We're Looking To Invest $200 Mn To Build Our Network and Technology: Moonshot

In an interview with BW Disrupt, Moonshot’s Co-founders Atul Bahl and Dhruv Jain explain how expansive it is to set up an India-wide distribution network and more

Can we view your business as a disruption in distribution which has always been the core competency of FMCG and retail companies? 

Yes, you can call it a disruption. Distribution at scale in India has always been an expensive affair and very tough to set up. We are democratizing distribution in a major way by providing accessibility to a pan-India omnichannel distribution platform to established, emerging, regional, and international brands alike.

Will DaaS (distribution as a service) companies have an edge over big retailers if they someday start foraying into the same sector?

We are quicker and more adaptable to change being a startup. With every 'big' retailer come legacy issues and slower decision-making that decreases efficiencies and increases cost. This is a major reason why young start-ups nowadays are having an edge over traditional set-ups which are flexible to change.

What is the investment you are looking at ploughing into your business in the next three years?

Setting up an India-wide distribution network is expensive. We are looking at deploying $200 million in the next three years to help build our network and technology.

Which are the sectors you feel need DaaS the most? 

We believe every category where there is a product to be sold to the mass customer requires DaaS, primarily FMCG products. As a brand, you need to be where the customer is and that’s where distribution plays a major role. We enable companies to get closest to their customer, from local Kirana stores to modern departmental stores, institutional channels such as the railways, airlines, and hotels to even covering the newer online & quick-commerce channels. Currently, we are focusing on the Food & Beverage category. We plan to enter the personal care and home care categories by Jan 2023. 

How do you see this sector panning out in the next 3 years? 

DaaS has the potential to grow into a multi-billion dollar industry and we aim to be the front-runners. Based on India’s ever-growing appetite for D2C products, both new and existing brands are looking to enhance their scale. DaaS provides them with a plug-and-play model which is cost-effective and provides industry insights and experience. We believe a distribution-focused strategy is going to be a must-have for brands to grow in the future and thrive successfully. The impact of this change will be disruptive. The existing value chains will consolidate further and become more efficient.

What is the growth trajectory you foresee for your company?

Currently, we are in the Food & Beverage category covering North India. In the next one year, we plan to go pan-India, strengthening our current distribution network and adding newer categories like personal care & home care.

What are the services that you provide that help client retention? 

Moonshot Distribution System provides brands with an omnichannel platform to enter both offline and online markets. We are building the largest real-time data-gathering tech engine and feedback loop, helping brands scale up across channels pan-India.

We provide brands with a plug-and-play solution which includes on-ground sales support with our feet on the street, internal logistics, strategic inputs through deep data insights and analytics, and leveraging our team’s deep domain knowledge with years of industry experience. 

This ensures that the brand can focus on its products and enhance the customer experience without worrying about high capital expenditure in setting up regional warehouses, managing a large workforce and more importantly ensuring successful execution through us. 

Do you plan to raise funds in the near future? 

Yes, we are looking at raising $40 million in our upcoming round. We are disrupting an industry that is highly capital intensive due to which we will need to build a huge workforce, and internal logistics, acquire corporate talent and invest heavily in evolving our proprietary technology platform.

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