Read the interview conversation of Puneet Sharma ji, the owner of Mother's Kitchen: www.motherskitchen.shop
1) Tell us about yourself, stating your family, education and rewards you have received in your entrepreneurial career.
PUNEET SHARMA: My name is Puneet Sharma and my family consists of my wife who is an entrepreneur and is running an IT company. Daughter is a doctor and son is an aspiring engineer. My brother and his wife are specialized in engineering and project management domain, respectively. Above all, my mother, is the force behind the brand and it's products! Being a Mechanical Engineer by profession and an International Business Management expertise, food was never in the scheme of things when I started my career. But as they say, destiny gets you to where you are supposed to be, so here I am passionately working towards making a well known global brand in food domain.
My entrepreneurial journey started when I moved from one end of the supermarket to the other i.e. from consumer electronics and home appliances to food products. The dynamism, the excitement and the challenges of this career option drew me to the Food/FMCG category. Once I entered into it, then I realised, it's a vast ocean full of possibilities and innovations. We have received awards at various forums for our products and their unique proposition. One of them was: Being awarded for our outstanding recipe for ready to cook sauce amongst all the competing brands.
2) When did it first come into your mind to start up with a convenience food brand? Was there any hindrance in the beginning?
PUNEET SHARMA: Initially, everything seemed exciting and easy such as developing new recipes, coming out with new product designs, appointing importers cum distributors in different parts of the world and reaching out with our products to the markets. But, what I realised was that, the key to success is the trial and repeated purchases which matters and not the availability of the products on retail shelves. I further analysed that, there were thousands of newcomers in the market who were ready to pour large capital to infuse. I, being the first generation entrepreneur, was surrounded with most difficult parts of the business. There were no money coffers to dig while spending up front. So, we had to re-strategize the entire business. This gave us control over our brand's expenditures.
3) How far do you want to take your convenience food brand and what is the main perspective of your life related to it?
PUNEET SHARMA: Our childhood days were surrounded with fond memories where, our mother used to cook tantalizing dishes for each one of us and has several unique characteristics associated with it. Hence, we decided to bring those back as our products. Therefore, to lock those memories for a lifetime, we kept it's name 'Mother's Kitchen', so that the essence shall go global for ever and ever. It also has a universal connotation which means, irrespective of the cuisine or the food product's category and anything that comes from our Mother's Kitchen can be offered to our consumers. As a brand, Mother's Kitchen stands for purity, taste and love which are the key ingredients of anything served by anyone's mother!
4) What are your most selling products and how are they different from any other brands in the market?
PUNEET SHARMA: In marketing there is a term called WSSBMP (Why Should Somebody Buy My Product)? If we answer these aspects correctly and accurately then, it will certainly be recognised by the users. We have partitioned our business proposition into 3 key segments.
We have created these differentiations with all our products. For example, the high-grade turmeric powder of major brands on retail shelves, where their curcumin content is around 2 to 2.4 (Curcumin defines the quality of turmeric). Whereas, our Turmeric Powder has a curcumin content of 3+. This in real term means, if anyone uses 1 teaspoon of Mother's Kitchen Turmeric Powder, they will have to use between one and a half to two teaspoons of any other brand. An extensive research has been done on our products which includes ensuring of parameter. There are many more examples, which anyone can see when they'll use our product ranges.
5) From where did you take the concept of making cooking easier and healthier through mother's kitchen?
PUNEET SHARMA: Our convenience food brand produces the long term sustainable products which highlights SAMAY, SWAD, SURAKSHA. (SAMAY stands for Time, whereas, SWAD stands for Taste and SURAKSHA stands for Safety). All three points were always the need of the hour of all families everytime. Mother's Kitchen holds a kitchen by reducing time of cooking and enhances taste of food along with the safety of their products which means the hygiene part, where people may trust our brand. The 'ready to eat' food has not been so successful in India whereas, a 'ready to cook' has found wide acceptance. This is because people want to add some element of their own, you may call it a signature of their pride. This is why 'convenience' was the actual basis of our products that we offer. We ensure all our products are processed in facilities that follow all national and international norms and quality systems which are defined by ISO/HACCP/BRC/US FDA. Besides this, we have gone a step ahead in offering packaging which helps in the hygiene aspect, for eg. all our pickles, chutney and condiments are in unique blister packaging. They are one-shot use packs, so no sharing and no risk of contamination due to storage. Again a simple but key aspect we have targeted.
INTERVIEWED: Mr. Puneet Sharma
INTERVIEW TAKEN BY: Khatibah Rehmat—Senior Journalist.
PICTURE COURTESY: Mr. Puneet Sharma
CONTRIBUTED BY: Shruti Bhushal.