BUILDING BONDS THROUGH SHARED STORIES

Vishal Shah, Founder & MD, Storia Foods & Beverages Pvt. Ltd writes about the brand's journey, one that has been built through bonds over food and beverages

29 Jul, 2019 by VISHAL SHAH

Coming from a family business of forerunners in manufacturing food ingredients that uses a technology called ‘spray drying’ or the ‘magic’ of converting liquid into powder, the idea of creating something new always fascinated me as a child. Moreover, hailing from a family of industrialists who generated large-scale employment, doing their bit to give back to society, my aspiration was always to be able to do something that would similarly impact lives. Thus, having gained invaluable insights in the Indian food industry from my family business, the resolve to make India a nutritionally stronger nation with healthier, convenient food options grew stronger. Armed with a chemical engineering background, I knew there were limitless possibilities of what technology could achieve in the area of food products. That’s what led me to create Storia Foods and Beverages, with the idea of providing innovative foods and inspiring a healthier lifestyle.

From the outset, we have always focussed on two things - consumers and products. The key was to be able to develop a product that could set the foundation on the lines of Storia’s vision and give us an opportunity to build a brand for our consumers for years to come. This meant we needed a very strong R&D team at its core initially, and other functional teams developing around it. With a strong network through the existing food business, access to the fraternity became a lot easier. This gave us a chance to interact with seasoned industry leaders who are a part of leading brands in the country today, building robust systems for them. We were very fortunate in bringing together a family of ‘Storians’ as we call ourselves, who are not only driven and believe in our vision of building a nutritionally stronger nation, but also have a great sense of ownership for the brand and who take great pride in being able to do so.

That said, brand journeys do not take place without their share of challenges and hurdles. We are still at a very nascent stage in our journey. What one needs to realise is that a brand must not only be built for the consumers, but also for the trade, for the retailers, for the vendors and all stakeholders associated with it. It takes a lot of time to gain their trust and this can only happen if one is able to deliver on the promise time and again. For us, it took three years of consistent effort and two years of serving the market with products that hold true to our values, before we began to get noticed and recognised as a brand, and now we are slowly building a community of customers that are happy to be part of the Storia journey.

Each and every individual in all our teams, as well as our external research, branding and PR partners, have all played a vital role in where we stand today. The turning point for Storia was when we sold a million bottles of our shakes in our first month alone. That was the moment when we felt that we were here for the long haul. Since then, we have received tremendous support from our consumers to take the products across the country and give us shelf space in a highly competitive beverage market. We are present in over 50,000 outlets today, and are looking to penetrate deeper in the coming years.

At Storia, we celebrate the bond of togetherness and share our joy and emotions through the channels of food and stories. Food for us then has become much more than a means to sustain life; it is a means to create strong bonds and powerful moments together.

Feedback: vishal.shah@storiafoods.com Category: Backbeat Volume No: 16 Issue No: 8

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