Shark Tank’s Kevin Harrington takes a bite at India’s retail landscape
Kevin Harrington, the Original Shark investor from Shark Tank has chosen The New Shop, a chain of high-speed retail stores, by Delhi-based ProductX Venture, to make his first-ever India investment.
Speaking at the launch of his first ever investment in India in The New Shop, a chain of offline retail stores at alternative distribution locations, the serial entrepreneur, asserted that the saturation level of retail In India is still very low – only about 9%, and this anomaly opens doors to numerous entrepreneurial opportunities across the entire retail supply chain.
To capitalise on such an opportunity, the original Shark investor, twenty of whose companies have each topped $100 million in revenue, has invested in the high-speed retail stores. These, “Especially curated, the best of made in India FMCG brands, will be made available to consumers, right at the very place where they work, play or live.”
The fast-growing retail chain, that currently has over 35 active stores in Delhi-NCR, launched its flagship store at GoWork complex in Gurgaon. The founders claim The New Shop is a highly scalable chain of retail stores in alternative distribution locations for customers to try and buy new and unique FMCG products that are relevant, yet cannot be found anywhere else.
Reflecting upon his career spanning over three decades, the pioneer of the As Seen on TV brand, who launched his first business at fifteen, added, “Having been a product entrepreneur in Direct to Consumer (D2C) and Business to Consumer (B2C) segment for over 35 years, much before even Amazon started operations, my passion always lies in picking up truly exceptional, out of the box, commercially viable ideas, and The New Shop is one concept, that besides filling a void in Indian consumer space, resonates well with the young, aspirational masses of India.”
According to Harrington, while the US Market is highly saturated where such shops are available at every nook and corner, in a country like India, there is a dearth, and hence, a great potential for such concepts, that if implemented judiciously, would yield great returns.
Aastha Almast, the venture’s Cofounder opines that the team always got this feedback from their friends based abroad that India has always been such an ingredient rich country, but foreign importers always have had apprehensions on the quality of made in India items, particularly, with regard to FMCG items. One of the key reasons behind the launch of The New Shop was to contest this notion.
“Six out of seven product launches fail in India. So, it’s not that India is not making good products, but due to the lack of an efficient distribution network that these items fail in the end. Hence, one of The New Shop’s USP will lie in its exclusive distribution network that will enable the availability of authentic, especially curated, the best of made in India products to masses across the length and breadth of the country, ” says Almast.
As part of the expansion process, the retail chain that aims to launch 1000 stores by the end of the current year would be creating projects for budding Indian entrepreneurs who wish to sell to global consumers.
“As we expand, we have big plans that will create opportunities to thousands of Indian entrepreneurs who wish to join us across domains - in distribution, in retail or in business. We are open for win-wins,” added Harrington.
In the next phase, the startup, a brainchild of three serial entrepreneurs, Aastha Almast, Mani Dev Gyawali and Charak Almast, will be expanding to tier-II cities. Further, leveraging Harrington’s extensive experience in business, retail, and distribution, the plan eventually is to take the brand international.