Dough & Cream Creating a Buzz in Confectionary Industry
Confectionery business has a lot of potential in India. People prefer handmade items over machine made ones now-a-days. Personalisation and customisation are in high demand since some time which has turned into both an opportunity and a challenge in the industry. With the rise in demand, the majority of businesses are turning to machinery to streamline the production process; however there are few who believe in traditional production and giving personal attention to each and every product to satisfy its customers and giving unique experience of them.
Dough & Cream – bakery and cafe, is emerging as a major source of confectionery items in West Delhi with over two million customers choosing the brand to munch on. Gaurav Kukreja, Managing Director and Manish Kukreja, Founder of Dough & Cream spoke with Priyanka Tanwer of Opportunity India to shed light on the business and its function.
What Was The Idea Behind Starting This Business?
Manish Kukreja: This Business has been established under the umbrella of Manish Agencies which has chain of departmental stores across National Capital. There is a strange story behind this cafe chain as we never thought of starting a new business in confectionery items. There was space beside our store of Manish Agencies which was being offered to Starbucks so we thought that it Starbucks takes that space there will be great issue of parking for long hours of the day, so, we decided to rent the space for ourselves without knowing what to do with that area. First few months that area was kept idle but then we thought let’s open a bakery and that’s how our first store came up in 2018.
We decided to start a base kitchen for the manufacturing of the items and then the kitchen was so big and its production capacity was so big that we further decided to open another store and time after time it turned into the cafe chain.
Guarav Kukreja: We wanted to diversify our business. We wanted to branch out into different sector also. It is a bootstrap company. Now the idea is to go pan-India.
What Is The Uniqueness Of This Business Model?
Guarav Kukreja: The quality products are presumed to for premium audience or customers; here we are trying to reduce the gap of inequality and trying to make premium products in a large volume at affordable price for everyone in the market. We are focusing on the quality of ingredients. When we talk about food, what goes into making the product is most important. We are using imported raw material to make our products for the better quality.
Since You have A Base Kitchen For All Of Your Cafes, Please Elaborate On The Supply And Logistics.
Guarav Kukreja: We get demand prior to the production by comparing the data of previous days and months and according to that we produce the items. We have fleet of about six delivery vehicles which we are planning to increase soon. We have been scaling the business and it is also giving us back a good number. We are about to touch 36 crore this year.
What Are The Lessons That You Have Learnt In The Process?
Manish Kukreja: We are learning new things day by day with coming across any difficulty in running business. When the business was small, it was easy to keep tap on everything but now things are changing, so we are learning new things as our business is growing. Since the business is growing, we have planned to start more base-kitchen to meet the demand and supply.
Gaurav Kukreja: We are constantly learning new things as our business is growing. What method of functioning we applied when we had 5-6 outlets that might not work when we are 60-70 outlets. The food industry that we are in, is a very ruthless industry, it is all depends upon consumers’ mood so it is important to reinvent your product and you have to constantly come up with new product. So, if you are not in learning space then the industry and consumer will punish you.
It has been a great learning for us as we don’t come from hospitality background. I used to be an investment banker. We started slowly with one outlet and now we are a family of 250 people.
I Have Come To Know That You Brothers Have Been Devoted To Art Of Living and Lord Venkateswara. How Do You Manage To Have Time Out OF Your Business, Which Itself Requires Another Level Of Devotion, For Your Spiritual Engagements?
Gaurav Kukreja: My borther Manish is a follower of lord Venkateswara and I am associated with the Art of Living Foundation. I think it very important to earn wealth but with that it is also important how you do that. It also reinstate discipline in doing business and brings positive energy. They way food is prepared with so much of hygiene, peace and love, it all reflects in the finished product.
Would You Like To Divulge In The Bakery Potential In India?
Gaurav Kukreja: The sector is still developing in India. It is in its initial stage. Now people understand the bakery business and are opening up for the experiments. The market is maturing but still there is long way to go. There is a lot of depth and scope for expansion in the industry.
What Bakery Sector Wants The Government To Do To Improve The Industry?
Gaurav Kukreja: In India, we are not ready as there are challenges in terms of infrastructure. There are little grey areas in terms of norms also. There is scope for improvement. We need support from local government body. There should be some schemes that support the sector as we are generating a lot of employment and creating an ecosystem. More than 500 vendors are associated with us and there are outsource employees also who work with us. We hope and seek support from government to improve our lives in terms of regulations.
What Was Roller Coaster Phase For You?
Gaurav Kukreja: The pandemic was the most difficult and excited phase in the business as we were not aware what to do. Everything was getting shutdown and we had to pay salaries and other dues on time. There was no clarity for and authorities were not allowing us to open the facility due to the lack of clarity. The initial days were extremely challenging for us.
How Do You Think The Inflation Is Impacting The Business?
Manish Kukreja: It is a huge challenge for as the prices of the raw material have gone 50 per cent up and we are not able to increase the price of product on that level.
Gaurav Kukreja: It is more challenging for us to maintain the affordability with rising price of raw material. The other food products have larger margin but we are focused on large number of production with limited assets so our margin is less than other manufacturers. 80 per cent of the products in the bakery are made of oil and it has been fluctuating for a very long period of time. It has increased the making of the product drastically. The inflation has impacted our employees also so naturally the salaries have to go up. It is very challenging but I think we have survived that phase also.
Any Tip For The Budding Entrepreneur In This Sector?
Gaurav Kukreja: I would say that technical know-how is not very important in any industry for example it is not necessary that only a chef can run a bakery. We think that everything is secondary if the intend to do business is good. This country and industry are very rewarding. If you have an idea which is not happening in the local market or in India you can always try.
About Dough & Cream
The team of handpicked, highly trained, and experienced chefs, produce products of the highest quality, taste, and finish. All the recipes created are always under constant improvisation to keep up with the market trends and expectations of our customers. All the products are made under supervision with the finest of the ingredients without any additives and preservatives.
Dough & Cream is constantly working on increasing reach to deliver the most flavoursome and delicious cakes making most cherished moments memorable. Not just cakes, It specialises in a variety of egg-less scrumptious desserts, cookies, breads, chocolates, and more. It is committed to provide quality products and personalised services at reasonable prices.