The Cold Press Forward
Raw Pressery, a company that reaches fresh, healthy cold-pressed juice to customers, has grown by over 100 percent in the last two years. Over the next three years, it aims to touch Rs. 300 crore in revenue by continuing its focus on the domestic and Middle Eastern markets. The company’s underlying vision: products that are ‘all good, no bad’.
Anuj Rakyan, who has experience in investment banking and branding, is also an avid sportsperson, having played tennis for his university in the U.S. After his return to India, when he injured his back while playing football for his club, surgery was recommended but he decided not to take that route, instead preferring Yoga and diet. “Though I was always diet conscious, having been active in sports right since I was 5, I started realizing that food was not just for nourishing but repairing the body too,” explains Rakyan. Making his own juice, fixing his own meals, watching what he ate and how it healed his body was a journey in itself.
Once, compelled to pick up a packaged juice in the airport, he realized they were not what they claimed to be. It took him but a day to decide that instead of working in an industry that did not excite him, he would rather do something that made a difference. He sold everything but the shirt on his back, moved back to his parents’ house, and began the journey to reach fresh, healthy juice to customers in 2013.
Glass by Glass
In the initial days, Rakyan went to the vegetable market in Mumbai to understand seasonal fruits, how to select the best and their nutritional benefits. He sold the juice to the health-conscious crowd walking on Marine Drive, went with the dabbawallahs for door delivery and then started getting orders through friends and relatives.
In three years, the company now has 160 employees, and is present in 12 cities at 1000 points of sale. In April this year, it will also be releasing in the Middle East – in UAE, to be followed by Saudi Arabia and Bahrain within the next six months. Going forward, the company will be focusing on strengthening its presence in the existing markets rather than spreading wide.
Raw Pressery, based in Mumbai, uses cold press technology to make juice and variants such as smoothies, soups and recently added nut milk (almond milk), assuring customers of sterilized and at the same time nutritious products without added additives and preservatives. “We use what is called HPP or high pressure pascalisation where pressure instead of heat is used to remove bacteria, and then it is sterile packed in vacuum environment to ensure shelf life,” explains he. ‘All good, no bad’ is the underlying philosophy of the company that defines the quality of the product as well as of the culture at the organization that stresses on quality at every level.
A Growing Market
Raw Pressery, which raised Rs 30.8 crore in Series B funding from Saama Capital, DSG Consumer Partners and existing investor Sequoia Capital, believes that cold pressed juice is the future and expects competition to pick up. “Currently, most fresh juice vendors are focused on local markets. Larger companies are more rigid because of their very size and driven more by their supply chain requirements,” points out Rakyan. Being small, Raw Pressery is driven more by customer needs, he adds. He welcomes competition as it will help grow the market.
Pricing too is a strategic decision that factors in the traditional Indian wariness to high cost and the current willingness to pay for quality and health. “We started by identifying and selling to influencers and the high end of the market, and now are moving to the middle of the pyramid,” he adds.
The company grew at 120 per cent in the first year, 130 per cent in the second year, and is projecting a growth of 100 per cent this year. In the next three years, it expects to touch Rs 300 crores in annual revenues.
Venture: Raw Pressery
Founded in: 2013
Founded By: Anuj Rakyan
Focus: Cold pressed fruit juices and related products
Funded by: Saama Capital, DSG Consumer Partners and Sequoia Capital
Insights from Raw Pressery
Product Development: To deliver what is promised – health and safe juices without additives and preservatives. Using the pascalization method, the company uses cold press technology to apply pressure and sterilize its products without destroying the nutrients.
Market Development: Currently cold pressed products are available only locally. Raw Pressery has innovated on packaging to increase shelf life, and SCM to ensure timely delivery of its products for optimum shelf life.
Reach: The company will develop the markets it is present in currently but is also looking to expand in the Middle East shortly.
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