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Interviews

“Technology has played a substantial role for managing product delivery and client retention through organic loyalty”— Aman Arora, Co-founder & Director, Keventers

Aman Arora, Co-founder & Director, Keventers

Who doesn’t love ice-creams and milkshakes? We, the modern consumers, crave for innovative flavors, but at the same time, wish that we get things made from high-quality, unadulterated milk that’s safe for consumption. With Keventers, an iconic milkshake brand, you can rest assured of the quality and authenticity of delicious milkshakes, while you get them in the flavours of today.

We interviewed Mr. Aman Arora, Co-founder & Director, and Ms. Himani Khanna, Chief Marketing Officer, Keventers – India’s first very own ‘Made in India’ milkshake brand. Established in 1925 by Edward Keventers and acquired by Ram Krishna Dalmia in 1940, the brand has been revived in 2015.

The revamped brand has already struck a chord with the modern-day consumers with its 250+ outlets across the world and India. Read on as Aman discusses the brand’s revival, the role of technology in Keventers’ success, expansion plans and Himani discusses various unique marketing and social media strategies that have made Keventers a refreshingly authentic and aspirational brand.

1. Keventers has a very long history dating back to 1925. We’d certainly not ask you to take our readers through the journey, as it will be beyond the scope of this interview. 🙂 But, please tell us something about your decision to reinvent Keventers back in 2015 and its journey so far.

Aman: It has been a great journey with Keventers, we’ve seen the company grow from one outlet at Select Citywalk in 2015 to over 270 outlets across India, Nepal, UAE and now even Kenya.

Back in 2015, I and my friend Agastya (with whom I founded the company) were having a conversation about things that we grew up with and we both saw great potential in this brand and wanted to see what we could do with it.

When we decided to revive Keventers in 2015, we wanted to create a business which had the inherent ability to be scaled on a global level. There was no category of milkshakes that existed in the food & beverages space. There was a clear opportunity in the market that would have distinguished us in the beverage segment, which was largely predominated by coffee.

When we were re-establishing Keventers, we wanted to create a distinct identity for our milkshakes as a viable beverage for today’s customer especially the generation Y/millennials by giving it a modern, cool and aspirational avatar.

Since then, Keventers has come a long way and we take great pride in the brand and the legacy it has been able to create amongst the public.

2. You recently expanded your product portfolio with your new vertical – The Milk Co. It will deploy state-of-the-art technology to deliver unadulterated and premium farm fresh cow’s milk across Delhi NCR. Customers can order the same using Keventers – The Milk Co. app from the App Store or Play Store. What was the idea behind this move and how mobile app fits into it?

Aman: Increasing awareness and better access to technology have given rise to the phenomena of conscious consumption. More than ever, new age consumers are now, demanding transparency as they take an increasing interest in the ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the products they consume.

People are making more positive and informed decisions when it comes to what they consume. For companies working in the F&B industry, it becomes important to be ahead of this by understanding how consumer demand is steadily changing and what solutions will help.

Adding premium milk to our portfolio was a natural progression for us with milkshakes being our core business and the legacy of the brand. We also saw a fairly large demand for quality, unadulterated milk in the market and since this is a growing category, we decided to launch The Milk Co. – a mobile application based premium milk delivery service across Delhi/NCR venturing into micro-delivery.

Moreover, for the Indian customer convenience and accessibility is an important part of any purchase – understanding this small yet important insight, The Milk Co. offers quality milk basis a subscription model right at the consumer’s doorstep with the touch of a button. We wanted to provide our customers with this ease of access along with consistency of taste and hence decided to venture into the milk delivery segment. With The Milk Co. we offer pure and fresh cow’s milk – from farm to table within just 9 hours of sourcing, ensuring that our customers have the same great taste, everyday!

3. Do you think technology has a strong role to play when it comes to managing product delivery and client retention?

Aman: Technology has facilitated a drastic change in the consumption patterns across the world. It acts as a powerful tool in influencing and changing consumer behavior. With the innovation of new emerging technologies, we at Keventers put consumer needs first.

