The ice cream does not contain any artificial flavour or preservatives. People from across the country have loved the ice cream so much that some of them get it packed for the near ones whenever they travel to Mumbai. Most of them would now have the choice to get it at convenience closer to their home.
Natural Ice Cream, which started its journey from a 300 sq ft store in Mumbai's Juhu more than three decades age, is now set to spread wings nationwide. Starting with Delhi, where more than 2,400 scoops of Natural ice-cream are flown daily during the wedding season, the company has plans to tap the entire north region, followed by east and the south over the next few years.
Natural, which opened its first store in New Delhi on Wednesday, plans to open atleast five outlets in the capital over the next few months. "Over the next five years, we'll open about 100 new outlets, most of them being franchisee owned, across the country to establish a nation-wide presence," said Srinivas Kamath, the 30-year-old director of Natural that his father had founded.
This could be the first step by the company which is bound to hit the Street over the next few years. It has already received strong interests from private equity investors, but decided not to go for a PE funding. "We may look at a strategic investor," Kamath said.
Natural, which had revenue of Rs 75 crore in the previous fiscal year, has 118 outlets, predominantly in the western part of the country, and a few in Karnataka. Kamath said the company will have one company-owned store in each city and the remaining would be franchised. However, it would have five owned outlets in Delhi.
The company has more than doubled store count since 2012 - from 50 to 118, and sells about 1.4 lakh scoops daily.
Besides, Kamath said it has plans to tao overseas markets, especially where non-resident Indians stay. Neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, west Asian nations and Singapore would ne natural choice for Natural Ice-cream, he added.
Despite its expansion, the company has not changed its core strength of staying natural, and all its products are made at its only factory at Charkop, near Mumbai.
The ice-cream market in India is estimated at Rs 3,000 crore. Besides market leader Amul, Baskin-Robbins and Gelato together have about 600 outlets across the country. Kwality Wall's, Mother Diary and Vadilal too have a strong presence in the northern part of the country.