Every once in a while, we come across products in the market that not only surprise us but get us wondering, 'why didn't someone think of this before?'
That's exactly how we felt when we came across the Nomad Food Project - a brand that creates bacon thechas and relishes!
Source: Nomad Food Project
Meat-lovers may have come across chicken or mutton thechas, but ready-to-eat bacon relishes were nowhere to be seen in India. That’s when Aditya and Advaith, two IHM graduates, decided to experiment with bacon thechas for a research project.
After impressing the IHM jury, they realised that their recipes have the potential to be much more than a research project, resulting in the creation of the Nomad Food Project.
From converting their research into a profitable bootstrapped venture to appearing on Shark Tank India, the duo has achieved a lot in the three years of the brand's existence.
We connected with Aditya Rai and Advaith Inamke, founders of the Nomad Food Project, to get the inside scoop on their Shark Tank India experience.
En-route to Shark Tank India
Fun Fact: The Nomad Food project gets 95% of their sales through Instagram ads. But who would have guessed that these ads would also be their ticket to Shark Tank? Well, certainly not them.
But that’s exactly what happened. The Shark Tank India team came across one of Nomad Food Project’s Instagram advertisements, tried their bacon relishes; and the next thing you know, the duo received an invitation to participate in the show.
“We were so surprised and, frankly, stoked to receive the call from the Shark Tank team. We’d have never imagined that an Instagram ad would be our gateway into such a big platform,” the duo share.
Source: Nomad Food Project Instagram
Being bootstrapped from day one, Aditya and Advaith decided to accept the invite to acquire funding to scale their business. The idea was to invest 50% of the funding in upgrading their production unit, which was a rented space.
The duo recall that their entire Shark Tank journey lasted for close to eight months, with multiple interview and practice sessions. After being selected as one of the 198 brands to appear on the show, the Nomads kicked off their pitch preparation.
The Pitch Practice
Aditya and Advaith shared that the pitch prep was an experience in itself as they had to present their pitch deck in Hindi. They spoke casual Hindi everyday with their friends and family, but the slangish Hindi wouldn’t work in an investment pitch.
The interesting part of their pitch preparation phase was explaining their hero ingredient itself. “How do you explain bacon in Hindi?”, the duo wondered.
Luckily for them, they got their message across in formal Hindi without any hiccups, all thanks to the Shark Tank India team, who helped the duo with their pitch prep.
What’s more, Aditya and Advaith went in knowing that some of the Sharks are vegetarians and wouldn't even try their best-selling bacon products.
Not ones to be easily disheartened, the duo went the extra mile and included their limited variety of vegetarian relishes in their pitch too, which was enough to impress the Sharks.
The highlight of the televised pitch - the Nomad Food Project received offers from all seven Sharks!
Source: MX Player
When watching their appearance on the show, we agreed that Nomad Food Project’s branding and product taste were clearly what impressed the Sharks. But the duo added that going in with a realistic valuation also worked in their favour.
And how did they come up with the perfect numbers despite having no formal experience with accounting?
By relying on Shopify Analytics! “When preparing the data for Shark Tank India, we could just pull out all the information we needed with ease.” That’s one of the reasons why the duo has no plans on moving on from Shopify.
Making Headway With Shopify and Shark Tank India
Nomad Food Project closed the deal with four Sharks (Vineeta Singh, Namita Thapar, Ghazal Alagh and Ashneer Grover) at 40 lakhs for 20% equity.
Currently in the last stages of due diligence, the duo is excited to start working with the Sharks. Having four versatile experts onboard means more opportunities for the Nomad Food Project to grow into a go-to bacon brand they envision being.
“We want to create bacon relishes for every snacking segment”, the duo shares. Well, they already have their best-selling thechas and marmalades in the portfolio. There are also plans to add more vegetarian relishes and introduce customised combos in the future.
Their appearance on Shark Tank India has given them exposure and a sales boost. What's more, the duo has received a lot of love from people on social media. And, of course, there have been multiple distributor calls.
Curious to know more, we asked Aditya and Advaith about their favourite Shark. “Ashneer is our favourite. He’s very intelligent and straightforward with his remarks", the duo claimed.
From taking an off-beat path of creating out-of-box relishes to operating their business independently, Nomad Food Project proved that it’s possible to have a smooth sailing trail when you have the right tools and support.
And their journey has only just begun!
Learn more about Shark Tank India and how it can be a learning experience for D2C brands.
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