While I started encapsulating my thoughts on the Indian context, I realised that there are multiple areas which need to be touched upon. Thus it won’t be possible to cover in one post. I will be covering the same in 2 to 3 posts. These observations are based upon the cumulative experience of team GoodDot over the years.
Plant based Meat : The opportunity
If we move away from PPP (purchase power parity) and look at absolute numbers, some of the most prominently funded Indian startups in the food ecosystem are :
Swiggy - Total funding - $3.6 billion
Revenue (20-21) - ₹2547 crore
Net Loss. - ₹1617 crore
Zomato - Total funding. - $2.5 billion
Revenue (20-21) - ₹2118 crore
Net Loss. - ₹816 crore
Adding another leading startup in India in the hospitality space in the mix :
OYO - Total funding - $4 bn (approx)
Revenue 20-21. - ₹3961 crore
Net Loss. - ₹3943 crore
Beyond Meat :
Total funding - $2 Bn (approx)
Revenue 20-21 - ₹3400 crore (approx)
Net Loss. - ₹ 1330 crore (approx)
When we look at the above figures, we can see that there is a significant scope in the plant based meat space.
We also have to keep in mind that on one side the likes of Swiggy and Zomato are massive aggregator platforms, with contributions from millions of businesses, the revenue of BM is from only a few products from a single big player in plant based meat space. In that light the scale up of the BM numbers look quite good.
Till date, the total investment in the plant based meat space would be less than $30-$40mn in India. And this is on the higher side of the estimate. For a category which has a massive potential ( I will try to cover this aspect in the next post), this is woefully inadequate.
This fact itself should lead Indian investors, strategic players to decouple the sentiments and the results of the plant based meat space in India from that of the USA.
With 1.4 billion population and growing, the consumer story of India is as real as its unique. The need of plant based meat is as massive as its latent. In fact, there are significant demographic, agricultural and cultural tailwinds for plant based meat space in India, which are non existent in other parts of the world.
If the global giants like McDonalds had to come up with Alu Tikki Burger, Coca Cola had to buy out Thumsup, Maggi could not be toppled by Top Ramen : we realise that India rolls differently.
Lot of people give up on the India puzzle after trying hard. It’s a difficult puzzle, it’s a big puzzle. But if one understands the intricacies and modifies one’s strategy according to the cultural milieu of India, one can reap the huge latent reward India has to offer.
More on the topic in the next post.