Freshtohome is bullish about Indian seafood industry: CEO

Shan Kadavil

Chennai: India’s seafood and meat market is dominated by the unorganised sector till date. As per government data, the industry has a potential of over $50 billion in value.

To put it into perspective, USA and South Ease Asia are major import markets of India’s seafood products with a share of 32.76 per cent and 31.59 per cent respectively.

In land though, the industry needs organising and the products are affected by the use of chemicals. Freshtohome, an e-commerce firm that deals with selling seafood and meat online, says it aims to turn tables with its practices.

Founder and CEO, Freshtohome, Shan Kadavil, is at the helm of the firm that garners more than $20 million per annum in revenues. He spoke to News Today, and revealed more about his business, his passion for food and future goals.

Excerpts from his interview:

Q) Talk us through the journey of Freshtohome from its origin.

A) Mathew Joseph, my co-founder had originally started a company called www.seatohome.com – it was India’s first venture in the ecommerce space in seafood. Seatohome used to deliver fresh fish from Cochin to Bangalore and Delhi. The core USP of the venture was fish without chemicals. However, it was ahead of its time, leading to an early closure in 2012. For the love of fish and with the vision of providing poison free food to the masses, I had to wheedle him (Mathew) to join us and start a new venture. Thus, Freshtohome (www.freshtohome.com) was born.

Q) Explain the reason for choosing the online marketplace for a food-based company.

A) We felt that the best way to provide the most convenient solution to the time constrained consumer of today is to take the fish shop to their door step and thus the online market place for fish and meat idea was born. Our tag line of ‘100 per cent fresh, zero per cent chemicals’ is a strong value proposition to the quality sensitive customer of today. We are now expanding Freshtohome to other channels, including offline stores.

Q) What makes Freshtohome stand-out from other food-based firms?

A) The biggest value we offer our customers is the freshest produce, free from any chemicals and preservatives. We think this is a unique value that currently is not offered by many companies in India. Additionally, our prices are on par with the wet market prices. We also have the largest range of products in fish and meat for any store in India.

Q) Tell us about your quality control methods.

A) We manage the supply chain all the way from sourcing, transporting, processing and delivering it to the end consumer. At all points in the supply chain, it (fish or meat) goes through very stringent safety checks including lab tests for known preservatives, bacterial contamination and commonly used antibiotics. We are probably the only company in India to display the lab certification results on our website.

Q) Elaborate on the market size of the industry and Freshtohome’s growth

A) India’s fish and meat industry is estimated to be over $50 billion in market size and we are only scratching the surface of it. Our upside for growth is extremely high and we are growing at over 10 per cent (CAGR) yearly.

Q) What are your expansion plans and future goals?

A) Freshtohome aims to be the largest food producer in India in the fish and meat domain. We see immense potential for expansion pan-India and globally in the next three years. We are hoping to do one lakh orders per day and are setting up the required machinery to achieve these goals. We think we can achieve this target by deepening our business in existing cites as well as expanding to all tier-II cities.

The stats
Freshtohome today has over 3.5 lakh customers and does over 7,000 orders a day across Bangaluru, Chennai, Kerala and Delhi. The firm will soon be expanding to Mumbai and Dubai. They also plan to expand into a number of other categories such as batter, vegetables and dairy products.

Praveen Kumar S