Two Indian friends Akash Mhaske and Aditya Kirtane’s careers had hit the rock bottom when in the year 2020 the world was struck with COVID-19-induced lockdown. The childhood friends who went on to become engineers had spent the first month of the lockdown watching movies, but a continuation of the restrictions led their respective employers to lay them off. But they did not let this hamper their professional growth. Rather than applying for jobs in this Maharashtra city blessed with some industrial activity in the vicinity, they decided to start on their own.
Reading books on successful businesses cemented the decision. But they were not sure of what exactly to do. A vocational training course on meat and poultry processing conducted by a local varsity was the serendipity moment.
The business idea was to enter the highly unorganised meat and poultry market with a credible offering to retail consumers on demand. The idea was seemingly odd, and the budding entrepreneurs did not receive full support from their families initially.
Starting from a 100 sq ft space in their neighbourhood with a seed investment of Rs 25,000 managed by the friends from their savings, their venture ‘Apetitee’ grew well, and now does a turnover of over Rs 4 lakh a month. While the business continued to gain traction, they also got spotted by Fabi Corporation, another city company.
Fabi has bought a majority stake in Apetitee for Rs 10 crore recently, and the company’s co-founders Kirtane and Mhaske will continue to be with the brand with minority stakes. “The profit margin they work with is 40 per cent. Selling meat and poultry is an entirely unorganised segment in Aurangabad,” Fabi’s director Fahad Syed said.
Syed said after the deal, the brand name Apetitee will continue and they will introduce newer products like pre-marinated products of meat and poultry.
A slew of investments have also been planned, he added. These will include development of an application for consumers to place orders of meat and poultry, revamping 100 shops in the next three years to ensure the brand has a physical presence and creating a fleet of electric vehicles to transport the orders to doorsteps, Syed said.
The new management is marketing the venture through the online mediums and relying on the word of mouth as well, Syed said, exuding confidence that the brand will create 2,500 direct and indirect jobs in Aurangabad as the expansion happens.
Plans are also afoot to take the venture beyond Aurangabad into other tier-II and tier-III cities of Maharashtra, he said.
Source – indiatvnews