We Are Looking To Acquire A Few Brands: Moonshot Co-founder

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Photo Credit : Dhruv Jain, Co-founder, Moonshot,

Dhruv Jain, Co-founder of Moonshot Distribution System, recently spoke to BW Businessworld, providing valuable insights on the necessity of Distribution-as-a-Service (DaaS) for both online and offline brands. Moreover, he emphasised the company's future plans, including acquisitions. Here is an excerpt from the conversation we had with him:

Can you tell us about Moonshot Distribution and how it is different from other distribution systems? 

Moonshot Distribution System is an Omnichannel DaaS (Distribution as a Service) platform offering emerging, regional, and established D2C brands access to general trade, modern trade, e-commerce and quick commerce via our tech-enabled plug and play solution. Additionally, Moonshot provides India-entry to selected International brands as well, along with plans to acquire some of our existing and future partner brands. Not only do we leverage MMG India's vast distribution network and years of experience, but we also help our partner brands in various different strategic aspects such as packaging design, advertising, competitive insights etc. to ensure maximum growth for each of the brands we have onboarded, which is what sets us apart from other DaaS platforms.  

How does Moonshot's Distribution-as-a-Service (DaaS) help brands to scale both online and offline? 

Each brand that we onboard goes through a rigorous R&D, analysis & market feedback phase with insights from our expansive distribution network. Based on which we devise tailor-made growth strategies for each brand. Besides providing them a host of support services such as packaging design, listing assistance etc. at the launch phase and also provide further strategic inputs post launch along with services such as in-store advertising, performance marketing and even more traditional solutions such as OOH to increase customer off-take across all offline and online channels to profitably scale the brand. 

We also provide complete on-ground sales support with our feet on the street, warehousing, internal logistics, schemes & promotions, claims, credit management, PO financing etc. for offline channels, ensuring that the brand can focus on manufacturing, improvements to existing products and new product innovations to enhance the customer experience.   

Can you walk us through the process of onboarding a brand or business onto the Moonshot platform? 

We are extremely selective about the brands we get onboard. Currently, we have a waitlist of 1300+ brands and have onboarded only 1 per cent of them. Our selection criteria involve a rigorous check that includes a list of around 50 check points ranging from manufacturing capabilities to the founder’s vision, adaptability and the overall market potential of the brand and its products. 

What are some of the biggest challenges that Moonshot faces in helping brands scale across channels, and how do you address those challenges? 

The most common challenge that we face with emerging and regional brands is the lack of production capabilities owing to the large volume of orders we generate for them. This is mainly due to their lack of access to capital. We at Moonshot have started providing our partner brands with financing options to fund such purchase orders.  

Apart from this, another big challenge we face at times is the fact that certain emerging brands that are online first have amazing products but aren't exactly 'retail ready'. Based on an astute understanding of the Indian consumer, our deep data analytics across the FMCG category and MMGs exposure to two of the world’s largest food and beverage brands, Coca-Cola and McDonald's, along with decades of distribution expertise, we provide such brands with insights to help them increase their probability of success not just through an increase in sales but also through diversification across sub-categories & launching new products.

Could you share some insights into your recent announcement of achieving Rs 250 crore ARR by the end of FY23? How are you going ahead with these figures? 

Our current distribution network is spread across Delhi (NCR), Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh & Jammu & Kashmir. Our network will grow to include Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh in the next few months covering all of North India and evolving into a PAN India network by the end of FY 2023. Apart from our current product portfolio through our partner brands, which includes 23 sub-categories of the FMCG - Food & Beverage category, we plan to expand to 35 sub-categories by onboarding new brands and strategically expanding individual brand portfolios, which should help us achieve these numbers. We will also look at acquiring a couple of brands in the coming year. 

How do you see the DaaS evolving in the next few years, and what is Moonshot doing to stay ahead of those changes? 

DaaS has the potential to grow into a multi-billion dollar industry and we aim to be its pioneers. Based on India’s ever-growing appetite for D2C products, both new and existing brands are looking to enhance their scale and DaaS provides them with a plug-and-play model that is cost-effective and provides industry insights and experience. 

In the next few years, DaaS will become a necessity for any brand looking to enter or scale efficiently in the market. To stay ahead of the curve, we constantly run experiments and innovate rapidly to improve our capabilities to evolve alongside the FMCG sector by factoring in disruptions while closely monitoring consumer trends and the competitive landscape. 

Tell us about the company's future goals and plans, and how you see the company expanding and evolving in the years to come. 

In the next one year, we plan to go pan-India, strengthening our current distribution network, product portfolio in the Food and Beverage category and venturing into personal care & home care. We are also looking at acquiring a couple of brands this year. 

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