We are thrilled to announce our investment of USD 1 million in GO DESi, a new age ‘desi’ confectionery brand. GO DESi’s mission is to build India’s most loved FMCG brand selling Indian sweets and candies. They manufacture, market, and sell confectionery products inspired by local and regional traditions, flavours, and formats. The products include local confectionery items including Desi Popz (sour chewy chocolate usually made of tamarind), Desi Mints (mouth-freshener made of betel leaves, fennel seeds, dates ), Desi Meetha (sweet made of coconut, pistachio, almond, gur ) and Desi Chaat (spiced dehydrated fruits). Many of these product formats are popular items commonly consumed in Indian households, purchased from local shops and vendors in unbranded forms.
Apart from a strong distribution network of more than 15,000 stores across 108 cities, GO DESi is also present on all key e-commerce and q-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart, Instamart, Bigbasket, Zepto. At the backend, the team is focused on empowering disadvantaged micro-entrepreneurs. One of their 2 manufacturing units is in rural Manangi Grama, near Sira, Karnataka, where they employ more than 70 women from marginalised backgrounds.
We love the ‘desi’ confectionery category.
At DSGCP, we have a strong thesis on building insurgent CPG brands in the traditional Indian sweets and savouries segment. We believe this is a highly unorganised market with incredible opportunities to build brands focusing on themes such as premiumization and ‘better for you’ with high-quality ingredients.
According to Statista, the revenue in the confectionery segment amounted to US $38.98bn in 2022 in India. On average, an Indian consumes 6 kg of confectionery every year or US $28 per person. A significant portion of this market is highly unorganized and falls in the ‘desi confectionery’ category. This category enjoys high penetration, from metros to small towns, and across different income profiles.
India has a rich history of flavours and formats in sweet and sour confectionery which has evolved over thousands of years and passed down from one generation to the next. Some of these products include the immensely popular khatta imli, mukhwas, barfi, mithai, chikki, aam papad, churan-goli, and dried amla.
Existing large-scale brands in confectionery have done an impressive job in bringing popular international formats such as eclairs, toffee, lollipops, and mints to India. However, they have played a limited role in adapting local formats to create a brand in ‘desi’ confectionery—and this is the opportunity for GO DESi.
Product & Customer Love
The current hero SKUs – the Imli pops, are manufactured inhouse. The products contain no refined sugar, artificial flavours, or preservatives. Consumers love the brand for its delicious take on local flavors, peppy packaging, and the nostalgia it offers of their childhood favourites in a CPG form.
The products have performed very well in online as well as retail formats. The store velocity and distributor payment terms are extremely healthy indicating robust customer offtake.
Strong offline execution skills and capital efficiency
Some of our biggest successes in our journey at DSGCP were in offline-first food and beverage brands like Sula, Veeba, Epigamia, Chaipoint, Rawpressery etc. We aren’t a D2C investor, we back consumer brands. We are channel agnostic. Our belief is that offline will be the primary channel in most categories of packaged food and beverages. We love teams with a flair for the offline channel, strong execution, and working capital management skills. Vinay – the founder of GO DESi has a strong background in offline FMCG distribution.
The team has built the business in an extremely capital-efficient manner with a strong focus on the offline channel. The company has reached 15,000+ stores across 100+ cities, shipped to more than 2 lakh consumers, set up two manufacturing units to meet the growing demand, and launched multiple SKUs – all while running a tight ship. The company extensively uses data in monitoring performance and decision-making. The founders have a ‘value’ mindset and have a strong focus on the bottom line.
The biggest consideration in our investment decision is always the founding team. We love what Vinay and Raksha bring to the table and their passion for building an enduring brand while giving back to society. Their values are extremely aligned with our philosophy of fundamentals-first business and brand building! Over the years they have built a strong team to take GO DESi to new heights and it is our privilege to be a part of their amazing journey.