Deepesh Savla, Director at A Star Marketing Pvt. Ltd. delves in about the company, their in-house organic food brand- ‘Fil’s’ and the international brands such as QPlay, Rafferty’s Garden and Cussons Baby (which they are exclusively distributing in India), in an interaction with Mommy & Baby Times.
April 29, 2019
MBT: Take us through the detailed business journey of A Star Marketing.
Deepesh Savla: A Star Marketing Pvt. Ltd. was incorporated in the year 2009, wherein we started with basic distribution and associated with various companies. On gaining an in-depth understanding of the industry, we have diversified into different avenues and have expanded in the baby care segment. And now, as a step ahead, we are getting to associate with various brands which we are marketing across India and have also started our own food brand- Fil’s.
MBT: Tell us about your in-house brand ‘Fils’ and how did you ideate to start the brand?
DS: We realized that in the baby food segment, there was an apparent lack of home-grown/Indian brands and the leading players in this segment are international brands such as Heinz and Gerber. So, we did our research in the baby food segment and conceptualized and started our own in-house brand called ‘Fil’s’ which is organic baby food. The organic baby cereal brand ‘Fil’s’ is for the babies from 6 months+ to 24 months+ which was launched in October, 2018. This houses a range of organic baby cereal available in six distinct flavours- Wheat, Apple & Banana, Multi Grains & Fruits, Ragi & Multi Fruits, Ragi, Rice & Banana and Oatmeal & Rice.
MBT: What are your aspirations and plans regarding this baby food brand?
DS: We are receiving superb response in the market for this and we are planning to expand the range gradually with the introduction of snacks, purees and rusks in the existing range. Fil’s is a source of important multi-nutrients including vitamins and minerals for babies and has ingredients including rich vitamins & minerals with no pesticides, no MSG and no added flavours & colours. The organic baby food sector is growing at a fast rate, owing to factors such as rise in parental concerns over baby’s nutrition and an increasing awareness about the advantages of organic food products. We are intending to come up with a huge assortment of infant from 6 months to 2 year old category products which are essentially going to be all natural, health foods.
“We’ve already tied up with FirstCry, Amazon, Flipkart, BabyChakra and all the leading online marketplaces… fundamentally, we are going to continually expand our sales and distribution network through both the online and offline channels.”
MBT: What are your sales and distribution strategy for Fil’s?
DS: We are going to use both the online as well as offline platforms and on the online platform, we’ve already tied up with FirstCry, Amazon, Flipkart, BabyChakra and all the leading online marketplaces. As about the offline platform, we’ve embarked in the trade market, we are going to the pharmacies, and we are looking at the modern trade stores also. Offline market is equally important for us because that is where a customer can actually go, touch and feel the product and understand its quality. So, fundamentally, we are going to continually expand our sales and distribution network through both the online and offline channels.
MBT: Kindly elaborate on the international brands that you are associated with.
DS: The international brands that we are associated with are QPlay, Rafferty’s Garden, Motorola- range of baby monitors and Cussons Baby which are in the baby care space only. Germany-headquartered QPlay offers a range of products such as tricycles, scooters, balance bikes and bags. The folding strollers-cum-tricycles by the brand are quite unique and first-of-its-kind for the Indian market for which we are getting a tremendous response. The baby food brand Rafferty’s Garden is imported from Australia and it offers a range of organic baby food products according to age groups starting from 4+ months up to 12+ months of age. Cussons Baby provides a complete baby skin care solutions according to age groups. We are also distributing the range of baby monitors in the market by the American brand Motorola. USA-headquartered Green Toys is another brand with which we’ve partnered recently and the toys by the brand are environment-friendly which we are going to introduce to the Indian market soon.
MBT: How do you think that the B2B exhibitions may help in strengthening and positioning the brand in the market?
DS: The B2B exhibitions are really helpful and it helps greatly to establish the name of the brand in the market. And if one is looking for the right channel partners to associate with, then, the B2B exhibitions are the best platforms to exhibit at as one can get the opportunity to strengthen their network. One would get the first-hand information about the market, the territories, what a distributor feels about the brand, and the quality of the products
MBT: Share your insights and views about the forthcoming Mommy & Baby Fair 2019.
DS: I believe that Mommy & Baby Fair can be a remarkable platform, as there has been no such exhibition for the product related to baby, kids and maternity happening in the North Indian region. We are eagerly looking forward to the exhibition event and we are hoping that it would give immense opportunities to explore the untapped trade channel and foresee huge business development opportunities.