Narendra Pasuparthy, CEO & Founder, Nandu’s explains how technology helps the company process and retail fresh, healthy and high-quality meat and meat products.
Meat processing and retailing is a complex business. From meeting consumer and supplier demands, to packaging and retailing, meat brands need a robust, state-of-the-art technology stack. That’s where an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution comes in. Nandu’s, a hyperlocal and omni-channel meat brand in Karnataka has currently implemented an integrated ERP solution to ensure traceability and transparency in their operations. The Bengaluru-based enterprise is also toying with other technologies to stay ahead of the curve, and seeing tremendous growth in its business, especially in times of pandemic.
In a recent interaction with CXOToday, Narendra Pasuparthy, CEO & Founder, Nandu’s explains how the company processes and retails fresh, healthy and high-quality meat and meat products by leveraging the right technologies.
CXOToday: What is the journey of Nandu’s since inception? As founder, what has been your most exciting moment in the company’s growth story?
Narendra Pasuparthy: In 2016, when we launched Nandu’s, the vision was to become India’s fastest growing and largest omni-channel meat brand. Over the past five years, we have worked hard to that make that vision a reality. Today, Nandu’s is India’s largest hyperlocal and omni-channel meat brand. We have fully-integrated farm-to-fork operations, wherein we own and operate the entire supply chain – right from the feed mill, breeding farm, hatcheries and broiler farms to hygienic processing centres, food factory and retail.
As a founder, the journey has been exciting as well as transformative on several counts. Nandu’s has been at the forefront of revolutionizing meat retailing in the country. Traditionally, the most underserved market, we were among the first players to bring traceability and trust to our customers. During the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been heartening to see the positive customer response that Nandu’s has been garnering. Beyond the soaring sales, it’s the deep bonds that we forge with our ever-growing customer base that keeps us motivated. We take pride in being the most sought-after neighborhood meat brand.
CXOToday: How is Nandu’s embracing the technology disruption in the digital era?
Narendra Pasuparthy: Retail is constantly evolving and the only way to cater to changing customer preferences and shifting market dynamics is to embrace technology disruption. At Nandu’s, we look at technology as the catalyst that has helped us, as poultry farmers, to take our produce directly to the end consumer. Technology adoption has been our biggest facilitator in transforming from a B2B business to a B2C business. It gave us the confidence to operate retail stores across Bengaluru as well as venture into e-commerce. Today, everything we do is seamlessly integrated into an organized system because of our robust IT ecosystem.
Nandu’s state-of-the-art technology stack comprises two main elements – an operational Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) across the enterprise to ensure 100% traceability and transparency and our own point of sale system, developed in-house, to capture retail operations data at the stores and on the e-commerce platform.
We are the first-ever meat retail brand in India to invest in a Mystery Audit System (MAS), which is a tech-based evaluation system to assess and monitor the quality of services provided from the point of view of the customer. We also have customer relationship management (CRM) tools to help customize our offerings in order to enhance customer experience. Smart adoption of technology helps us offer greater value and meet the expectations of new-age consumers.
CXOToday: What kind of challenges did Nandu’s face prior to the ERP implementation?
Narendra Pasuparthy: The biggest challenge, I would say, was the lack of streamlined processes from supply to sale. How do we deliver total transparency to our consumers? How do we harness the operational data as well as production data through the supply chain to make data-driven business decisions? The ERP implementation has been remarkable in terms of the return on investment as well as the learning experience. In my opinion, it is one of the most important business decisions that Nandu’s has made till date.
CXOToday: Please tell us about the ERP integration process and the vendor selection? What were the challenges post integration?
Narendra Pasuparthy: ERP integration is a complex process and it’s essential to ensure that you have done adequate research before selecting the new software system and the vendor you’ll work with. At Nandu’s, our top priority was that the system should be useful as well as user-friendly. There was a lot of planning and effort to minimize potential hitches with the ERP system. At Nandu’s, the e-commerce platform, the point of sale platform and the operational ERP are completely integrated. Honestly, it didn’t take us long to get comfortable with the new system. We saw it as a great opportunity to get the whole organization onto the same page and look at a long-term growth strategy.
CXOToday: What were the benefits of the deployment?
Narendra Pasuparthy: The ERP system has improved enterprise efficiency, agility and effectiveness in significant ways. Business processes are faster and seamless, with the integrated system in place. Data is more accessible, thereby enabling data-driven decision making across the enterprise. ERP is not just a technology initiative, but a business transformation initiative.
During the initial days of the pandemic, we were able to ensure operational continuity – despite logistics challenges and prevailing uncertainty – because of our technology infrastructure. Having real-time access to data is critical to help streamline the supply chain, handle logistics issues, and basically, do business as a hyperlocal and omni-channel meat brand in the midst of a global crisis.
CXOToday: With changing lifestyles and rapidly evolving consumer behavior, how is the company adapting to stay ahead of the curve?
Narendra Pasuparthy: The meat industry in India stands on the cusp of historic transformation. The Covid-19 outbreak has urged more consumers to shift from local butchery shops to trusted meat brands. Contrary to popular perceptions, I do not see this merely as an online shopping trend. As an omni-channel meat retailing company, I can tell you that we have been witnessing a surge in footfalls at our retail stores as well. There’s a growing demand for hyper-local brands.
Our strategy to stay ahead of the curve is simple – transparency and trust. If you walk up to any of our competitors and ask for traceability, they won’t know anything beyond the supplier because they buy ready made chicken. At Nandu’s, we own the hatcheries, feed mills, breeding farms, processing center, food factory, cold chain infrastructure and retail stores. We have the technology that gives us traceability across our supply chain, so we can vouch for the health, hygiene and safety of all our products. Customers find value in our offerings as well as home delivery services via our e-commerce website, app, call center orders and e-commerce marketplaces. Furthermore, we make continual efforts to engage with our customers and enhance their shopping experience. Nandu’s is the only meat retail brand in the country to have a technology-enabled CRM and loyalty program. Club Nandu’s helps us profile the consumer purchase behavior, acting as a seamless feedback collection methodology that empowers our vision to offer tailored offerings to each customer. The net promoter score (NPS) offers a good way to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty. Nandu’s customer loyalty program provides repeat buyers a host of rewards and benefits, unheard of in meat retailing.
CXOToday: Going forward, what is your IT strategy for the next 1-2 years?
Narendra Pasuparthy: Meat retail is set for remarkable growth and Nandu’s IT strategy is to invest in scalable technologies that will shape the future of business. Over the next two years, our plan is to strategically leverage the best of cloud-based technologies, business analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for better inventory management and data-based decision making. IT is the vital component of Nandu’s growth plan to further disrupt the traditionally unorganized meat market in India.