By aligning our business and effectively utilizing technology, we work towards facilitating better consumer experiences by providing relevant information and gaining first-hand experiences. This has helped us achieve stellar consumption experiences on the ground and even online. Thus, we believe technology has played a substantial role when it comes to managing product delivery and client retention through organic loyalty.

4. This year marked some significant expansions at Keventers – the launch of premium ice-cream and the launch of Sundaes, earlier this month. Please shed some light on the new developments.

Aman: Innovation has and remains to be a key focus in the coming years at Keventers. We are constantly thinking about newer ways to scale the brand by tapping into inherent and authentic consumer needs. At Keventers, we have also been steadily working towards diversifying our dairy portfolio.

Ice Creamery – Ice cream parlors that will serve a wide range of premium and delicious flavors, is our first step where we have effectively used changing customer preferences to innovate within our existing ensemble. Recently, we also launched Sundaes at all Keventers outlet across India.  This newly added range of delicious sundaes will be available in 4 distinct combinations that loyalists can choose from.

5. So, do you have any plans to open more stores nationally and internationally?

Aman: Certainly yes, we continue to expand our boundaries by opening stores across the country. Our primary focus is on India, but we are open to expanding our wings outside, as we have done in UAE, Nepal and Kenya.

6. What’s in the roadmap for 2019? Any new announcements coming up?

Aman: The food and beverage space in India is evolving at a rapid rate and being a dynamic and responsive brand, we have a slew of plans to be a part of the conversation by offering relevant and new product experiences to our existing and potential consumers.

2019 for us will be a year of continued expansion, as we sustain the momentum we have built through this year by venturing into newer untapped markets – nationally and abroad. Through the year we will be working towards steadily doubling our retail footprint and aim to set up 400+ outlets globally by the end of 2019. Over the next two years, we are also planning to expand to and build the brand’s presence in key untapped locations.

Suggested reading: “Our mission is to simplify lives through great digital experiences”– Ravi Teja, CEO, Robosoft

7. Marketing plays a very important role when it comes to positioning the brand in a customer’s mind. What marketing strategies do you use or believe in at Keventers?

Himani: Our key strategy is deeply rooted in leveraging our originality to providing delightful consumer experiences every time the consumer interacts with us – we are after all the Original Milkshake!

We have multiple touchpoints, where we reach out and converse with our consumers, leveraging both traditional and new media, highlighted in our brand personality of being aspirational and authentic.  Also, we leverage technology to facilitate our consumer’s journey with the aim to create the best experience they can have with the brand.

We are driving all innovation – product, packaging, purchase platforms etc. across our businesses based on true consumer insight. From our evolving take-home glass bottle designs which many consumers now collect, to co-branded product innovations bringing together most loved indulgences, dessert sundaes in a jar, ease of ordering at home via familiar platforms like Zomato, Swiggy etc.

Our marketing strategy is to tap into every potential consumer by using engaging marketing tools like below-the-line, above-the-line, digital, PR, branding and events to associate and connect with.

8. Digital marketing platforms are emerging as the most important marketing tools. Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn are an important part of companies’ social media strategy. Which social media platforms are you using for brand promotions and what is your strategy across them?

Himani: Digital media platforms have now become a great way to have relevant engagements with the target audience for all F&B players. Our consumers are now having conversations around various aspects of food beverages and lifestyle on various digital platforms.

Utilizing all these platforms for both visibility and engagement becomes essential to share news, take feedback, and resolve consumer needs to understand the upcoming trends, participate in the small and big moments in our consumer’s life.

We have a different role for each of these digital platforms on our social ecosystem that we leverage to converse with our consumers.  We are authentic and aspirational as a brand and we aim to leverage these platforms in just such a way.

Keeping this in mind, Keventers due to its visual appeal is a category that is not consumed through the taste buds; but it’s a fully sensorial experience engaging the mind and we love it when consumers share that with us across these platforms, we actually have a lot of UGC which we celebrate and populate across platforms.

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