Sometimes, it’s the relationships they make on the way that helps companies get ahead. That certainly was the case for Kanupradeep Subramanian and Srishti Shaw, two Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad alumni who created WIMWI Foods, an India-based startup that aims to bring healthy food ingredients and snacks to Indian kitchens and offices.
IIM’s technology business incubator, Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), has invested in their venture, along with participation from Ahmedabad-based angel investors Siddharth Jain and Dinesh Bindal.
“CIIE has been associated with the company from its inception. We were part of the IIMAvericks scholarship program funded by IIM-Ahmedabad alumni and managed through CIIE,” Shaw told AgFunderNews. “Through this program, final-year students with promising business ideas who choose to quit placements for pursuing entrepreneurship, are offered a basic monthly stipend along with mentoring support and guidance.”
Through the seed investment in WIMWI Foods, CIIE has shown more faith and confidence in the company’s vision and growth. However, CIIE brings more than just money to the table; it has a deep network of industry veterans and venture capitalists who will help the company connect with relevant people, find resources and in future rounds of capital raising, said Shaw.
Subramanian and Shaw are currently selling WIMWI’s signature product —Skiitake mushrooms — at more than 200 retail stores and major chains across metros and Tier-1 cities. They also have strong online sales through portals such as Amazon.in and BigBasket.com.
According to Shaw, the seed capital will mainly go towards introducing newer product lines and deepening distribution in India.
“The Indian retail and packaged food industry are seeing a great revolution. Indian retail is pegged at $300 billion and growing at a CAGR of 25 percent,” Shaw said. “Moreover, the digital ecosystem has opened up newer business channels. Indian e-commerce sales are set to increase $55 billion by 2018. Combined with the growing consciousness towards health and fitness and the higher disposal incomes of Indians, WIMWI Foods is operating at the right time and place and hence poised for phenomenal growth.”
In the next 12 months, WIMWI Foods will introduce healthy snack items in the market and deepen its distribution in current markets, mainly Tier-1 metros and South India.
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Image credit: WIMWI Foods