Passionate in Marketing caught up with Mr. Aryaman Vasant, CEO, Snackstar – India’s leading online store for over 30 years for international snacks which boasts of a wide assortment of both imported junkie munchies and gourmet delicacies from all over the world, right to your doorstep.
About Mr. Aryaman Vasant
Harbouring a deep-rooted passion for the FMCG industry and a burning desire to start his own brand, Aryaman Vasant set foot into his entrepreneurial journey at a very young age, thereby launching his very own brand Snackstar– India’s first online store bringing to parsons a world full of scrumptious sweet, savoury and sour snacks at fabulous prices.
A meticulous eye for detail, phenomenal customer experience and satisfaction are the key factors of Snackstar, says Aryaman. Having been in the industry for the last 20 years through an offline tie-up model, the family has been supplying products to premium hotels such as Taj, Leela, Marriott and so on across the country. Snackstar, his own venture seeks to merge what customers want and what the company does best. As category creators and first movers in the sector, Aryaman played to his advantage, seeing a successful first year in the brand.
In less than a year, Aryaman grew a team of 10 to an employee base of 30; indicative of the growth and success of the company. Focussed on taking Snackstar public in the next five years, the young entrepreneur plans to launch a brick-and-mortar vertical of the company for physical retail. By next year, he also plans to delve into international shipping across South and Southeast Asian markets, discovering in the regions an untapped potential for high-end snacks.
Adorning an inquisitive personality that craves to know more and bring the best forth for consumers, Mr Vasant has impeccable ideas for his brand and a determined stride to take the brand to unparalleled heights.
Passionate in Marketing in Conversation with Mr. Aryaman
- Mr. Aryaman, could you tell the readers a little more about yourself?
I grew up in Delhi. Since my early childhood, my parents have been running their own import business which supplies international food products to premier hotels in India. At least a couple of times every year, our family makes an international trip where my mom and dad look for new products to source, with meticulous attention to detail. Observing them first-hand all my life was a big force in shaping my own entrepreneurship goals. After school, I enrolled in a BBA course in Goenka university, but dropped out in 2017. I honestly felt that my learning curve would grow exponentially faster if I tried my own hand at business and made mistakes myself early on in my career instead of studying about and trying to eventually perfect the art of entrepreneurship, which I believe will always be messy by design.
- Can you shed some light on the inception of Snackstar?
I got the idea of selling snacks when I was in Jamnagar, Gujarat, in my parents’ hometown. We were having conversations with some guests who had come back to India after staying in Dubai for a few years. They told us how they were missing out on all the goods, snacks, supplies like different Oreo flavor, Cheetos, etc, and how they did not have any way to purchase it.
They were not staying in tier 1 cities like Mumbai, Delhi where international food items are available more easily than in tier 2, tier 3 cities. At that time, it strikes me that a significant part of the population in tier 2 and tier 3 cities have a demand for these products. I just had to figure out a way to make it reach them in a fast and substantial way in a good condition with fresh products so that they will be satisfied with the received product.
After that, I started researching about it and got to know that nobody in India had captured this market before us. Developed packaging, and launched our website to reach out to consumers. I already had a few of the products which were about 150 products and now there are around 1200-1500 products within a short span of 12 months. That’s how I came upon the idea of SNACKSTAR.
- How do you feel the industry has evolved in the last 30 years?
The snacking market is very fragile in India. People are used to spending Rs 10 to Rs 20 per packet. While some people do not understand why some products are more expensive, we have a dedicated customer service team if you have any queries regarding our product or service you can contact them anytime.
Being sold at a higher price than the market, I would like to mention that we are importing fresh products every month. None of our products have a short expiry date. First, we are focusing on expanding our varied range of products by end of 2021 to reach up to 2000 products, which are currently around 1200 products.
- How has Snackstar been adapting and evolving during the Covid-19 pandemic?
Looking at the COVID-19 issues, it is observed that people are looking at the thing that is being delivered to their doorsteps, whether it is from a nearby store or an online portal. Even if the stores are available a few steps ahead, they have a hesitation to go out because of the safety concerns. I believe this helped SNACKSTAR significantly in making a place in the market in the eyes of consumers. E-commerce gives us a significant boom during the lockdown period in India. Even the people who did not opt for ordering online went to an e-commerce site to place their first order.
- What has been your biggest achievement and challenge in this period of time?
Our inception and launch were at peak covid time during the first wave on June 3rd 2020. Since then, we have fulfilled 20,000 orders in a years’ time so we had no negative effects due to covid instead we believe it has been a contributor in our sales since people are not able to travel and get their hands on their favourite international snacks. Snackstar offers people the convenience of enjoying them from the comfort of their homes. Logistics was a problem for us throughout the year with many remote places in India being in non-serviceable zones due to lockdowns in different parts of the country however we strive to provide seamless delivery to all our customer
- What are your future goals for Snackstar?
We are focussed on taking Snackstar public in the next five years, we have plans to launch a brick-and-mortar vertical of the company for physical retail. By next year, we plan to delve into international shipping across South and Southeast Asian markets, discovering in the regions an untapped potential for high-end snacks. We have impeccable ideas for this brand and a determined stride to take it to unparalleled heights.
- Any advice you’d like to give to young entrepreneurs out there trying to make it in their respective fields of work?
When I started, I had never imagined this kind of demand I am going to see because I had imagined it as a good venture but the demand, I had anticipated was very less than what we see from the customer experience. The experience has been very good. If any person has any idea for a business, they must completely go ahead with the solution to a problem with all their efforts to see what happens.