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Vinay Kothari was inspired by the colourful spread of candies and fruit bars on display at a chai shop while on a holiday. Manufactured by local self-help groups, these candies delighted him so much that he lugged 30 Kg of them to Bengaluru to sell at a local flea market. The concept of GO DESi was cemented that day as Vinay and his sister Raksha Kothari realised the immense potential of the local snacks and sweets.
GO DESi has set up a sales presence across neighbourhood shops, ecommerce marketplaces and hyperlocal delivery apps. It claims to be catering to more than a million customers, and its products are currently available in 15,000 retail outlets. Currently, it claims to be making 2 Lakh products a day from its 5,000 sq ft facility in Bengaluru. Till date, the startup says it has sold 40 Mn products and crossed the INR 2 Cr monthly revenue mark in December 2021. From INR 8.85 Cr in 2021, it expects to grow its revenue to INR 18 Cr by March this year.
The USP for GO DESi’s products is that they have no added colour, flavouring or preservatives, so people can satisfy their cravings without guilt, or worrying about quality and food safety. Most of its products are low-sugar items, and naturally sweetened with jaggery instead of processed sugar. Further, the produce used to make these products is sourced from a network of farmers and reliable vendors, before being distributed to self-help groups.
Like Lijjat Papad helped women sell their handmade products to become self-reliant, GO DESi is empowering community groups in villages to bring traditional flavours and forgotten recipes to ecommerce marketplaces, retail locations but with a focus on nutrition as well as taste. The company claims to have created jobs for more than 250 women from rural Karnataka in the process. The startup currently offers 40 SKUs and has entered the desi mithai segment. Its top-selling products include DESi POPz or lollipops and the aim is to similarly reinvigorate the ‘desi foods’ category.
The D2C startup aims to expand its presence to 50,000 stores, get 3x revenue growth and earn INR 50 Cr in revenue by December 2022. It said it will also foray into other snack and food categories to emerge as an INR 500 Cr brand by 2025.