Japan Vyas, founder at Roots Ventures
Japan Vyas, founder at Roots Ventures

Reverse Pitch | 'Lot of innovation is required to cater to consumers in the pre-purchase phase'

In a soon to be a trillion dollar Indian retail market, the pre-purchase market itself could be worth tens of billions if addressed properly

The consumer brands space in India is undergoing rapid change and will possibly be transformed over the next decade. Building a brand is no more the standard playbook of large fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies that included controlling the retail shelf space. An under branded market such as ours, coupled with the growing wallet size of the Indian consumer and the changing nature of spending will see the creation of lots of new age brands in existing consumer categories or even the creation of new categories itself.

With channels such as e-commerce, reseller networks, peer-to-peer (P2P) selling, and modern retail, these brands are able to bypass the stranglehold of FMCG behemoths on traditional retail. However, the consumer today is increasingly faced with the paradox of choice. We believe there is a lot of innovation required to cater to consumer needs in the pre-purchase phase that goes way beyond just information or ease of transaction, to truly helping consumers take decisions by experiencing brands and products personally. In a soon to be a trillion dollar Indian retail market, the pre-purchase market itself could be worth tens of billions if addressed properly.

We are extremely bullish about consumer-tech startups who are solving this problem with deep technology and strong consumer understanding. One of our portfolio companies, Smytten, is delivering this experience for consumers through sampling, storytelling, and two-way communication. It has rapidly emerged as the largest omni-channel destination facilitating on-demand trials for premium consumer brands in India. With a strong data-driven approach, they have not only helped millions of consumers discover and try products from new age to established brands, but also have brought in massive efficiencies for brands in managing their sampling activities and improving direct consumer engagement with real-time feedback and analytics. We look forward to many more innovations in this space that will disrupt the existing go-to-market approach of the brands.

Reverse Pitch is like a normal investors pitch, but with the roles reversed. That means the startup doesn’t present its business to investors but investors and companies pitch their business concept, challenges and the like to startups.

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