At GoodDot, we always did things differently...and Olympic Gold Medallist Neeraj Chopra resonates with our brand, shares Abhinav Sinha on choosing the Olympian as brand ambassador of the plant based meat company. The unique advertising is just one part of the growth and marketing strategy being adapted by one of the first companies in the sector in India that is aggressively moving ahead.
Abhishek Sinha and Deepak Parihar founded a foodtech company in 2016 that went on to become one of the foremost plant-based meat companies from India. From then to now GoodDot has been trailblazing its way ahead in the sector with innovation, strategy and good practices. The company has been steadily gaining recognition internationally and it has been ranked 104th in the global Foodtech500 list (the world’s first definitive list of the global entrepreneurial talent at the intersection between food, technology, and sustainability). GoodDot vegan mutton and chicken-free products, many amongst them especially created to cater to the Indian taste profile are available across India in addition to Canada, Dubai, Nepal, South Africa and Nepal. Last year the company attracted VC funding, which will further the market reach.
The company named after a rescued goat Guddu has its presence in India as the largest vegan QSR – GoodDo. This year GoodDot has taken its marketing strategy several notches higher. Part of it involved roping in the Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra as the brand ambassador. Advertising campaigns, marketing initiatives are all part of reaching out to larger market and make our presence felt shares, Abhinav Sinha, VP-Strategy.
He explains the thought process behind roping in a brand ambassador, and why he thinks the time is right for GoodDot, “Brand ambassador is critical for any brand that is looking at making a name. For an early-stage company like Good Dot, you have to be very careful about spends. You have to be careful about when and how do you time when you bring in brand ambassador.
We wanted to have brand ambassador, who is prominent, who resonated with our brand and how to present him was going also to be the key. You can make a typical commercial, or you can have the brand ambassador use your product and say good things about it, or you can make him talk about the category first.
Then we had to be sure the time was right. Good Dot as a brand is growing and we have fairly strong national presence in every state of the country. We got into modern trading and e-commerce, which is more directly main stream. We needed a brand ambassador to give us the inorganic push and fairly good visibility.”
For GoodDot choosing Olympian Neeraj Chopra turned out to be a masterstroke. Abhinav agrees, “We thought of different options. Two key brand ambassadors are cricketers and movie stars, who are personalities with vast fan following. At GoodDot, we always did things differently. We got into category when nobody did. We were one of the first early movers, who took it up big in India. We are out of small town in India- Udaipur, Rajasthan. We have been widely acclaimed in international platforms as products of absolute international calibre. We were selected for Parliament of World Religions held every 20 years. Our Food Truck Good DO was selected as the World’s second-best vegan truck on the planet. We received lot of accolades.
Neeraj too brought a lot of these qualities into the sport that not many followed. He came from small town India; from rural parts of Haryana not known to rest of India. And at the same time, he has been recognised across world for his excellence in what he does. His rise was also coincidentally the way we have been successful in growing. That’s how the choice came about.”
Indian plant-based sector is on an upward curve, poised to take off. Many products and brands are in initial stages, and in need of scaling up to meet the demand. Funds are coming in and several others are looking at a growth path. In a way, GoodDot is showing the way ahead in its aggressive marketing initiatives.
Speaking about the sector, Abhinav says that in India it is growing at a faster rate than in the US.
“Plant based sector is still nascent in India. But, if our sales or new brands on different types of platforms are an indicator, suddenly there is a barrage of companies coming in, and money is pouring in, which are key indicators of how the market is going to evolve.
If you have to graph it out, we are at the inflection point when the slope will increase sharply. In a year or two it will come into its own. Newer and stronger brands will come in. Indians are more receptive and accepting of plant-based. We are at the turning point of becoming mainstream. A listers are talking about it or they themselves are getting into the sector. Big companies are diversifying to include plant-based; VCs are getting into it.
And, if you think your product is good and has got market validation right – you must begin to put in your money where your mouth is. You must start to invest massively into marketing and branding.”
As far as GoodDot is concerned Abhinav Sinha says exciting times are ahead.