Sweet stores are ready for a data-driven revolution.
The pre-independence era marked the beginning of a close-knit network of enterprises and small-scale businesses that have grown to be some of the largest industries supporting the Indian economy.
The sweetmeat industry in Bengal that accounts for about a whopping INR 2000 Cr. has finally come up for some air since the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020. The Durga Pooja 2021 period resulted in a sweet spike in sales, higher than what the numbers were back in 2019.
The scenario has changed regarding the opening of new stores. Earlier there used to be physical recce of a developing area and everything used to be manual. However, these things are now done by software and location intelligence firms using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Human labor has been taken over by highly specialized algorithms etc.
Like a brief overview of the comparison of the past 1950s and present era 2021s — transformation through 70 years.
The Kotal’s Satyanarayan Mistanna Bhander was established in 1952 with an aspiration to curate authentic Bengali sweets for a developing community in the southern parts of Kolkata. The enterprise started as a single store and transformed into a chain of stores within a 5km radius around the Tollygunge region of Kolkata.
The Kotal family and many other such business families in Kolkata, who own sweet store chains across the city, seem to be more than grateful to the online aggregators and are finally ready to embrace technology with open arms.
To select a store location used to be an eventful game of intuition driven by close observation. While the forefathers of these sweetmeat stores have built five stores in this region, the next-generation businessmen of the sweet store chain want to diversify with the full proof assistance of location intelligence.
Having implemented process improvements at the factory level, the young entrepreneurs want to level up with the help of technology in all possible ways, at the earliest.
Swastik Kotal, one of the next-generation businessmen, for the Kotal’s Satyanarayan Mistanna Bhander in Kolkata tells us about his experience:
“My official entry in the business was not too long ago. I was always part of the factory-level operation in s, but the vacuum during COVID-19 inspired my cousins and me to change the game for our family business.
We want to make a technological protective sheath around the business, which would help us foresee impediments and eventually prepare us for a sudden shift in the market.
Online aggregators like Zomato and Swiggy have opened new avenues for us to build a substantial customer base and have allowed us to improve in areas we never knew mattered. My cousins and I are taking significant steps to leverage technology to reduce costs and wastages and build a robust delivery network.
We have changed our store interiors, expanded product offerings to keep moving with the trends. However, with the online market and distribution taking over, keeping our stores updated and opening new stores at a feasible location has become extremely important to maintain the heritage of our business.
Store opening in itself is a time-consuming and risky series of decisions. We want to optimize investments and enhance the overall ROI from each new store that we build here onwards. Geospatial Intelligence and Alternative Data backed by solutions from well-established Indian enterprises like Data Sutram, are supporting various industries all over the country. We believe that now is the time for us to make such data-driven, informed decisions quickly.”
The young halwais are determined to transform the oldest industry of Bengal into an organized business sector, with the hope to inspire many more generations of already established sweet store brands to support the local, authentic products and offerings with its citizens and the world. This Diwali shop local and support your nearby merchants.
Alternative data can help you build a network of stores, at the right location, with the right footfall, and most importantly help you analyze the dynamic nature of product and brand performance, without any hassle.