E67: Ravi Saxena (Managing Director & CEO, Wonderchef)

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Ravi Saxena is the Managing Director and CEO of Wonderchef, one of India’s premium brand of healthy and innovative kitchen appliances. Armed with an MBA degree from IIM Ahmedabad, Ravi began his professional career when he joined VIP Luggage as the Brand Manager for soft luggage business. His brand Skybags had been stagnant for the past many years and was a poor cousin to the main business of moulded luggage. Coming with fresh ideas, a research-based approach (branded ‘theoretical’ until proven right), and boundless enthusiasm, there was a path-breaking decision that he took which changed the course of the brand forever and it sky-rocketed over the next few years to become the mainstay of the organization.

He devoted a lot of years in spearheading and managing several brands and diverse businesses by launching as many as twelve new businesses were to name a few were VIP Luggage, Sodexo India. Ravi joined Landmark Group to head their hospitality business and launched many new brands in India and abroad like – CityMax Hotels, Gloria Jean’s Coffees, Fun City gaming zones, Yellow Chilli restaurants with Chef Sanjeev Kapoor and Polynation Food Courts.

In this episode, we will learn:

1. Learnings from operating Wonderchef during the pandemic months (2:55)

2. Maintaining efficiencies in the supply chain during the pandemic (9:50)

3. Is the Indian consumer spoilt? (15:14)

4. How should D2C brands sell quality, durability and ensure conversions at scale? (28:17)

5. Consumer patterns and behavior in middle India (36:12)

6. The playbook for taking offline retail businesses online (44:44)

7. What role do VCs play in helping D2C companies scale at various stages (51:45)

8. What about Indian consumers and their behavioral patterns still surprises Ravi (1:06:52)

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