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  • Writer's pictureGreat Companies

Rohan Sheth, Founder at Varaq Artisanal Sweets (A venture of Alfresco Foods)

Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

Rohan Sheth: Varaq was an unplanned baby, born right in the middle of the pandemic! Being in the food industry since 10 years, having run 2 successful cafes & restaurants, and a Catering Business, I always had a knack for good food. It was exactly on 17th May 202, on my parents’ anniversary that I tried making a sweet at home, our signature Kesar Mohanthal. It turned out really good and I sent it out to a few friends of mine, who posted a review for the same on social media. Next day, I received calls and messages from few other friends asking for the sweets and for a week, I sent out complimentary sweet boxes to over 50 of my friends. Within 10 days, I started receiving repeat orders and next thing we knew, we were making 20-25 kgs of sweets each day, from our home kitchen. All this, in times when the whole world was at a halt due to covid. People appreciated the taste, quality and packaging of our sweets and we soon realized the potential of it and quickly developed a commercial model. We rented out a kitchen in the suburbs of Ahmedabad and converted into a cloud kitchen for sweets, delivering freshly made-to-order sweets to customers across the city and the country.

Great Companies: What are the various services provided by Varaq Artisanal Sweets (A venture of Alfresco Foods)

Rohan Sheth: Varaq Sweets provides freshly made-to-order sweets for retail customers, corporate and social gifting, institutional supply to HORECA industry and have recently launched our online store.

Great Companies: What makes Varaq Artisanal Sweets (A venture of Alfresco Foods) from hundreds of other similar service providers?

Rohan Sheth:

Our quality, freshness and packaging is what sets us apart from others! The modern Indian cosmopolitan consumer is tired of the old traditional sweets in the contemporary paper box packing bought from their local Halwai. Our USP is that being a cloud kitchen, we only deliver sweets that are freshly prepared once the order is received.

Great Companies: What were the struggles and challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?

Rohan Sheth: Honestly, we have not gone through any struggle starting up this business, since it was profitable from Day 1, with a very little amount of bootstrapped capital. Although, there were a few challenges we faced through our journey, like coping up with the price competitiveness against other established brands, catering to the market demand for unique products and teething problems like product shelf life, wastages and higher labour costs due to low initial volumes. We indulged in aggressive online marketing strategies to boost up our sales and once the targeted sales volume was achieved, the challenges and problems were slowly overcame.

Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for Varaq Artisanal Sweets (A venture of Alfresco Foods)?

Rohan Sheth: We have a solid strategy to make our online presence stronger each day. Being an impulsive category food product, we have a higher conversion ratio and our production team makes sure that it converts into a better retention ratio with repeat customers through best quality sweets. We are looking to foray into the export sector owing to a large section of Indian population overseas. Eventually, we want to venture into the retail segment with our Brand Stores & cloud kitchens in various cities of India.

Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Rohan Sheth: Be fearless in whatever you do! Never think or worry of the outcome, just do what you think is the best and keep trying. Eventually, it will work out!



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