18 December 2017

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Food Made For You : Bangs India

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Hailing from Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu, Asvin Simon was passionate about fast food since childhood. No wonder, this IT graduate went to the extend leaving the comforts of a salaried job to start Bangs in 2009, at the age of 23. Started as a kiosk in Chennai, Bangs today have a turnover close to 18 crores with 40 plus outlets across 13 states in India and overseas.

The Food & Beverages market is growing fast paced and Bangs India Pvt. Ltd is well positioned to deliver in this market because of its wide food choice. Bangs - the Indian domestic fried chicken brand, has established outlets in those cities like Jammu, Srinagar and Nagecoil where no international brands dared to step in.

 

Initial Days

Asvin belongs to a business family, but his parents wanted him to become a software engineer. He started his career with a small information technology company in 2007, which according to him was a side income for his dream and for making his family happy. A smart move was made by Asvin by setting up the first Kiosk at a prominent location at Indi Mall on Nelson Manickam Road in Chennai.

“It was with an investment of Rs. 500,000 (including 200,000 security deposit), backed by my parents” recalls Asvin.  "From the beginning I wanted to work on volumes; I therefore kept my cost low” he explains his start up strategy. He sold burger for just Rs.15/- and the initial menu included just burgers & wraps. To improve sales, he offered home delivery which brought him very good results. As he could generate enough volume to think of expansion, it was a slow and steady growth to cover different regions of the cities with kiosks, rather than going for the restaurants. “The thought behind number of kiosks was to acquire greater visibility in the city in lesser cost. This was one way of branding that I could follow and afford" says Asvin.

Challenges

“Starting from ground zero is never an easy task even if you belong to a business class family. Especially if it is a totally different line from the family business, getting a green signal and support from family was one of my initial challenges” says Asvin. At 23 he started Bangs and the biggest challenge for him then was knowing the demand and finding the target audience.

On Marketing Strategies

“We have different strategies when it comes to marketing of Bangs. Our most important tactic is word-of-mouth and in-store marketing. This will be by far the cheapest and most effective of our marketing programs because of the high traffic in targeted shopping locations” says Asvin. Apart from this, there are regular marketing activities like events, conferences, media interactions, PR news etc. to keep them on in news in everywhere. “We look at both ATL & BTL activities to popularize the brand. If one needs to sustain, multi level marketing and promotion is the key. Eyeing one mode of marketing and ignoring the other doesn’t make sense. So we have a 360 degree media approach.” says Asvin.

The company has budgeted Rs. 2 Cr. for marketing activities this year. With cricketer Murali Vijay as brand ambassador, it has been made easier for the company to be recognized as their customers recall them through his face. They are present in print, electronic, & FM Ads, beside digital media including Facebook and YouTube. “We provide information to consumers and then they are intelligent enough to understand and take decisions on what is good for them” explains Asvin.

 

Business Model

Bangs has a franchising business model and is looking out to open 400 franchisees across the country in next 5 year. Out franchise outlets gets their support, supply, product quality and the training of the staff, beside the franchise owner receives all technical and marketing support with customary visits and audit checks.

Bangs’ design focuses on ‘Made for You’ concept where the food is cooked soon the customer gives the order. “We also do surveys which evaluate our price with those of McDonald, KFC and Pizza Hut” says Asvin.

 

Future Plans

“I am eyeing to touch 500 outlets across India in next 5 years, out of which 100 would be company owned while the other would be franchise outlets” says Asvin. The company is aiming to touch all metros and tier 2 and tier 3 cities. So far Bangs was self funded and funded through bank loans. Now he look forward to raise close Rs. 30 crore from private equity. Bangs opened its first overseas outlet in Doha in July this year and is planning to open 3 more outlets in Qatar, Malaysia & Dubai in next year.

When asked about his greatest inspiration in life, Asvin says that it is his father. “Getting a white collar job was something, I was never interested in. I never wanted to work under anyone. Instead, I always dreamt of running my business. After all it was in my blood, as my father himself is a successful businessman into Exports & Imports and shipments, and I enjoyed assisting him” concludes Asvin.

 
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