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India: Roadside sales to nations first fruit and veg retail chainKovai Pazhamudir Nilayam has gone from roadside vending to regional retail star. The name means Orchard of Fruits and the company is the first purely fruit and vegetable retail chain in the country.
While other chains such as Reliance and More have posted large losses (Rs 44 crore for Reliance, Rs 423 crore for Aditya Birla’s More), Kovai says that it posted Rs 3 crore profit on revenues of Rs 150 crore in 2011-2012.
Today, Kovai has expanded to 34 outlets, still owned and operated by the same family that started trading at the roadside in the 1960s.
Saloni Nangia, senior vice president & head, retail & consumer products, Technopak Advisors feels that regional brands like Kovai’s are successful because they understand their customer’s needs better.
Lastaki Advisors Pvt Ltd, an investment banking company says that another reason for their outsized success is because "the promoters have come from a farming community, they know the pulse of the farmers and understand them."
Publication date: 4/11/2012
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