Managing Partner, Fireside Ventures
1. Fireside Ventures has been investing heavily in Indian startups. What is your strategy for an emerging marketing like India?
We invest exclusively in early stage consumer brands. The emergence of the millennial consumers and evolution of the digital infrastructure has created opportunity for new age / challenger brands. We believe this is a secular trend and will lead to many successful brands being created over the next decade and more.
2. How do you see the market evolving for CPG Brands in the coming future? How should brands and marketers prepare for these changes?
The digital infrastructure is allowing brand marketers to sharp target consumers via social networks, bloggers, influencers etc. and the echannels are allowing more efficient reach and distribution for new age brands. We believe that the next generation brands will be built in deep engagement with their consumers and building connects through telling the brand stories (or stories behind the brands)
While omni channel is going to be the logical choice for brands, digital channels are becoming a strong source of consumer understanding.
3. How do you visualize the role of Amazon, Grofer, Flipkart etc in the journey of CPG brands moving forward?
We believe e-marketplaces are great partners for reaching a wide range of target consumers, understanding consumer preferences via reviews and testing different product concepts at low cost. They work like a live laboratory for young brands. But we also believe that brands need to have their own D2C option and sell direct to consumers which is the best source for engaging and understanding consumer behaviour.
4. You have invested in multiple niche brands who have become well known household names like Paperboat, Epigamia, Mama Earth etc. What kinds of brands and products are your looking at for investments, and what subtypes work well for India?
We look for white spaces which are relevant to the millennial consumers. Some of the spaces that have been interesting for us are products for kids, wellness products, healthier F&B categories, mens grooming, personal care and beauty products focuses on natural, organic or herbal ingredients etc.
5. Apart from investing in promising brands, how do you mentor these brands to grow with a vision?
Since we are exclusively focused on consumer brands, we have invested a lot of our time in building deep relationships with ‘go to market’ partners, brand and marketing consulting firms, alternate funding partners like debt firms etc. we believe that most entrepreneurial journeys in this space will require these relationships to build their growth foundations. We also work actively with the companies to help them navigate their journey from $1M to $10M revenue.