer poultry free from hormones, steroids, antibiotics, and growth promoters. Nandu's process innovation and cutting-edge technology have ensured that we are counted among the most trustworthy brands in India."
According to Pasuparthy, another aspect differentiating Nandu's is working closely with farmers through integrated farming contracts. The farmers associated with Nandu's are exposed to zero market risks. The company safeguards them from the emotional and financial stress that impacts most Indian farmers who are still dependent on traditional poultry farming practices.
As a zero-waste company in the making, Nandu's has also been at the forefront of finding smart, sustainable solutions that cater to the needs of consumers and the planet. "Our eco-friendly packaging has been a game-changer and now the goal is to go 100% plastic-free."
FSSAI-certified production facilities & FSSC-certified processing centers
Nandu's has FSSAI-certified production facilities and FSSC-certified processing centers. The company adopts stringent quality checks across the supply chain and follows global food safety standards for the processing, handling and storage of meat.
Pasuparthy states, "We were the first poultry business in India to implement automated feeding systems; the birds are fed more efficiently and faster than manual feeding. The robotic feeding systems have facilitated cost optimization, minimized wastage, and optimized the efficiency of our operations. Similarly, our hatcheries are IoT enabled and can be monitored from anywhere in the world, courtesy the cloud-based system they run on."
"At our hatcheries, we use automation for weighing, grading, and selecting the best hatching eggs, which is used for broiler chicken production. Our incubators are IoT-enabled and help us monitor the incubation process accurately, thereby directly impacting the quality of the broiler chicken we produce. This in turn, impacts the quality of the meat that our customers consume," he adds.
71SKUs for online and 97 SKUs for offline retail
Nandu's ever-expanding product portfolio comprises responsibly farmed and sourced fresh chicken, mutton, fish and seafood, devoid of antibiotics, steroids and hormones and free of all chemicals. The company also has a wide range of heat-and-eat meat products, heat-and-eat momos, ready-to-cook biryanis, cold cuts, ready-to-cook marinades and breaded products, and pet food.
Currently, Nandu's has 71 SKUs on the website and eCommerce marketplaces and 97 SKUs for the offline retail space. Its highest-selling products include fresh chicken, mutton, fish, seafood, seekh kababs, chicken popcorn, sausages, ready-to-cook biryani, and ready-to-eat appetizers, such as Chicken 65, Chettinad.
Today, Nandu's is a hyperlocal brand with 55+ retail outlets across Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Pasuparthy shares, "We also offer our customers home delivery services via our eCommerce website, app, call center orders, and popular eCommerce marketplaces, such as Swiggy, Dunzo, and the like."
"Our brand positioning as a neighborhood meat store has given us the advantage of catering to most consumers who may not yet have embraced eCommerce, particularly when it comes to ordering meat online. Besides, Nandu's has fully integrated back-end operations, wherein we own our feed mills, breeding farms, hatcheries, broiler farms, processing centers, food factory, cold chain infrastructure and retail stores."
Cold chain infrastructure & Government initiatives
Cold chain infrastructure is a critical component in meat handling. Pasuparthy believes that today, with effective government policies and regulatory frameworks, there's immense opportunity to build a sustainable business model for the cold chain industry in India. "We need cost-effective solutions, powered by technologies, such as AI and IoT, to build a robust cold supply chain infrastructure in the country."
Growth and vision
Last year, Nandu's clocked a remarkable revenue of Rs 65 crore, 53% higher than the previous year. Given the growing consumer demand, particularly since the onset of the pandemic, the company expects to continue on the growth trajectory. "Our future expansion plans entail setting up 300 stores across India by 2026. The aim is to transform the hyperlocal meat purchasing experience for meat lovers in India and make fresh, healthy, high-quality meat and meat products accessible to customers, irrespective of where they are based," he concludes.