Companies

When MNCs are deep-freezing yogurt brands, home-grown start-ups are churning it up big

Purvita Chatterjee Mumbai | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on April 29, 2015

BL30_Yogurt.jpg

Local sourcing of raw materials helps domestic players expand rapidly





Home-grown frozen yogurt start-ups, including Cocoberry and Yogurt Bay, are preparing to raise fresh capital at a time when MNC brands are on the verge of putting their Indian operations into the deep freeze.

Indian players have been able to sustain business through lower costs by local sourcing of raw materials and equipment, unlike MNC brands, such as US-based Pinkberry and Red Mango, which rely on expensive imports.

As a result, market leader Cocoberry with 31 stores is all set to receive its second round of funding of about ₹6 crore from US-based Henry Klein’s fund — Cherry Capital.

Rahul Deans, CEO, Cocoberry Retail, said, “Henry Klein invested in Cocoberry in 2011 and is now ready to infuse fresh equity and increase his stake to 74 per cent with a second round of about ₹6 crore through a special purpose vehicle in Mauritius. We are cash positive and profitable at the store level today after starting out six years ago.’’ The balance stake in Cocoberry is owned by its promoters (GS Bhalla and his family), Brand Capital and certain HNIs (high net worth individuals).

Yogurt Bay, promoted by entrepreneur Robin Chatterjee, is getting ready to invest more before approaching PE funds for fresh funding. Last year, the Mumbai-based family of Pittie Group picked up 50 per cent in Yogurt Bay.

Aditya Pittie, belonging to the Pittie Group and now CEO of Yogurt Bay, said, “In the next three-six months, I would be increasing my stake by another 10 per cent and investing another crore into the company. Roping in PE funds would happen only after we have reached about 20-25 stores. For the next round of funding, we have valued Yogurtbay at ₹10 crore.” Of the 20-odd frozen yogurt brands, most of the MNC ones have been forced to scale down operations. US-based Pinkberry and Red Mango as well as Korea’s Yogurberry have reduced their store count due to high costs.

Local sourcing

However, it is local sourcing of ingredients and equipment that has made players like Cocoberry survive and even acquire assets of some of the distressed players.

“MNC brands depend on imported raw materials that are subject to high duties. They believe in American costs and Indian revenues which does not work,’’ said Deans.

Published on April 29, 2015

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.