A ‘Strong Ticket’ Is Key For D2C Brands To Expand Globally: Bala Sarda, Vahdam India

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On the Day 1 of Inc42’s The D2C Summit 3.0, Vahdam India’s Bala Sarda spoke about the key factors for the D2C brands to consider while going global

There are significant costs attached to expanding globally and one cannot win another market with a half heart and needs to have a systematic plan in place, said Sarda

Vahdam India is currently one of the most prominent D2C brands in the country besides the likes of Mamaearth, boAt, Lenskart, MyGlamm, Bluestone, Bewakoof, and more

Bala Sarda, founder and CEO of indigenous tea brand Vahdam India believes that it is an incredible time for the Indian startups to go global albeit D2C brands need to have a “strong ticket (strong reason)” to expand their global footprint and win.

Speaking at Day 1 of Inc42’s The D2C Summit 3.0, in a session named D2C Brands’ Global Expansion Playbook, Sarda said, “My sense is that you should not go global just for the sake of going global,” adding that there are various factors the D2C brands need to consider for the same.

After all, there are significant costs attached to it and one cannot win another market with a half heart and needs to have a systematic plan in place.

“So, honestly, there needs to be a strong ticket to win is what I call it. It could be your product, it could be your distribution, it could be your understanding or some innovation in your value chain, but there needs to be a ticket to win for you to go global and do it successfully and do it effectively,” Sarda said.

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In fact, this was the fundamental premise for Vahdam when it started its operations in 2015. And when the startup addressed a lot of these factors, it started seeing better customer acceptance from day one, Sarda said.

However, he also noted that there is a trust issue with the brand India, and hence, he had realised that for his tea brand to expand globally, the bigger challenge lay in building trust rather than building the brand itself.

“How do you build trust? And I think the answer is honestly very straightforward… by being consistent, adding value to the customers, which can be done by making available a much better product, making available a product through a value chain that makes them feel better about consuming it, which makes them believe that they are contributing to the value chain, back to the farmers, doing something for the environment,” he added.

Founded in 2015 by Sarda, Vahdam India is a vertically-integrated, online-first tea brand, which has successfully taken its Indian-origin brands to global markets including the US, Canada, the UK and Germany.

Speaking at the event, Sarda also spoke about regulations for brands in global markets, ways to overcome challenges, pricing in various markets, and other strategies.

Vahdam India is currently one of the most prominent D2C brands in the country besides the likes of Mamaearth, boAt, Lenskart, MyGlamm, Bluestone, Bewakoof, Plum Goodness, among others.

Inc42 analysis in its latest ‘The State of Indian Ecommerce. Infocus: D2C” report suggests that the Indian D2C landscape’s Total Addressable Market (TAM) opportunity is set to cross $302 Bn By 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24% between 2021 and 2030.

On the Day 1 of Inc42’s The D2C Summit 3.0, there will be more discussions on the ways of building, operating, and scaling profitable ecommerce businesses in the country and solving several problems pertaining to logistics, brand building, marketing, and more. 

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