Entrepreneur: Anurag Saboo
Business Name: EggsUP
Welcome to #eoindia #startupstories Episode 33.
Each week we will ask an Indian entrepreneur 11 questions so that we can all be inspired by their stories.
One of the things we love about this series is the variety of startups that we get to meet. From tech startups to baby slings or clothing we cover it all and we hope it shows the wide opportunity that exists in India to bring innovation in every sector of the economy.
Today we talk about Eggs and we promise not to crack any jokes about it!
But we are not talking about any type of eggs, we are talking about liquidized eggs, all the goodness of eggs – packed in pouches.
Let us introduce you to EggsUP. A new innovation in the Indian market to bring you the best quality eggs and egg whites for instant use – without the mess. EggsUP understand the daily hassle of your life in today’s time and the first thing you tend to do in order to save some time is to skip your breakfast. In EggsUP their mission is to increase the per capita egg consumption in India, which is very low when compared to other developed nations and provide you with a high protein and nutrient rich breakfast in just a few minutes.
Let’s meet one of the co-founders behind this innovate idea, Anurag Saboo, a native of Delhi.
Anurag states the concept of liquid eggs was introduced for HoReCa (Hotel, Restaurant, and Catering) channels in late 2016 by his business partner Akshay Bansal, after extensive research and development – under the brand name Eggmento liquid eggs. Since then we have catered to major 5 star hotels and flight kitchens.
In Jan 2017, Anurag joined Akshay to co-found EggsUP for the consumer market in India and currently, we are available in Delh, Gurgaon,Noida Bangalore, Hyderabad and Bombay at almost 100 locations.
So let’s hear about their startup story.
Welcome to EOIndia#startupstories, episode 33.
How did you get your idea for this business?
We came across liquid eggs while doing our undergraduate studies from the US. We were amazed to see that eggs could exist in a form other than shells. It was an instant click. After some market research, we figured that the Indian market lacked such a product.
After coming back to India, my friend, my partner, Akshay Bansal spoke to me about how he was working on the concept of liquid eggs for industrial usage.
This product, did not exist in the Indian consumer market and that motivated us to take up the challenge. It was then we partnered up and since have been cracking eggs to produce liquid eggs for HoReCa (Hotels, restaurants and catering) and Retail markets. Our HoReCa brand is called Eggmento and EggsUp is a brand focused for the consumer retail market.
2) Why is “now” a good time for this idea to exist?
The FMCG industry is expected to grow at 20% CAGR by 2020. Over the last few years, Indian consumers have welcomed fresh concepts like cold pressed juices, greek yogurt, ready to eat dosa batter, dips and protein/energy bars.
Even though the Beverage industry is very competitive we have seen new brands enter and becoming a huge success.
Key drivers include increase of per capita egg consumption, higher disposable income and establishment of modern trade and e-commerce. Attractive packaging, convenience, health benefits and taste have always attracted consumers. With the Indian consumer becoming more aware about health and fitness Industry, experts predict a growth rate of 27% CAGR in the sector. We are more likely to find oats, brown bread and other healthy food items on the shopping list now more than ever. EggsUp Liquid Eggs is a super convenient source of 100% natural and bio available protein.
Large kitchens like flight catering, industrial bakeries, and catering companies use on an average 1.5 lakh eggs per day per kitchen. Having a control on wastages and quality is very tough for such large kitchens. Liquid Eggs add convenience, consistency, safety, higher quality standards and low wastage. With the market not yet touched, it gives a great opportunity ahead.
3) What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?
Our families have been supportive about this concept and the business model. They have always been a fan of the concept as we are the first movers and they see value in this. They keep motivating us during tough times. They have taught us the importance of taking a decision and acting on it.
My father always tells me that love what you do. Because you need a killer instinct to succeed.
4) What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
When we started out, we never made a business plan. A good business plan is very important as you are progressing with the business. Penning down with a framework helps touch upon every function. FMCG requires a lot of market research as in the end it is all about brand positioning. We learned the importance of penning down a plan and setting goals the hard way.
5) What is your biggest obstacle in the next 12 months and how will you overcome it?
Our products have a shelf life ranging from 45 to 90 days and need to be stored between 2 Degree Celsius and 8 Degree Celsius. This calls for temperature controlled supply chain to be maintained throughout. That comes with an added cost as India does not have a strong cold chain network. Our aim is to establish a very strong cold chain supply network for major cities in India. We are also working on improving our packaging and manufacturing technology that will help us attain ambient temperature shelf life.
6) What habits contribute to your success?
Time is the most important possession anyone has. After getting into business, I realized that I need more time and that happened only after I started getting up early. I felt the difference when I started showing up at the office before anyone else as it gave me more time to organize my day. Shorter meetings have better outcomes as it gets more people paying attention.
The Pareto Principle: With a small core team, it is very important to be cross functional. You may notice that your to-do list goes out of control which include critical tasks. The pareto principle states that 20% of the invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained. Working on the 20% first has helped us go through all our problems.
I felt the difference when I started showing up at the office before anyone else as it gave me more time to organize my day.
7) If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently?
Both of us have a major in Information science and technology, and now we are into food tech and FMCG. This needed a lot of learning time. We would start this business again by taking an accelerated learning approach across all functions and most importantly have a solid business plan.
8) What is your favourite inspirational quote?
“The ups and down in this journey are part and parcel, which calls for us to keep calm and be fearless.”
“Those who are skilled in combat do not become angered, those who are skilled at winning do not become afraid. Thus, the wise win before the fight, while the ignorant fight to win.” – O Sensei Ueshiba
9) Where do you find inspiration?
As Bruce Lee once said, “Be like water, you put it in a bottle, it becomes the bottle.” There have been a lot of troubles in our journey and we need to mould ourselves as per the issues so that they don’t affect our growth. We learn and we move on.
As we started off, we needed to create a proof of concept. The category of liquid eggs did not exist in the retail which led to a huge question on the consumer acceptance. Month by month we have seen more repeated customers. Growth makes us strive for more. There is a large scope of innovation left with this concept. It is very exciting to develop new products in this space.
Growth makes us strive for more. There is a large scope of innovation left with this concept.
10) What is your favourite book?
11) What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Building a strong core team who will leverage the go-to strategies. Never doubt yourself.
Be good at networking, because your network is your net-worth.
We are hugely impressed by Anurag and Akshay in starting EggsUp. They have made the journey from IT to the food sector which is not an easy journey, plus they have brought a new and innovate product to the market – again this is always a very difficult journey to make. So AWESOME works guys – you truly are Entrepreneurs of India.
We love the learning about spending time wisely and getting up early in order to organize the day and about keeping meetings short. Time will always be your biggest limitation – more so than money. You cannot buy time – it’s truly priceless, so spend it wisely.
Look out for their products in a store near you soon.
As usual, don’t forget to check out the recommended reading below. They come recommended for a reason!