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—Dipanjan Basu, Partner and CFO, Fireside Ventures

India’s consumer economy and brand-building are at an inflection point. On the one hand, we see a refreshing change in millennial consumption behaviour, leading to a surge in niche brands. On the other, there is a more capital-efficient way to approach brand building while banking on the wave of digital distribution. As we build our portfolio, we are seeing gaps in two areas in the consumer brand space in India—super foods, personal care and tech.

Now, food consumption is not just to meet basic energy requirements, it is also about consuming a diet rich in nutrients. And superfoods do just that. The government has been aggressively focussing on promoting nutri-cereals, but the space has not seen a lot of players, apart from startups like Good Dot. Startups have huge potential to tap into this unexplored market, and US-based company Beyond Meat has shown the way. Personal care, as a space, is also very promising. There is a huge opportunity to disrupt the market by creating a unique combination of tech and product. Startups can look to provide an interactive platform which offers a range of personalized wellness products. This will revolutionize the way products are consumed and will shape the industry.

Apart from these, it is worth mentioning the way these new-age brands are getting increased market share. These brands are becoming more capital-efficient. With the right combination of debt, and with an equity of about $2-3 million, we have seen startups scaling to a $10million-plus revenue run rate in a short period. To conclude, we are in a unique era and entrepreneurs today have a shot at creating large enterprises in the consumer brand space. Our key objective is to invest and support innovative startups that can scale and emerge as unicorns.

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