After successfully carving a niche in the digital segment, D2C giant mCaffeine is all set to own the retail space. To help the brand achieve the milestone, Suman Kumar, the retail honcho who has headed the space for 20 years in brands like Pepsico, Marico, Coca Cola, Wipro, Godrej Consumer, and more, has come on board.
Suman Kumar, ex-MUGM East at Varun Beverages Ltd.(PepsiCo), is a seasoned leader in FMCG, Sales and Marketing with close to 2 decades of experience. He has helped scale businesses of multinational companies like Marico, Pepsi, Godrej Consumer, Wipro Consumer Care, and Coca-Cola. An alumnus of SPJIMR and IIT KGP, he has a proven record of expertise in the retail space.
Commenting on the big move, mCaffeine’s CEO & Co-Founder Tarun Sharma said, “mCaffeine is a rapidly expanding and celebrated D2C brand, and offline at this stage is a very important part of mCaffeine’s growth story. The online space, for us, is growing very aggressively and has been a major contributor to sales, but to scale it further, channel expansion, especially the offline market, is the way forward. Unlike online, offline is a very different operating machine, and we wanted to bring in somebody who has seen the world of general & modern trade, is a leader who will bring his subject matter expertise to the table.”
“Hence the role was created, and we brought in Suman, who has almost 20 years of experience in FMCG and sales roles. We believe that he has the kind of gravitas and maturity required to build our offline function. It is interesting that apart from having core functional expertise, Suman has spent quality years in the marketing vertical of these large organizations. This makes it better for mCaffeine, which is built on the pillars of telling the right story to the consumers. Hence, offline expansion becomes smoother from a standpoint with someone like Suman onboard, who is a champion in sales and has a flavor of marketing,” added Tarun.
Joining the conversation, Co-founder Vikas Lachhwani said, “We believe that organizations are built on the foundation first. We are very excited to have Suman as a part of our team. He has tremendous experience in retail and expertise in building systems. The Founders and the Board are very enthused about him being a part of our growth. In the endeavor to build a global Indian brand, we are building a fundamentally strong organization.”
Responding to his thoughts on joining mCaffeine, Suman Kumar, National Retail Head – mCaffeine, said, “I am honored to be associated with mCaffeine, a brand that is not only 100% Vegan and cruelty-free, but also environmentally responsible with zero plastic footprint. It is a brand that promotes beauty without discrimination based on color or gender. Being a part of the dedicated team of Caffeinators has been a privilege and I look forward to contributing to the brand’s continued success.”
Answering the reason for his shift to mCaffeine, Suman said, “D2C has been an exciting platform for new-age FMCG companies. The retail space is a virtual whitespace for mCaffeine, and it gives me a unique opportunity to leverage my years of expertise in articulating and executing an omni-channel strategy for the organization. It is challenging, exciting, and promises new learning. It is also professionally fulfilling to contribute towards building a brand that is young, vibrant, and full of potential.”
“Brands like mCaffeine have aced consumer understanding and digital marketing practices. With their high advocacy scores, they are proving to be a formidable competition to other bigger brands with a legacy. Building retail is the next phase of the brand’s growth. Calibrated retail expansion and trade marketing efforts and winning in different channels are key to this retail initiative,” concluded Suman.
A young but fairly-ambitious D2C brand, mCaffeine has set its sights on becoming a 1000-crore revenue brand. One of the ways of doing this is by creating a firm offline presence, by way of traditional retail outlets. The brand aspires to create roughly 1 lakh offline outlets by 2025. This would help the brand stand tall against the growing competition in the business. Moreover, the retail model will also help the business on the customer acquisition front. The products on retailer’s shelves will draw in first-time buyers, thereby optimizing our offline distribution channels for visibility.