Safal, the brand name of Mother Dairy Fruit and Vegetable Pvt Ltd, will expand through franchisee model and accordingly might set up outlets across India, depending upon the business proposals they receive. It also plans to launch 100 more fruit and vegetable outlets in the next 12 months.
Safal was the first organised food and vegetable retail business, which started in 1988. Since then, Safal booths have been operated by ex-servicemen and civilians as a part of the company’s corporate social responsibility and are owned or controlled by the company.
“We are exploring more options to increase penetrations. Hence, the franchise model becomes the most appropriate business model to attract professional entrepreneurs to run the business,” said Sunil Bansal, chief operating officer, horticulture business, Mother Dairy Fruit and Vegetable Pvt Ltd.
He said the company would provide training and facilities to run these booths. “We are open to prospective business proposals, even if they are outside Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).”
Safal has 400 outlets across Delhi and NCR. They have 25 big format stores (1,500-2,000 square feet) in Bangalore. With a 65 per cent market share, it is the market leader in the organized fruit and vegetable retail.
Bansal said, “The area required would be around 400 sq feet with investment of about Rs 5 lakh to Rs 6 lakh. To attract entrepreneurs from all over the country willing to invest money in our business, we would also be participating in the Asia’s biggest business-to-business annual franchise and retail exhibition, organised by Franchise India, on December 11 at Hotel Ashok. We would be giving advice and inputs to the entrepreneurs along with the training of shop level management, merchandising, stock accounting and sales.”
Bansal said the company expected to achieve a turnover of Rs 500 crore with the expansion next year. Last year, Safal reported a turnover of Rs 400 crore and is reportedly growing at an annual rate of 25 per cent.
With the entry of Reliance Fresh, Aditya Birla’s More, Spencer’s and REI Six Ten Retail, the competition in the organized fruits and vegetables retail has increased. “We like competition as it helps to grow. We have been able to maintain our leadership because we are able to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables daily that do not contain any pesticides or preservatives. They are pure and natural, straight from farms. Others have just been able to grow at 10-15 per cent because they have not been able to minimise wastage. We have even less than three per cent waste every day,” Bansal said.